Photo copyright Ester Segarra
Hugh Gulland talks to Mr. Vive Le Rock himself in the new issue (no. 5), which you can order HERE.
Here’s some extra web-exclusive questions our man put to Prince Charming.
How did it hit you when Malcolm MacLaren ousted you from the original band?
"Well you know I was very upset really, because Malcolm was, you know… that was a necessary thing to happen. I hired him for a couple of weeks, and during this couple of weeks he said ‘look, there’s this album Dirk Wears White Sox, which is very good, but is that the kind of thing you want to do? Do you want to do a cult record?’ I said ‘Not really, I wanna make hit records’, because in my mind when I put Young Parisians out or Zerox out I was aiming for the top slot. He said ‘you’re going the wrong way about it, you’ve got to use what you’ve got which is your lips, your muscles, get it on the cover, get it on the front, and you’ve got to listen to the structure of pop music, rock’n’roll…’ so he gave me a whole very solid history of, not just rock’n’roll, but the construction of things, how to scan, that kind of stuff, and it was immeasurably helpful. During the process of that, by the same token, I wasn’t going to let him take over Adam And The Ants, the idea. It was plainly obvious that he didn’t want Adam And The Ants, he just wanted the guys who were in Adam And The Ants, the rhythm section. He already had the idea for Bow Wow Wow, with Anabella. So in a way, it was painful, but we’re all still pretty good mates, sadly Matthew Ashman has passed away. But I’ve also done a bit of work with Annabella. And Dave Barbarossa came on tour with me in America, (Lee Gouldman) worked on an album I did… so we’ve all come back into the fold. It’s just the way it went. Sometimes you’ve got to have your heart broken, and you kind of move on.
"He was one of the great rock’n’roll managers in the whole of history; that’d be Tom Parker, Epstein, Peter Grant and him. Malcolm was ultimately more intellectual than the other three, which is probably what got him his way, because he wasn’t money orientated. He was very bad with money, Malcolm, he was more one for ideas, and stirring things up, getting a revolt. So that was generally the way he worked, he wasn’t someone who was in it for money, if he was into money, he’d have been like robbing a bank. He wasn’t one for negotiation, he was a very clever guy."
What do you remember of your time with Bazooka Joe – you were headlining at the Pistols’ first gig?
"It was that horrible pub rock era, where, you just couldn’t get a deal, and Bazooka Joe hung about with Ducks Deluxe, Kilburn And The High Roads, Eddie And The Hot Rods, and the best of the lot being Dr Feelgood. I remember at Feelgood gigs seeing John Rotten turn up you know, they were the best of the best, but they were having it hard. The music papers held a lot of influence, so it wasn’t really going for it. It really took the riot at the National, I actually attended that gig, where the Pistols attacked the audience, things changed a bit, and they didn’t know what to do. It was a catalyst really, Malcolm and the Pistols were a catalyst for what was going to happen, and I was lucky to be at the first gig and just dropped tools and got out of doing nostalgic songs and got on with the future, got on with it. I was lucky to be at the right place at the right time!"