EAST END BABYLON
VIVE LE ROCK PRESENTS…
The story of London’s toughest and poorest part as told through the eyes of its most iconic band, THE COCKNEY REJECTS. From the bombs that flew in World War II and from the greatest industrial docks the world ever saw, to the formation of the original and best Terrace Band of them all, the battles, living outside the law, the wilderness years of both the band and the area that spawned them, and eventually to the rebirth and transformation of the band into a worldwide cult, this is the rockumentary to beat them all.
Feel the mighty heart that beats to the rhythm of rivet hammers upon a background of claret and blue.
This is East End Babylon!
THE GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD
Jeff ‘Stinky’ Turner was only 15 when, along with his brother Mick, he crashed onto the nation’s TV screens with his band THE COCKNEY REJECTS and lit a worldwide street punk revolution. After releasing the awesome but modestly titled album ‘Greatest Hits Vol. 1’, followed by a second and third, as well as a run of chart hits, they took a new hard rock direction and it all went a bit pear-shaped, with the band splitting a mere five years later. But it seems you can’t keep a ‘Reject down and next month sees the band out on the road headlining the Concrete Jungle Festival and releasing the rather tasty, brand new album ‘Unforgiven’. Big Cheese caught up with Jeff and Mick at an Irish boozer on Holloway Road to get their story, in their words…
THE (POWER & THE) GLORY DAYS
Jeff: “Me and Mick first formed the band, we blagged the bass player who was going out with me sister. We didn’t have a drummer and we hadn’t even played a gig when Mick went up to see Gary Bushell and told him we were this new band and he liked the name. The next thing Jimmy Pursey (Sham 69 vocalist) was on the phone. We started off big time doing twenty four tracks at Polydor studios after only ever having sung into a little tape recorder. After that we got signed to Small Wonder Records to make our first EP, ‘Flares And Slippers’, which sold fabulously well. We started the band in March ’79, by the end of October ’79 we’d recorded ‘I’m Not A Fool’ (second EP) one Sunday afternoon and in the next two days we had five record companies fighting for our signatures – Warner Bros., Polydor, Decca… I think we was gonna go with Polydor but then EMI stepped in with a big offer. That was it, we was away, signed and we’d only ever played four gigs. I appeared on ‘Top Of The Pops’ at fifteen years old.”
Mick: “The emphasis was on the songwriting and if we wouldn’t have thought it was worth a carrot, we wouldn’t have ever gone for it. We liked what we was hearing obviously, especially the first time we walked into a big mainframe studio like Polydor and listening to what we was capable of. We’d earned this contract and we’re worth our weight, you know?”
Jeff: “There was a lot of bands coming through but we was more influenced by the older, first punk bands like The Ramones, The Clash and all that – still the great ones for me. Even though our sound moved on, Mick’s guitar sound had a sound all of its own. They was good, poppy songs, even though there was shouted lyrics, because we didn’t know anything else, and big choruses. But it all seemed to gel and before we knew it, ‘Volume 1’ (1980) had been made, bang, and we’re into the Top 50, then the Top 30 and we stayed there for weeks and weeks.”
READ A FULL FEATURE ON THE COCKNEY REJECTS IN ISSUE 3, WHICH YOU CAN ORDER HERE