Killing Joke – Malicious Damage Records – 1979

“ATTENTION ATTENTION ALL PUPPY ALLSTARS. KILL YOUR PET PUPPY SPECIAL KILLING JOKE EDITION”:

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Another Version of the Truth by A Malicious Damage Operative.

Cue.

Intro.

I once met Larry Page.

The Kinks producer / manager of the 1960’s, not the Google Guy.

It was at Midem, the annual music convention in Cannes, France. I sat down at his table in a coffee bar. I didn’t know who he was.

“Hello, I’m Larry.” he said when I asked him to pass the sugar,

Tell me something, how did you get started in the music industry then?”

“Well,” I replied, “I helped start a DIY punk rock label in 1979 with some mates in Ladbroke Grove”. Larry turned to the man he was sitting with and exclaimed,

“Told ya, didn’t I?”

They’d obviously been playing people spotting. I hadn’t a clue at that point who Larry Page was. He is certainly a larger than life character, so I just dived in with,

“And what do you do then?” His friend spluttered into his coffee when I asked that. Larry just shrugged,

“Oh, you know,” he said, “A bit of this and a bit of that”.

Larry Page went on to say something to me that I have never forgotten. It went something like this –

It’s a shame, you know, it happens with so many bands.

They lose the people they started with and they go around after that saying, oh they did this deal and it was bad. Or they messed that up, they were rubbish. And these bands forget that at the time, before they were famous, when nobody wanted to know about them or their songs, these rubbish people almost always worked their socks off for little or no pay and they nearly always did the best they could do in the circumstances.

They got the best deal that they could get that band at that time.

It is easy to be wise after the event.

Everyone on the planet can tell you the winning Lottery numbers from last week, can’t they?

Crossfade.

He told me another story, too, about managing bands and their short term memory loss. (Later on, after I found out two things; who he was and he was right I saw a BBC documentary with him in it and he told this same story in that).

It went like this.

A band gets a manager.

The manager knocks on doors, beats up walls, rips out hair, and finally gets them a paid gig. They get £100.

The manager goes to pay the band. Manager says, they paid us £100. I am on 20%. So that’s £80 to you and £20 to me, ok?

Bands says, yes mate, that’s great.

The manager goes out and does it again.

This time he gets them a gig and they get paid £1,000.

End of the night, he’s paying it out.

That’s £1,000. I am on 20%. So that’s £800 to you and £200 to me ok?

Band says, yes, I suppose so, if you say so.

The manager goes out and does it a third time.

This time he gets them a gig and they get paid £10,000.

End of the night, he’s paying it out.

That’s £10,000. I am on 20%. So that’s £8,000 to you and £2,000 to me ok?

Band says, fuck off! All you had to do is make a phone call.

And that, Larry Page says, is what managing bands is like for most people. I am one of those people who preach LARRY PAGE IS RIGHT!

And for those of you who don’t know who Larry Page is, this is what it says about him in Wikipedia:

“After changing his name to Larry Page (from Lenny Davis) in honour of Larry Parks, the star of The Jolson Story, the teenager began a recording career as a singer.

Page tried to magnify his fame through the wearing of unusually large spectacles, as “Larry Page, the Teenage Rage”. He toured the UK and appeared at top venues, including the Royal Albert Hall. He was a regular on TV Shows like Six-Five Special and Thank Your Lucky Stars.

He later became a successful manager, record producer and record label owner. Much of his producer/manager success centred on his efforts with The Kinks and The Troggs, and his ownership of Page One Records and Penny Farthing Records. Producing such classics as “Wild Thing”, a track remodelled by Jimi Hendrix into one of his greatest of all covers, as well as all of The Troggs hits. Apart from The Troggs and The Kinks, Page’s Larry Page Orchestra gave Jimmy Page (later of Led Zeppelin) some early exposure when he played on Kinky Music.

Larry Page is also credited with introducing Sonny and Cher to the UK.

As of the 2000s, Page has been living in Avoca Beach, New South Wales, Australia.

Page has been involved in producing the song for Chelsea Football Club in the UK. The song is called “Blue Is The Colour” and is still played at the end of home matches”.

Stop.

Cue.

Go.

Nervous System / Turn To Red

Are You Receiving

“The Choice Is Yours”

I think about that conversation when I sometimes think about the early years of Killing Joke.

It was started in a house, 11 Portland Road, Holland Park, London W11.

This was a house in a very posh part of London, in a very posh street.

It was directly opposite the offices of Miss World, there was a private drinking club at the end of the street where Mick Jagger socialised when he was in town. It was also known as The Winchester in the hit TV series Minder. The exteriors were filmed outside there. John Cleese used to park his Rolls Royce outside of our house sometimes. It was the late 1970’s, so Fawlty Towers was just beginning to slay the world. We saw him in meetings in the burger cafe on the corner, but never thought to go in and ask him for an autograph.

One didn’t do that sort of thing in Holland Park.

Brian Taylor lived in Portland house with Dick Laban, Frank Jenkinson and Christine Atkinson. Paul Ferguson the drummer was Christine’s boyfriend and he stayed there and after a while Adam Morris ended up sleeping on a mattress in Dick Laban’s room. These were anarchic and hedonistic times.

I am sure that Portland house would cost you a few million today. Back then it was on the fringes of what was still known as Free London, or Frestonia, the area between Latimer Road tube station and the Shepherd’s Bush roundabout whose main artery is Freston Road. Chrysalis Records is based there these days, near Olaf Street, which is where Ear rehearsal studios was then.

The names Killing Joke and Malicious Damage Records came out of long and endless inspired debates in the Portland Road house that often lasted all night and sometimes went on for days. Brian Taylor finally came up with the name Killing Joke and the double edged slogan “laugh at your peril” that was later turned into a badge, along with many others, by the iconic punk badge company Better Badges.

Paul Ferguson was a brilliant drummer playing in a band called Matt Stagger at that stage, a band that Jazz Coleman later joined. It was a paid gig for them, but they had no musical input and they were unhappy with it. By then, Jazz was coming round to the Portland Road house too, whilst we were shopping in Rough Trade record shop almost on a daily basis. We were all heavily into the DIY punk scene that was tearing up the nation at that time. We’d been in the white riots that The Clash sang about, they were happening just down the road.  And we knew what the Pistols said was true, there was no future in England’s dreaming.

Around the time Killing Joke was put together, we were listening to some amazing music. Joy Division’s first album had been released and we spent days debating whether or not it really was the greatest record ever made or not. We had no money at all of course, not a pot to piss in as Adam Morris was prone to say, but we always seemed to find the cash to buy records. “The Modern Dance” by Pere Ubu, Public Image Ltd, “Pink Flag” by Wire became blueprints for us, along with Stiff Little Fingers and the Irish bands on the Good Vibrations label. We loved reggae – Dr Alimantado, Tapper Zukie “Man A Warrior”, Hugh Mundell “Africa Must Be Free”. We loved everything as long as it was good, or stupid. Or both. We wanted some of it. Actually that’s not strictly true, we wanted ALL of it. In the end we decided to try and get it.

Brian took out a mysterious ad in the Melody Maker and hired Ear Rehearsal room for the day. Luckily for us, it turned out to be the rehearsal and storage HQ for Motorhead and Girlschool. It was run by a man called Phil and he lived there with a pet fox called Victoria. Victoria was bright red and had a huge brush, she strolled around as if she owned the place, which she probably did.

That became the rehearsal and storage HQ for Killing Joke too. From the day of that audition onwards until the original band originally broke up, generally perceived to be after the Iceland saga, but before the liver and maggots on receptionists head incident.

Geordie was the first guitarist that auditioned; he got the gig within minutes of plugging in. Geordie is an awesome guitarist. Back then he could copy any guitar player you could name for him. He had the ear, he could hear something once and replay it instantly, a talent that earned him the name, “The One Take Wonder”.

Finding a bass player proved more problematic. Youth and Raven both auditioned but neither got the gig first time round. Youth was already in a band at that point – the 4 Be 2’s, who had a singles deal with Island Records. If memory serves, he wanted to be in both bands, which seemed a problem if both bands took off. Raven had similar dilemmas.

But as time wore on, the trio found that after trying many other players, there had been no-one better than the Raven, or if not him, then Youth. You wouldn’t say that Youth was the tightest bass player in the world at that time, but that was fine, that was punk rock. He had many other qualities to bring to the table and he kept coming back to the Portland Road house, asking to be reconsidered.

In the end, he decided to leave 4 Be 2’s and the other three took him on, which proved to be a good move on several levels.

Apart from the obvious (embryonic Meister-producer) Youth was very photogenic. He could have been Sid’s twin. The first time we saw him, we opened the door at the Portland Road house to him and thought it was Sid Vicious standing there. He had with him his best friend Alex Paterson, later to become Dr and start The Orb. Alex dressed like Johnny Rotten in those days and they made a formidable pair with attitude. “The Beatles”, Youth used to say, looking at you as if you had made him stand in dogdirt, “they’re a bunch of Kants! And you’re a kant if you like them as well!” Then he’d chuckle, because he thought that was so funny.

This essentially became the team. Or rather teams. It was always intended as two teams. One was a band called Killing Joke. The other was a label called Malicious Damage. The label worked with several acts, three in fact, the main band Killing Joke plus Red Beat and Ski Patrol. They were added very early into the equation.

The origins of the Malicious Damage name have become blurred with time.

Adam Morris has recollections that a girlfriend he had then, a lady called Jolie Hughes, came up with the name when they were standing at a bus stop one night. She started to read the notice which said “Malicious Damage, £50 fine”. Jolie said, “Malicious Damage that would make a good name for your punk rock label”.

And it was. We were so pleased with it we got a Badge of Honour made up by another Joly, Joly MacFie. This Joly was the man who ran Better Badges. He recalls Brian Taylor coming to his old garage in St Stephen’s Mews with the original designs. Ours said, “Malicious Damage Operative” on it and we all wore it with pride.

This was the core, along with operative Danny Phelan and Mike Coles. Mike was Brian’s friend. He didn’t live at Portland house, but he did do all the graphics for the band from the start.

Malicious Damage was a record label. Brian Taylor managed the band Killing Joke, later Ski Patrol as well and for its short life, Red Beat. He and the bands had a management contract drafted and signed. Brian then licensed the band Killing Joke to the label Malicious Damage Records.

The summer 1979 came and the band went to live in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. They moved into Jazz Coleman’s parents’ bungalow and spent their time writing songs and learning how to play together as a band.

The first Killing Joke music we heard came from that time. It was a cassette recording made in the Coleman’s garden. The band set up their equipment and a tape recorder and ran through an embryonic version of “Pssyche”. It was deliberately spelt with two s. They played about three and a half minutes worth before the police turned up and ordered them to turn off their racket.

There was enough to hear on the tape to know that they were ready to go into the recording studio to make a record.

We booked Gooseberry Studio, which at that time was located in a cellar in the Chinatown area of London, off Shaftesbury Avenue.

Why did we go there?

Because it said on the back of the Public Image Ltd LP that was where they had recorded that record and we wanted our record to sound a bit like the Public Image Ltd LP. There was also a recording engineer who worked there called Mark Lusardi. He turned out to be a budding dub genius later to be involved with Shaka Sound System classics such as “Hard Times” by Pablo Gad and the “Dub Conference in London” LP.

The band cut a single over a weekend, now known as the “Turn To Red” EP.

The band, or rather Jazz Coleman, paid for those recording sessions. He borrowed the money from his girlfriend, Jasmine. The Malicious Damage Operatives then paid for all of the other costs. Pressings, label and sleeve print, insert print, graphic designer’s bill, advertising.

Brian Taylor put most money in, Danny Phelan invested some in it, everyone chipped in what they could. Adam Morris borrowed the money off his mum, Milly Mason.

We pressed a 10 inch single at Lyntones in the Holloway Road.

First of all we designed a 10 inch record with an eleven inch card and four postcard-type inserts rather than a standard 7 inch single in a picture bag. It was a good idea, but it was expensive. Then we couldn’t find anyone who made eleven inch plastic bags to bag all this print, so we had to buy 12 inch bags, which gave us a one inch plastic flap and made our hot new release look a trifle floppy.

And we weren’t planning on leaving a flop about.

Brian, of course, solved this problem as he always seemed to do. I don’t know how but he realised that if he got a steel ruler and a soldering iron he could strim an inch off the plastic bags and the hot iron would seal the cut as it went down the bag.

So we turned Frank Jenkinson’s room in Portland house into a bagging plant as August ended. We strimmed and inserted a couple of thousand bags. It took us a few weeks, but the soldering worked. This almost turned out to be our equivalent of Factory Records famous Durutti Column sandpaper sleeve LP – i.e. so difficult to handle, no shop would stock it.

I just dug out an original of the old 10 inch and that seal is as good today as the day it was cut.

Middle of September 1979, the 10 inch record was ready. The first thing we did was take it to the BBC for John Peel to play. He hadn’t heard it, when we say – Peel to play, we just knew that he would play it when he did hear it. Brian Taylor did this trip, with Adam Morris and Paul Ferguson. They arrived at the BBC building in Portland Place hoping to bump into Peelie, but of course they didn’t. John Peel always sneaked in by a back entrance because the lobby was full of people like us. DIY record labels and bands holding records in mailers hoping to give Peel their hot new poop. It was okay though, the DJ’s at the BBC had pigeon holes, so you can leave things for them. We left our 10 inch in a mailer with a note with our phone number on, then we went home again via the pub probably.

Next morning, 10am, the phone rang. Adam answered it. It was John Peel. Adam couldn’t believe it. He was starstruck, as he often was when placed near musical genius. He didn’t know what to say, so he handed the phone over to Brian and let him deal with it. Basically our 10 inch trick had worked, Peel had played our record first because nobody really bothered making 10 inchers back then. So ours stood out in the pile.

We’d blown his head off. He just wanted to check that it wasn’t a spoof, The Stranglers (because of the keyboards) or someone like that in disguise, playing a joke. When Brian told him, no, it’s a brand new band, first single they have made, Peel was smitten, for a while anyway. He loved our first record so much; he played all three tracks that night. We taped it of course, spending the rest of the week rewinding and replaying the parts on the tape where Peelie said good things about the band.

He played all three tracks again the next night and the night after that too. The first time was Tuesday. By Friday our phone was on fire and by the following Tuesday we were in discussions with Virgin Records about the parameters of Killing Joke’s recording deal. On 17th October 1979, we were in the BBC recording studios in Maida Vale recording the first John Peel session. The session included two tracks that were rapidly shelved – “Nuclear Boy” and “Malicious Boogie”, the latter a jam featuring the collective vocals and noises of the original the Portland Road house Malicious Damage operatives.

And Peelie said on the night the session was broadcast;

“And you heard Killing Joke. As I say, the record on the programme on numerous occasions, and excellent it is too. I’m very pleased to have a session, especially as I managed to get them so quickly after the record came out. The first from the band is Wardance.”

Plays “Wardance”

“Admit you’re impressed. That’s Killing Joke and Wardance. A session produced by Bob Sargent, incidentally. And the Band: Jaz Coleman on Keyboards: Geordie aka A Lizard on guitar; Big Paul on drums, and Youth aka Pig Youth on bass”.

“These are Killing Joke and Pssyche.”

Plays Pssyche

“Eeh Gods, that’s good. I can’t tell you how much pleasure it gives me. You know, even after all these years, a session as good as this one, particularly when it’s the band’s debut session. This is Killing Joke and that was called Pssyche. And according to Brian . . . .”

“. . . . . and probably better than the record they asked for anyway, it’s Malicious Boogie.”

Plays Malicious Boogie (complete with Malicious Damage personal on whoop whoops!)

“Get Down! If I may say so. That was Killing Joke and that was called Malicious Boogie. The last from Killing Joke. The last of a gem of a session, it’s called Nuclear Boy.”

Plays Nuclear Boy

“Killing Joke. And that’s the last from them, and my thanks to the band for a truly classic session. And I know that I say that all the time, but it’s true in this case, and also for Bob Sargent for producing same”.

The next week we were lunching on Richard Branson’s boat. Cracking the music industry is easy, we thought, it took us about a month!

We were wrong of course.

We didn’t sign that deal. We didn’t think it felt right and we wanted to hold out for the best deal we could. Youth talked Island into licensing “Turn to Red” on a one off deal. They issued a four track version on a 12 inch with an extra track, “Almost Red”. But they didn’t promote it because they decided they did not want to sign the band.

We resisted the flirtations of the record industry throughout the winter months, living on a diet of vegetable stew, cheese on toast and A&R executive’s expense accounts. In fact, we became business lunch whores. We’d meet anyone with a label and an expense account, as long as they bought us a large dinner. We had found a lawyer, the best we could find at the time, a Beatles lawyer in fact, which is probably why the Beatles are wankers comments first stemmed from. This Beatles lawyer had offices behind the Charing Cross near Trafalgar Square in London. Old school, an Old Etonian or Harrovian we suspected. Once he told us what it was like the day after the first Beatles film “A Hard Day’s Night” was released. Back then, they still got paid their cut of the takings in CASH. They had sacks of it everywhere. “My dears”, he said, “It was pissing money”.

We did whatever we had to, to keep the band going. Kept rehearsing at Ear studios, where they also finished off writing most of the material on the first Killing Joke LP. We liked Ear because we had the room after Motorhead. So we sat in on their rehearsals sometimes, whilst they blasted through their set. Motorhead were the LOUDEST band in the universe, by a country mile. The Clash moved in there too, but that came later.

It wasn’t easy, no-one would ever claim that. It was hard and it was unpaid and we made some horrendous mistakes. But we did the best we could at the time and in the circumstances we were in.

Wardance

Pssyche

We made a second single at the beginning of 1980 – “Wardance” and “Pssyche”. This time, Malicious Damage paid for the recording and it was manufactured and distributed by Geoff Travis at Rough Trade. We mailed it out to the media from Rough Trade too, in a joint mail out with a single by Teardrop Explodes on Liverpool’s Zoo Records called “Treason”.

The man doing promotions in Rough Trade at that time was the legendary Scott Piering. He was later to become one of the greatest of all independent radio pluggers and the man responsible for getting bands like The Smiths, the KLF, The Orb and Pulp onto national radio and TV. Its his voice on the intro of the KLF’s classic, “OK everybody, let’s lie down on the floor and stay calm”.

Brian Taylor liked the radio and he was brilliant at befriending the best DJ’s. There was (almost) a second John Peel. In Seattle, Washington, US of A. This one was actually called Norman Batley and he had a show called “Your Skull Is My Bowl”, “LIFE ELSEWHERE WITH NORMAN BATLEY” broadcast on K-RAB SEATTLE. Brian and Norman hit it off from the first time they spoke. Norman had been mailed Killing Joke from Rough Trade and he became their biggest U.S. Fan. He hammered the band on K-RAB Seattle, regarded as the most influential station amongst the youth of America at that time. In fact I believe the red label “official bootleg” single of two tracks from the second John Peel session was motivated by the need to give Norman something of an exclusive to play.     K-RAB was run by student volunteers and fans such as Bruce Pavitt, who had started a fanzine called Subterranean Pop. By issue 4, Bruce had shortened the name of his fanzine to Sub Pop.

In 1986, Bruce Pavitt issued his first release on the Sub Pop record label. It was a compilation LP limited to 5,000 copies called “Sub Pop -100”. This is now acknowledged to be the birth of what now we call grunge.

“Sub Pop -100” was a 17 track album featuring bands with names like Steve Albini, Sonic Youth, Naked Raygun, Skinny Puppy, Boy Dirt Car, Shonen Knife and “Barry White Ending”. It was imported into the UK by a company called Shigaku Trading based in The Metrostore in Acton West London. MW from Better badges worked in the Metrostore by now, at that time for a company called Fat Shadow. If you collect the reggae records (in particular) from that era, the name Fat Shadow may ring a bell with you. That’s because it is printed on the back cover of a lot of those records, because MW distributed them through there.

Another volunteer working at K-RAB was Chris Cordell, at that time a bass player in a band called The Shemps, later, in 1984, to form a band called Sound Garden.

One of the most inspired listeners to Norman Batley’s K-RAB show was a young man called Kurt Cobain, later to form Nirvana, who recorded their first album, “Bleach”, for Sub Pop Records as well.

By 1986, the original band Killing Joke and the original Malicious Damage organisation had both disbanded. By the end, after Adam Morris had left and Brian Taylor had lost his beautiful hair and well before being thrown off the Killing Joke bus; Dick Laban attempted to manage the unmanageable as we were calling one of their songs by that point. After a few months, he gave up too. Brian and Dick walked away from the music industry at that point, destined to become forgotten heroes, never to return. Opinion seems to date the exact point of break up of the original Killing Joke as sometime after the Iceland incident, but before the maggoty liver saga.

Adam Morris was working with his team mates in the Shigaku Allstars by then. He vowed he would never speak again to a human being who could sink as low as tipping a box of maggoty liver over anyone’s head, let alone that of a young lady and her hair. He rarely spoke of these previous connections when Seattle was visiting. He did not wish any association with a person who could behave like that to someone who worked for someone who merely expressed an honest opinion. But then he had never studied Mein Kampf as bedside reading either. That’s a book written by Adolf Hitler by the way.

The Shigaku Allstars were the team that imported and distributed almost all of the independent punk rock labels from the USA and Australia that hit these shores during the second half of the 1980’s. At the same time, they exported UK independent labels the other way. Dutch East distributed the debut Sub Pop LP, “Sub Pop – 100” in the USA and Shigaku imported it into the UK, where they sold a few copies to one of their earliest wholesale customers, Mickey Penguin who also got many other exclusive records during this time.

On reflection, the never ending list of modern classics that the Allstars brought in, including the only tiny amounts of Nirvana’s “Lovebug / Big Cheese”, the bands first single “members only” release to the Sub Pop Singles Club that made it to these shores. Shigaku brought in “Bleach”, Nirvana’s first LP as well. “Hate Your Friends” by The Lemonheads. The Allstars warehouse favourites included Dinosaur Jnr singles along with “My Pal” by God, “Disgracelands” by Elvis Hitler and “Dickcheese” by The Hard Ons.

They also ran two independent UK record labels.

One was called What Goes On, who issued the first LP by Yo La Tengo.

The other label was the European branch of Homestead Records, the label that issued “Atomiser”, the first LP by Big Black. This now legendary band, founded by Steve Albini along with Jeff Pezzati, Santiago Durango and Dave Riley also had roots in K-RAB. Albini was another of the Seattle gang, obsessed by Naked Raygun. Naked Raygun were another Homestead artist whose album “Throb Throb” was also distributed by the Shigaku Allstars. Steve Albini visited The Metrostore whenever he was in London, everyone knew when he was coming because the code words “Raygun’s back” would go up when we knew he was on his way.

Malicious Damage Records released one more record after the “War Dance / Pssyche” single.

Change

Tomorrows World

There was the forgotten third Killing Joke single, that’s the official bootleg single with red labels and no text featuring two tracks from the second Peel session – “Change” and “Tomorrow’s World” cut to keep Seattle happy. This was mastered by another industry legend, the vinyl cutter Porky of Porky’s Prime Cuts fame and sold to fans by mail order and at gigs in Europe whilst Batley hammered Seattle.

In the spring of 1980, following Killing Joke’s appearance on three glorious shows with the legendary Joy Divison, Malicious Damage finalised a deal with E.G. Records for the recording services of Killing Joke. It was a very good deal at the time. E.G. Records was home to Roxy Music, Brian Eno and Ferry, King Crimson and other stella names. It was considered by many to be the best label in the land at that time. So Malicious Damage held out for the best they could get. It is true, though, on reflection, we all expected it to start pissing money and it didn’t. Killing Joke got all the money from that deal, Malicious Damage got nothing.

But we know the real reason why that is too. The 11th February 1980 incident.

But that’s another story.

After the E.G. signing, global windows of opportunity were opened for Killing Joke.

What happened next is another story waiting to be told.

End.

Outro.

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The version of the formation of Killing Joke that appears in Wikipedia differs from our version of the truth somewhat: 

This is what Wikipedia says:

“”Big” Paul Ferguson was drummer in the Matt Stagger Band when he met Jeremy “Jaz” Coleman (from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire) in Notting Hill, London. In October 1978 (or early 1979), after Coleman was briefly keyboard player in that band, he and Ferguson left to form Killing Joke. They placed an advertisement in the music press which attracted guitarist Kevin “Geordie” Walker and bassist Martin “Youth” Glover. According to Coleman, their manifesto was to “define the exquisite beauty of the atomic age in terms of style, sound and form”.

By September 1979, shortly before the release of their debut EP, Turn to Red, they began the Malicious Damage record label with graphic artist Mike Coles as a way to press and sell their music; Island Records distributed the records, until Malicious Damage switched to E.G. Records in 1980. The songs on Killing Joke’s early singles were primitive punk rock sometimes mixed with electronic (“Nervous System” and “Turn to Red”). Turn to Red came to the attention of legendary DJ John Peel, who was keen to champion the band’s urgent new sound and gave them extensive airplay. They quickly progressed this sound into something denser, more aggressive, and more akin to heavy metal, as heard on their first two albums, Killing Joke (1980) and the more abrasive What’s THIS For…! (1981). They toured extensively throughout the UK during this time, and both fans of post punk and heavy metal took interest in Killing Joke through singles such as “Follow the Leaders” (1981).

Well. As Johnny Rotten said on that first single PIL released, there are two sides to every story.

And this side is ours.

YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS GOING TO BE THE DIRT DIDN’T YOU?

EVEN THE PUPPY!

WE DIDN’T THINK OF THE NAME KILLING JOKE FOR NO REASON

IF THAT HAD BEEN YOUR MUSIC ON THE TRAIL,

THIS PAGE MIGHT SAY

CLICK HERE AND BUY ME.

OR WILL IT?

THIS HAS BEEN AN EXERCISE CALLED:

“DID YOU ENJOY OUR LITTLE INTERNET GEOGRAPHY LESSON THEN?”

“LAUGH? I REALLY DID BUY ONE.”

SO THERE!

BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

KILL YOUR PET PUPPY IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE KING PENGUIN ALLSTARS, MR MODO, A STRANGE BILBAO ST BERNARD, APHEX DELCID AND THE GFG.

THE OTHER ENDING DOES EXIST. IT’S FINISHED.

WE LEFT IT WITH THE HARTS AND ONE WITH A MORRIS.

AND IN RESPONSE TO ANOTHER QUESTION, YES THE PACE EGG MAN IS REALLY CALLED JC. THERE ALWAYS WAS ANOTHER JC WHEN WE WERE ASKED IF WE UNDERSTOOD AND WE SAID, YES, OF COURSE WE DO. WE DIDN’T MEAN WE WERE YOUR SERMON FLOCK, WE MEANT THE PACE EGGER. JC JOHN CAUNCE. ADAM MORRIS FATHER. NOT THE ONE YOU MEANT. DUNNOCK.

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT PACE EGGING IS, ASK JOHN PEEL!

THANK YOU, GOOD NIGHT AND GOD BLESS

HOW DO WE SAY HARTHOUSE IN ENGLAND?

HARD

SO WATCH YOUR MOUTHS AND MINDS IN FUTURE

ATTENTION ALLSTARS FACEBOOK THANK YOUS and EXTRACT OF ANOTHER VERSION IF YOU WANT TO SCROLL FURTHER

THANKS TO:

NINE INCH NAILS

The idea for our version of another version of the truth came partly from:

“Another version of the truth” by Nine Inch Nails.

http://www.anotherversionofthetruth.com/

Click on the nice photo and you will see.

Do not always believe the Public Image.

Our Facebook pipe-bomb is The Ultimate Killing Joke.

Long tail viral marketing CONCEPTS by The Shigaku Allstars.

It is dedicated to Ian Lowery, wherever his buffalo roams, Sean White, I’ll see your face again, Clifford Hart and all the other forgotten operatives everywhere. This side was written by A Malicious Damage Operative. No individual operative is credited, as all deserve equal praise. Rich Hart’s got it if we ever have to recall it.

Clifford Hart died of diabetes. So did Sean White. We are promoting a fund raising drive for this charity on their behalf. What are you doing about it?

We will release one section of Another Version of our truth whilst you are here. Scroll down for Larry if you want to see it.

The research was compiled with thanks from contributions made by:

Frank Jenkinson (original photography). B. V. Taylor, Adam Morris (Mr Modo / Shigaku All Stars), Dick Laban, Michael Baxter (King Penguin / Shigaku All Stars), MW Trading (Shigaku All Stars Dub Central), Joly BB MacFie, Simon Keeler you teapot (Forte Distribution / Shigaku All Stars), Peter Keeley (Shellshocked living legend / Shigaku All Stars) Mr Keeley also got all of the white labels before they came out. Larry Page.

We would especially like to thank 3 Hart House twins, the vicar of St Thomas Church, Upholland, Wigan. The Upholland Ladies Luncheon Club and everyone else who participated without realising it. It’s called long tailing. You were guinea pigs.

And Mr R Ashcroft for the best song “some blind geography teacher whose arm fell off or summat” never wrote either.

Special thanks also to the nice man from Pink Floyd who installed the first domestic modem ever seen in a PC in Sheffield 1993. It’s hard to navigate when you first get it. You have to learn your way around. We got that modem, so we thought we’d teach you some long tail internet geography.

The copyright in “Another Version of Another Version of the Truth” is owned by A Malicious Damage Operative 01/04/10. All rights reserved. And no may not use any of this copyright for nothing to help make your wikiscript film good or anything else without payment.

As John Kennedy said to us once,

“Now if Meatloaf strolled into your kitchen and started eating all the food in your fridge, you would expect financial restitution wouldn’t you? So why do you think you can ask for my intellectual property for free?”

If you want to use our intellectual property, you can jolly well pay us what we properly deserve.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_Sweet_Symphony#Song_credits

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Here’s Larry!!!

Larry Page was the Kinks producer / manager of the 1960’s, not the Google Guy.

It was at Midem, the annual music convention in Cannes, France. I sat down at his table in a coffee bar. I didn’t know who he was.

“Hello, I’m Larry.” he said when I asked him to pass the sugar,

Tell me something, how did you get started in the music industry then?”

“Well,” I replied, “I helped start a DIY punk rock label in 1979 with some mates in Ladbroke Grove”. Larry turned to the man he was sitting with and exclaimed,

“Told ya, didn’t I?”

They’d obviously been playing people spotting. I hadn’t a clue at that point who Larry Page was. He is certainly a larger than life character, so I just dived in with,

“And what do you do then?” His friend spluttered into his coffee when I asked that. Larry just shrugged,

“Oh, you know,” he said, “A bit of this and a bit of that”.

Larry Page went on to say something to me that I have never forgotten. It went something like this –

It’s a shame, you know, it happens with so many bands.

They lose the people they started with and they go around after that saying, oh they did this deal and it was bad. Or they messed that up, they were rubbish. And these bands forget that at the time, before they were famous, when nobody wanted to know about them or their songs, these rubbish people almost always worked their socks off for little or no pay and they nearly always did the best they could do in the circumstances.

They got the best deal that they could get that band at that time.

It is easy to be wise after the event.

Everyone on the planet can tell you the winning Lottery numbers from last week, can’t they?

Crossfade.

He told me another story, too, about managing bands and their short term memory loss. (Later on, after I found out two things; who he was and he was right. I saw a BBC documentary with him in it and he told this same story in that).

It went like this.

A band gets a manager.

The manager knocks on doors, beats up walls, rips out hair, and finally gets them a paid gig. They get £100.

The manager goes to pay the band. Manager says, they paid us £100. I am on 20%. So that’s £80 to you and £20 to me, ok?

Bands says, yes mate, that’s great.

The manager goes out and does it again.

This time he gets them a gig and they get paid £1,000.

End of the night, he’s paying it out.

That’s £1,000. I am on 20%. So that’s £800 to you and £200 to me ok?

Band says, yes, I suppose so, if you say so.

The manager goes out and does it a third time.

This time he gets them a gig and they get paid £10,000.

End of the night, he’s paying it out.

That’s £10,000. I am on 20%. So that’s £8,000 to you and £2,000 to me ok?

Band says, fuck off! All you had to do is make a phone call.

And that, Larry Page says, is what managing bands is like for most people. We are some of those people who preach LARRY PAGE IS RIGHT!

And for those of you who don’t know who Larry Page is, this is what it says about him in Wikipedia:

“After changing his name to Larry Page (from Lenny Davis) in honour of Larry Parks, the star of The Jolson Story, the teenager began a recording career as a singer.

Page tried to magnify his fame through the wearing of unusually large spectacles, as “Larry Page, the Teenage Rage”. He toured the UK and appeared at top venues, including the Royal Albert Hall. He was a regular on TV Shows like Six-Five Special and Thank Your Lucky Stars.

He later became a successful manager, record producer and record label owner. Much of his producer/manager success centred on his efforts with The Kinks and The Troggs, and his ownership of Page One Records and Penny Farthing Records. Producing such classics as “Wild Thing”, a track remodelled by Jimi Hendrix into one of his greatest of all covers, as well as all of The Troggs hits. Apart from The Troggs and The Kinks, Page’s Larry Page Orchestra gave Jimmy Page (later of Led Zeppelin) some early exposure when he played on Kinky Music.

Larry Page is also credited with introducing Sonny and Cher to the UK.

As of the 2000s, Page has been living in Avoca Beach, New South Wales, Australia.

Page has been involved in producing the song for Chelsea Football Club in the UK. The song is called “Blue Is The Colour” and is still played at the end of home matches”.

We think you DO know your geography there, don’t you?

Extract end

Happy Birthday to the Ripped And Torn and Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine founder and editor, our very own Tony D.

Published by

Penguin

1985 - 1988 All The Madmen Records and Distribution 1988 - 1991 King Penguin Distribution 1989 - ???? Southern Studios / Southern Record Distribution

23 thoughts on “Killing Joke – Malicious Damage Records – 1979”

  1. This is by far my fave post on this site. Well done Penguin, that took a lot of work I’m sure and was a lot of fun to read. Now all we need to do is have Nick Hydra come up with an explanation of why Killing Joke chose the name Killing Joke and the significance of the names Jaz, Youth, Geordie and most mystifyingly Big Paul. Happy birthday Tony.

  2. That was fun and it’s true what they (whoever they are) say “You learn something new everyday”. Thank you

  3. i knew Jolie Hughes, she was a playworker on my first adventure playground in west London. If she had any connections to killing joke, she kept that quiet, it would have impressed me! i’ll see if i can get her to verify this story…

  4. thanx for a brilliant read, belated happy birthday tony even tho i dont know you, where can the Killing Joke peel session be found anyone? would love to hear it.

  5. This is an *amazing* post – not that other posts aren’t great in their own right of course (I hasten to add) but more in this vein would be awesome.

  6. Great post, I never realised that their first release originally came out as a 10″ limited edition, so seeing as I still play it and I love a rare record, I searched on Ebay and I’m now the proud owner of said item, so double thanks to you Mr P

    Mick Slaughter

  7. First time I ever saw Norman Batley’s name on the internet! ( I wasn’t looking for it). I knew Norman, because I also worked at KRAB-FM here in Seattle. I was there for 10 years, having to quit when the station went off the air in 1984. I was with Norman on a few of his “Life Elsewhere” shows, and even filled in for him once or twice. Oh yeah, did he ever go on about Killing Joke. I’ve got bunches of tapes of the program. He worked with George Romansic and Jim Anderson on the show. This makes me want to maybe even listen to a couple of them again. Thanks for your post!

  8. I remember the first time I heard John Peel play ‘Are you recieving’ and ‘Turn to red’ on his show, I’d never been so excited about a new record, it was music that spoke to every atom of me, I still think the first single is a remarkable record.

  9. Nice read! But many parts still have other unwritten versions. However, this will be because that’s all the band want people to know I guess!
    All I will say is that KJ set out to be an enigma, and they still are in many ways. That’s their prerogative, and I won’t interfere with that.
    Very well written and enjoyable read though.

  10. incidently, youth saying the beatles are “kants” produced paul mcartneys fireman ambient albums, great article couldnt see a better live band than KJ

  11. KJ gigs were incendiary affairs to say the least. Great live band who gigged extensively. Used to hitch all over the country watching them and saw their last gig as the original 4 piece at the Palais before it went tits up. Was over the moon to see them together again in memory of Raven at the Forum a couple of years ago. Doing the first two albums was a bonus.

  12. hello honey bane — we sang together at the 101 club on the 28th october 1979 ! a version of ” malicious boogie ” … great night & then there was the hope & anchor …
    the joke are gods & no one will sound better , harder more nasty & will become bigger ( like mozart ) in centuries to come , a major influence on modern music …
    KJ tattoo of revelations on my back since 82 . love them as my brothers . matthew martin jeremy & kev . the four gospels of music . / dr paterson .

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