The Drones – Valer Records – 1977

Just Want To Be Myself

Bone Idol

Second 7″ single from this Manchester band, first release on Valer Records though, text below courtesy of

The Drones were a British punk band from Manchester, comprised of guitarist Gus “Gangrene” Callendar, bassist Steve “Whisper” Cundall, vocalist/guitarist M.J. Drone (Mike Howells), and drummer Peter “Perfect” Howells. They began as an R&B-influenced pub band named Rockslide but made the transition to punk after its first waves struck. Having gigged in their first incarnation since early 1975, the band made the change of name and style after acquiring Howells in October of 1976.



Most bands in the thriving Manchester punk scene stayed in the city, but The Drones relocated to London. They became one of the pioneering punk bands that performed in the first few months of the now-legendary Roxy Club in Covent Garden. Unappreciative XTC fans took to rioting during their opening set. They supported The Vibrators in January 1977, headlined in February, and supported X-Ray Spex and Chelsea in March.


Later that year they supported The Stranglers on tour.



The Drones set up the O.H.M.S. label to release the  7″ E.P ‘Temptations of a White Collar Worker’ in July of 1977; the EP was produced by Manchester scenester, future NME scribe, Art of Noise member, and author Paul Morley, who managed the band for a brief period. The group landed on the Valer Records label for their second release, the rather successful ‘Bone Idol’ single, which was issued only a couple months after their debut. The band appeared on two influential early punk compilation albums ‘Streets’ and ‘Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus’.



The LP ‘Further Temptations’ was released in November, containing both sides of ‘Bone Idol’ and re-recorded versions of two songs from their first 7″. Morley had acrimoniously extracted himself from the group just in time to review the record; much of the shared venom had to do with Morley’s support of the group’s competition, including a young band called Stiff Kittens — the band that would later become Joy Division. After their first LP, the Drones signed with Island offshoot Fabulous. The sessions were never completed and the band split in 1979.

  1. Longy
    December 29, 2008 at 12:25 pm

    “The Drones set up the O.H.M.S. label to release the six-song 7″ ‘Temptations of a White Collar Worker’ in July of 1977”

    Thats the problem with!

    This is definately one of classic all time brilliant punk songs there ever was. Always loved the cover as well.

  2. baronvonzubb
    January 1, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Loved it then but it hasnt weathered well this one. Its all production and no oumph.

  3. Sam
    January 1, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    You’re right it hasn’t weathered well. Funny what does and doesn’t.

  4. Rich Leach
    Rich Leach
    January 16, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Rest in peace M.J. Drone taken from us January 10th 2013

  5. PeTe Ratcliffe
    PeTe Ratcliffe
    May 5, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Great band with a great singer classic singles and album still sounds great definitely stands test of time your ears must be going!!!!!
    R.I.P. M.J. Drone

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