If you’re an American of a certain age you remember MTV playing the hell out of “Working Girl” by The Members. Aussie readers hear that band name and think of the song “Radio,” and anybody who has ever purchased a punk compilation knows “The Sound of the Suburbs,” one of the most infectious cuts from the seventies UK punk explosion. There was a moment there in the late seventies and early eighties were The Members were poised to take over the world.
Members songwriter and guitarist JC Carroll was there for all of it and he still is, fronting a current Members line-up that is still touring and recording. But his output isn’t limited to new Members material. The joy he finds in making and sharing his music is contagious — be it his mandolin-soaked cover of Bowie’s “Where Are We Now” or the spot on (and funny as hell) parody of his alter ego, jPad.
I asked Jesse Budd, Flipron vocalist and friend of both Why It Matters and JC, for a few words on the man:
There are a few revered flashpoints in rock and roll history, those moments that sparked the audience to go out and form their own bands — The Beatles appearing on Sullivan, for example. For a handful of English kids the rally point may have been The Sex Pistols first ever concert, opening for Bazooka Joe at a show at St. Martin’s College in November 1975. Bazooka Joe’s bassist? Stuart Goddard, later known as Adam Ant.
But wait, that’s sort of a false start. Roughly six months later the Pistols played a show at Free Trade Hall in Manchester, and that’s when things really get moving. Future members of The Fall, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, The Buzzcocks, and Magazine were at that gig. A small group of rabid fans/hangers-on quickly formed around The Pistols that included Siouxsie Sioux, Steve Severin, and Billy Idol. This little grouping of groupies eventually was christened “The Bromley Contingent.”
So love them or hate them, The Sex Pistols were the catalyst for a tremendous amount of music. Here are some of my favorites from that lineage: