BIOGRAPHY

 

May 10th–13th 1976 saw Jet, featuring Andy Ellison, Martin Gordon, Ian MacLeod and Chris Townson along with the help of Trevor White co-producing, start recording their final 4 songs at Island Studios. They all knew this time that failure would mean the end of the band. The songs were “Don’t Cry Joe” about an imaginary movie, “Dirty Pictures” wasn’t about anything else but, “Sail Away” about going on ones holidays, and “Antler” was about luggage. Island Records turned the songs down and the band folded. Chris called it a day and became an artist, Ian went back to Southend playing in local bands and Martin joined Ian North’s Radio during October. The band only did two gigs, one at The Nashville in London supporting Ultravox on December 7th and another at The Speakeasy. As well as being in Ian’s Radio, Martin was also thinking about a solo career and some very early demo’s were actually done in John Hewlett’s Mother in laws house on December 12th. This was with Paul Simon (also in Ian North’s Radio) on drums and Andy on harmonica & backing vocals. Martin was doing the lead vocals, plus he also played guitar and piano, as well as bass on these demo’s. Songs done at this session was “Wasting Time”, “Hole In The Head” (early version of “Don’t Waste My Time”) and “No Russians In Russia”. While all this was going on, Andy was wandering around London trying to find a good home for the Jet demos. Then, just by chance, he wandered into ‘Rock On’ record shop in Camden Town and suddenly realised that there was a small record company called Chiswick Records upstairs. Boss Ted Carroll listened to the 4 songs and was really knocked out with “Dirty Pictures” and wanted to release it straight away. 

 

The new year saw Ian MacLeod team back up with Andy and Martin. On January 6th a master cut was done at Trident Studios for “Dirty Pictures”. The following day saw the new threesome, along with Paul Simon and calling themselves Radio Stars, enter TMC Studios to record early versions of “(There are) No Russians In Russia” and “Hole In The Head”. The two penned Martin Gordon songs saw Martin take on guide vocal duties with Andy on harmonica and backing and backing vocals.  

 

Early January had seen the band submit a list of five possible names to Ted Carroll. That list included such names as The Wurst, Teeth and Red Rats. But when a reporter from Melody Maker phoned up because he had heard that Andy was in a new band and with Chiswick Records, he wanted to know what the band was called. Ted just looked at the piece of paper and said “Oh, Radio Stars” !!

 

January 28th saw Ian North’s Radio enter a studio in Stoke Newington and record seven songs for Island Records. Andy helped out by doing some backing vocals. Island didn’t offer the band a deal. On February 11th Radio Stars entered Riverside Studios and recorded versions of “Johnny Mekon”, “No Russians In Russia”, “Dear Prudence” and “I’m Tied Up” (later to be known as “Sorry I’m Tied Up”). Martin had by this time called it a day with Ian North’s Radio. During the middle of March there was the photo shoot for the cover of “Dirty Pictures” and Ian added some guitar overdubs on the song. Plus it was re-mixed. This was instead of re-recording it and using up what little budget they had. March also saw Andy, Martin and Ian sign with Chiswick Records.

 

“Dirty Pictures” and “Sail Away” were released on April 8th in the UK and during May in France, Germany and Holland. A wonderful picture sleeve accompanied the record as Martin got his girlfriend at the time, model Kelly St. John, to tog herself up in suspenders and bits to pose with the three band members (Paul Simon was now in Neo. That was the new name for the three remaining members of Ian North’s Radio).

 

Having recruited drummer Gary Thompson, who was a mate of Ian’s, the band met up on April 30th and set off to tour Germany and Switzerland supporting UFO, making their live debut in Karlsruhe that very evening. Two days later in Mainz, the lads thought they would have a little fun, so they sent 60 postcards all saying ‘Here is a nice view of a cathedral’ to Trevor White back in London !! On their return they made their home debut at Mill Hill Girls School in North London on My 14th. Three days later, the band enter studio 4 at Media Vale to record their first radio session. It was for John Peel’s ‘Top Gear’ show and the 4 song session was broadcast on May 20th. An invitation to join Eddie & The Hot Rods UK ‘Summa Madness Tour’ during early June was accepted and this was done with a new drummer Jim Toomey.

 

As soon as the tour finished at London’s Rainbow on June 9th, Martin persuaded Neo drummer Paul Simon to help the band record songs for what was to be their “Stop It” EP. It was a good move as Paul already new the songs from the two previous sessions. Recording started on June 30th and continued on July 1st & 6th. The mixing being done on July 8th. Five songs were recorded along with “Dear Prudence” being re-mixed from the previous Riverside session in February, as well as obtaining a slight vocal difference. Four made it on to the EP and these were “No Russians In Russia”, “Box 29”, “Johnny Mekon” and “Sorry I’m Tied Up” All the songs being written by Martin. “Dear Prudence” was originally going to make the cut, but dropped in favour of “Johnny Mekon” at the last minute. “Good Personality” was also recorded during this session.

 

A tour of Japan was on the cards, but Paul opted to go back to Neo instead of joining Radio Stars. This turned out to be a good move as the tour fell through. A compilation album from Chiswick titled “Submarine Tracks & Fool’s Gold” (Chiswick Chartbusters Volume One) was released around this time and featured “Dirty Pictures”.

 

Adverts in the press said the EP was to be released on August 5th, but the record company were obviously having problems. It was also the date when the band headlined at the Marquee for the first time. Plus they had a new drummer in tow, Steve Parry was now perched on the stool. Eventually the EP saw the light of day a couple of weeks later in the UK with a colour picture sleeve. The cover shows Andy, Martin & Ian all in strait jackets. The EP was also released in France. In a review of the EP, the NME just had to admit how well Ian’s guitar had been recorded and awarded it ‘Best Guitar Sound Of The Week’. The lead song was “No Russians In Russia”. Radio Stars made their ‘Radio 1 In Concert’ debut on August 11th and this was broadcast two days later.

 

The band started to record songs for their debut album on August 15th and spent the following seven days in the studio as well. Needing a break, Radio Stars played at London’s Nashville on August 23rd. More London gigs followed, as well as a couple more up North.

 

Along the way Andy had bumped into his ex-John’s Children pal Marc Bolan, he invited the band to appear on his Granada TV programme ‘Marc’. The band performed “No Russians In Russia” live in the studio on September 6th and this was shown later on September 21st.

 

September 10th saw Radio Stars go to France for a one week residency at the Paris Nashville. The band only lasted four gigs before being thrown out !! Having returned home recording continued again on the debut album starting on September 18th and this continued until September 24th with the trial cut being done at Trident Studios the following day. September 27th saw “Dirty Pictures”/“Sail Away” released by Barclay Records in France.

 

On September 30th Radio Stars began a tour of the UK and Ireland that lasted for three months. Most of the gigs were done as headliners. After two gigs into the tour, the band went back into Riverside Studios to record “The Beast Of Barnsley” on October 4th. One week later on October 11th, the band had been booked to appear on Belgium TV, but this didn’t happen because Andy was late arriving at the airport so the band missed the flight !!

 

Two weeks into the tour “Nervous Wreck” b/w “Horrible Breath” was released on October 14th in the UK in 7” and 12” formats. Both had picture sleeves and the 12” version was limited to 9,999 copies that were individually numbered. “Horrible Breath” was written by Marc Bolan in the mid’ 60’s for an American TV advert prior to him joining John’s Children. The single was also released in Germany and Spain.

 

The tour was progressing really well and prior to a gig at Keele University on October 16th more recording was done at Riverside Studios and the cut for the album was on the 19th. After a gig at Leicester University on November 4th, there was a three day break in the tour, so the day before the band were due to tour Ireland with The Stranglers, they entered studio 4 at Maida Vale again to record a second John Peel session for his ‘Top Gear’ show. This was broadcast on November 18th. November 17th saw the re-recording of one line in the vocals for “The Beast Of Barnsley” for legal reasons.

 

On Saturday November 19th the band thought it would be a good idea to travel around London on the back of a lorry, stopping off at 8 different venues for 15 minutes performing songs from their forthcoming album and giving away freebies. Everything was going according to plan until the police got wind of what was happening and turned out in force at the fourth venue in three vans and four cars. Just as they were into their fourth song, “Nervous Wreck”, the police tried to pull the plug. So Andy, who was certainly enjoying himself, jumped onto the top of the nearest police van and finished the song from there. The crowd loved every minute of it. Sadly the police didn’t and Andy ended up with a fine !! A Dutch compilation album was released around this time titled “Geef Voor New Wave” on Ariola Records and featured “Dirty Pictures”.

 

The bands debut album, “Songs For Swinging Lovers” (original title – “Bowels Stuffed With Spleen”), should have been released during November, but again Chiswick Records were struggling in getting it into the shops and it wasn’t released until December 2nd in the UK. The first 10,000 copies of the album was issued with a free ‘Greatest Hits’ single – “Dirty Pictures” b/w “No Russians In Russia”. Martin produced the album and he also wrote most of the songs. A cassette version of the album was released later that month and it included both songs from the ‘Greatest Hits’ single. The album was also released in France, Germany, Holland, Spain and the following year in Japan.

 

As 1977 was drawing to a close, it was apparent that Radio Stars were becoming very popular on the live circuit. Their singles and EP releases plus album tracks like “Good Personality”, “Is It Really Necessary”, “The Beast Of Barnsley”, “Eric” and “Arthur Is Dead Boring (Let’s Rot)” (originally titled Elvis) made up a very strong set. “Is It Really Necessary” was featured on a promotional compilation album for JEM. This was for the American market and titled “A Deal A Day”. “Nervous Wreck” also appeared on a compilation album called “Catch A Wave” which was released as two 10” LP’s.

 

On the record front the quirky “Nervous Wreck” was suddenly beginning to generate a tremendous amount of radio interest at the start of the new year and the band had been lined up to appear on TOTP during the first week of January. But due to a technician’s strike, the programme was cancelled. Also announced during the first week was the first few dates of a planned 35 date tour of the UK with Portsmouth Polytechnic being the first port of call on January 12th. Six days later the band did manage to perform “Nervous Wreck” on ‘TOTP’ and it was screened the day after on January 19th. In true Radio Stars fashion their appearance wasn’t without drama, Radio 1 DJ at the time Dave Lee Travis introduced them as Paul McCartney & Wings on the first take, so they went into a manic version of “Mull Of Kintyre”. “Nervous Wreck” appeared in the ‘Featured 40’ of Radio 1 from January 14th and stayed there for 6 weeks until February 18th.

 

The band also performed “Nervous Wreck” on the Muriel Young presented TV show ‘Get It Together’ on February 8th. The show was broadcast shortly afterwards. Gigs were now selling out fast and this resulted in many people being turned away. “Nervous Wreck” entered the UK charts at No. 47 on February 4th and two weeks later on February 18th, the song was at No.39. Sadly it didn’t go any higher and went out of the charts. It did manage to sell over 50,000 copies and was Chiswick Records biggest hit to date. In today’s world, the song would have stayed at No.1 for weeks !!

 

February 14th saw Radio Stars make another TV appearance, this time on the ‘Old Grey Whistle Test’ performing “Dirty Pictures” and “No Russians In Russia”. But instead of continuing with their own tour, a couple of days later, the remaining gigs were cancelled. This was because they had now been added to the Eddie & The Hot Rods ‘Life On The Line Tour’ of the UK and Ireland that kicked off at Brighton’s Top Rank on February 15th. Radio Stars were sandwiched between the Rods and Squeeze as the tour took in 38 gigs. 25 of these took place in 31 days during March. The tour concluded in Dublin on April 1st. During the tour Andy received an amazing amount of injuries. This resulted in him being insured for £250,000 for damage he may cause to other people !!

 

Around this time there was talk that Radio Stars were about to change labels and sign to Chrysalis or MCA, but they eventually signed a new deal with Chiswick for two years. Somewhere midst the madness, a new single was recorded titled “From A Rabbit” and released on April 7th. The song was tailor-made for the charts and features a great saxophone solo from Chris Gent. The first 10,000 copies were issued in a special plastic cover with the bands logo on it in green. The ‘B’ side was a new version of “The Beast Of Barnsley” called “The Beast No. 2”. To everyone’s surprise, the song failed to dent the charts and Radio 1 DJ at the time, Kid Jenson, played the song to death. According to “The Chiswick Story” double CD, “The Best No.2” has two different mixes because the record was pressed up at two different pressing plants – CBS, where mix no.1 was done has the matrix no. 5288-1T and the second mix was done at Lyntone which has the matrix no. 5288-2T.  The single was also released in Germany and Holland where both releases had different picture sleeves. Still trying to boost sales of the single in the UK, Chiswick released 4,000 copies of a 6” version (‘special hip pocket edition’) released during the middle of May with “To A Beast” (another slightly different version of “The Beast Of Barnsley”) on the ‘B’ side. But this didn’t seem to help matters much. Another Chiswick compilation album made an appearance during April titled “Long Shots, Dead Certs & Odds On Favourites” (Chiswick Chartbusters Volume 2). This featured “No Russians In Russia”.

 

The band did three gigs on consecutive nights at London’s Nashville during early April as well as appearing again on ‘Radio 1 In Concert’ on April 27th (transmitted 2 days later). Another tour, this time titled ‘The Weekend Fever Tour’ kicked off the following day on April 28th at Cambridge Corn Exchange. Gigs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays left the band free to rehearse songs for their second album during the week. This was with the exception of Oxford Polytechnic where the band played on Wednesday May 10th. (Asgard, the bands management decided that every time May 10th falls on a Wednesday then that Wednesday will become a Friday…….hee hee !!) The tour was successful and concluded in Middlesborough at The Crypt on May 21st. It was during this tour where a spoof version of “Mull Of Kintyre was performed, just like the first take when they did TOTP earlier in the year when they were introduced as Paul McCartney & Wings !! Also played on the tour was a cover version of “The In Crowd”. May 24th saw the band, including Chris Gent, record 3 songs for the Nicky Horne Show on Capitol Radio in London. Chris also appeared with the band live from time to time.

 

Recording started on the band’s second album on June 1st at Riverside Studios, but this only lasted for three days. Steve Parry parted company with Radio Stars during the recording of this album after laying down the drums on only four songs. It is my thought that he left around this time. Recording started again at Konk Studios (owned by The Kinks) on June 12th – 16th with new drummer Jamie Crompton who Martin had drafted in from the New Hearts. Martin had produced a single by the New Hearts called “Plain Jane” during April. Graham Chapman joined the band for recording on June 15th. June 24th – 26th saw Radio Stars enter Regent Park Studios. Then just over one week later they went back into Konk Studios on July 7th. Returning there on July 10th, 12th – 19th and 22nd & 23rd. The cut for the album was done on July 26th at Trident Studios. Jamie was still technically a member of the New Hearts during the recording of the album, and a few problems started to appear with the New Hearts management. Saxophonist Chris Gent is featured on a re-recorded version of “No Russians In Russia” and “It’s All Over”. June also saw “Songs For Swinging Lovers” released in Japan. A compilation LP titled “Sonido Chiswick” was released in Portugal on the Movie Pay label featuring “No Russians In Russia” and a possible promo’ only version of the same LP was released in Spain. During July, and in the middle of the hassle with the New Hearts management, (Jazz Summers), a couple of gigs were done at the Marquee to try out some of the new songs. These gigs were done with drummer John Mackie who wore a T-shirt that said ‘I Am Not Jamie Crompton’. John also played at the Bilzen Festival in Belgium on August 12th, the Reading Festival on August 25th, and to days later in Holland at the Groningen Festival. Once again new songs were played, and among these were the second part of “(I’ve Got Dem Old) Sex in Chains Blues (Again Mama)” which has the ‘blues’ ending. Plus it is also interesting to note that during “Boy Meets Girl”, the band incorporated a section of The Kinks “All Day And All Of The Night”. Jamie Crompton came back and joined Radio Stars just in time to start the ‘Radio Stars Holiday Tour’.  

 

In support of their second album called “Radio Stars Holiday Album”, a massive 50 date tour of the UK and Ireland took place. It was a pity Chiswick Records couldn’t get the album into the shops for when the tour started at Friars in Aylesbury on September 2nd. Just after the tour had begun the band recorded a third John Peel ‘Top Gear’ session at Maida Vale studio 4 on September 4th featuring 4 new songs from the album and this was broadcast one month later on October 4th. Unlucky for some, on September 17th, the 13th gig on the tour at the Hemel Hempstead Pavilion disaster struck. The New Hearts manager, along with a bunch of heavies took Jamie’s drum kit and said the band could buy it back for £1,500, yet it was only valued at £600 !! The tour got back on track three day later at Yeovil Johnson Hall. During either September or early October, Radio Stars did a Kid Jensen session on Radio 1, again featuring 4 songs from the new album and this was broadcast on October 17th. The band’s album did eventually get released on September 15th in the UK and once again, Martin produced the album and wrote virtually every track on it. It had a nice colour front sleeve and the photograph was taken just outside Oxford Street tube station in London. Since the photo’ shoot had been done in-between all the trouble with the New Hearts manager, Jamie Crompton is seen wearing a ‘I Am Jamie Crompton’ T-shirt complete with a Mickey Mouse head. This is to get round all the problems because an embargo had been placed upon his face. Other publicity shots at the time showed Jamie in his Mickey Mouse head again along with a leather jacket and chains. The colour photograph on the back showed Martin, Andy and Ian with a Baffin. The inner sleeve showed a really good live photograph of Martin & Andy as well as the reproduction of the lyrics. The album also got released in Germany, Holland, Spain and the following year in Japan.

 

Trevor White was added to the line-up for the tour on rhythm guitar and many venues were sold out. A handful of new songs from the album were performed such as “Radio Stars” (short version), “Boy Meets Girl”, “(I’ve Got Dem Old) Sex In Chains Blues (Again Mama) Part 1”, “Rock ‘n’ Roll For The Time Being” and “The Real Me” along side the old favourites. Even a couple of brand new songs “Throwaway” and “The Mania Express” were played from time to time.

 

Part way through the tour, on September 22nd, “Radio Stars” (long version) was released as a single in a picture sleeve in the UK. This version of the song was also featured in the bands set list. What is interesting about the song is that it is made up of two separate recordings and joined together. Steve Parry plays on the first part of the song, which is the short version that appears on the album and Jamie Crompton plays on the second part of the song, which starts with a drum fill and goes into the middle 8, then a final chorus and the ending. “Accountancy Blues”, written by Martin is the ‘B’ side and doesn’t appear on the album, although the lyrics do !!  

 

The ‘Holiday Tour’ concluded at the Roundhouse in London on November 5th and Radio Stars were in fact the last band to play there before the building got demolished. Sadly, this turned out to be Martin’s last gig, but prior to him leaving he had written some more songs and they had been recorded in demo form. Two of them were played on the ‘Holiday Tour’ – “Throwaway” and “The Mania Express”. Another new song “Hit Him On The Head” along with a version of The Move’s “Brontosaurus” was also recorded. These four songs were possible contenders for the bands planned third album - “The Snat Procedure”. But all this now wasn’t to be. Martin considered a solo project for a while and there was even talk of him releasing his version of “Brontosaurus”. Jamie Crompton also moved on, but two more gig were done before the year was out. 

 

Andy wanted to keep the band going and managed to persuade Trevor White to take on bass playing duties. In the meantime, Ian had been to see Steve Parry play with the Speedometors. At the gig he talked the ex-drummer back in to the camp. 1979 started off well, Andy had written a batch of new songs and on February 1st “The Real Me” was released in the UK from the “Radio Stars Holiday Album”. The song was actually planned as a single a few months earlier when Martin was in the band, hence the photo’ shoot for the picture sleeve. Martin, Andy & Ian appeared on the front without masks and with them on the back !!


“Good Personality”, taken from their debut album was on the ‘B’ side. Martin wrote both songs. The single was also released in Spain in colour sleeve. “Norwegian Wood” was on the ‘B’ side. In support of the new single, the band set about doing a 19 date tour of the UK during February and March. “The Real Me” was featured in an episode of the UK TV series ‘Coronation Street’ and during a break in the tour, the band performed “The Real Me” on Welsh TV. After the tour had finished the band did a Radio 1 session on the Andy Peebles Show. Chiswick Records re-issued the “Songs For Swinging Lovers” album as part of the take over by EMI. The album had a new catalogue number – CWK 3005.

 

Starting on April 20th, the band was added to Penetration’s tour as ‘Special Guests’. 6 gigs in total were done, the final one being at the Civic Hall in Guildford on May 10th. Following this, the band did 3 gigs on consecutive nights during the middle of May and then flew out to Holland the day after to play at the Haarlem Festival on May 19th. According to ‘Melody Maker’ (April 21st 1979) when the band returned they were going to record a new single. This didn’t happen, even though there had been talk of the band signing to a new record label. Along the way, another Radio 1 session was done. This was on the Kid Jensen Show. Both this and the Andy Peebles session spawned new songs written by Andy.

 

A small tour was announced for June consisting of just 5 gigs. This started in Northampton. Then two days later on June 10th Radio Stars made their third appearance on Radio 1 In Concert. The tour finished at Oxford’s Teddy Hall on June 23rd. The following day, the band flew out to Madrid in Spain to perform on TV. It is possible that “The Real Me” was performed with the single having been released there a short while earlier. During rehearsals for the TV programme Andy was very calm and just stood there singing. But when the filming started Andy was leaping all over the place and even leapt onto a cameraman’s back !! The TV station was not very pleased with Andy’s efforts, but I’m sure the punters must have loved it !! It was around this time that the “Radio Stars Holiday Album” was released in Japan.

 

On return, the band recorded a handful of new songs at a studio in Herne Bay. These were self-financed and the songs were in more of a pop/rock vain and definitely guitar orientated. But with the dawning of the summer came the demise of Radio Stars. They had been organising everything themselves and just couldn’t carry on anymore even though they had been doing really well at gigs. There was just no interest or support from the record company. 

 

A few years passed and UK based Moonlight Records issued “Good Personality” b/w “Talking ‘Bout You” on March 25th 1982 in a picture sleeve that again included all three original members. Both songs had previously been released on the bands debut album. Moonlight continued their Radio Stars interest by releasing a compilation album titled “2 Minutes Mr. Smith” on April 5th. As Andy was producing some songs for Paul Roland, this inspired Martin to assemble a new seven piece Radio Stars. First in, with the exception of Andy was keyboard player Lino. Former Blue Meanies guitarist Tommy Willis and sax player Chris Gent followed, with Chris bringing with him his ex-Autographs drumming pal Paul Tully. Finally, Hugh McDowell who had played cello in ELO completed the line-up. Martin had met Hugh in Paris at one of the Anji sessions when Martin was house producer at Barclay Records. The new line-up did three London gigs, two in June at the Marquee and the other at the Greyhound during August. Martin had written more than a handful of new songs and these were performed at the gigs in and amongst all the old favourites. In the meantime, he had also started his own record company called Snat Records and on October 11th issued a new Radio Stars single in a dainty picture sleeve called “My Mother Said” b/w “2 Minutes Mr. Smith”. A follow up single “The Ghost Of Desperate Dan” b/w “This Is Your Next Life” was planned, but didn’t happen and neither did anything else with the band apart from having recorded “I Got The Buzz” along the way.

 

During November 1984 “Songs For Swinging Lovers” was re-released on LP in Japan through Sounds Marketing System, Inc. This was part of their Rock Original Disk Series.

Around 1986 Andy started to work with Tom Fox. The project was called Bubba-Reece and involved new songs as well as a few Radio Stars songs. No gigs were done, but the band did rehearse on a regular basis. Come the beginning of 1988, Andy started to assemble a new band around himself and Tom. This included Trevor White on guitar, Smash on drums and Ross Jobson on keyboards. The name Bubba-Reece was dropped and the line-up decided to call themselves Radio Stars. The band gigged around London and Brighton and performed some new songs that Andy had written. During the few months they were together, they also recorded five songs at Strand Studio’s in London during October. But come the end of November, the band was no more.

 

1990 saw “Songs For Swinging Lovers” and “Radio Stars Holiday Album” issued on CD in Japan by Teichiku Records. The following year a compilation album (LP) was released titled “The Indie Scene 1977” and featured “Nervous Wreck”. Also during 1991 German band Die Toten Hosen (The Dead Trousers) recorded a version of “Dirty Pictures” that featured Andy on lead vocals. This was part of an album that featured sixteen of their favourite Punk/New Wave songs. Each song featured a guest performance from the original member of the band. The album was titled “Learning English Lesson 1” and was released on CD & vinyl. This became very successful and earned everyone involved a gold disc. During December Andy went over to Germany for a couple of gigs with the group as “Dirty Pictures” formed the band’s encore.

 

With Die Toten Hosen creating such an interest, this prompted Andy into putting a new version of Radio Stars together towards the end of 1991. Bass player Tom Fox was involved again along with original Radio Stars guitarist Ian MacLeod. Drummer Mark Corder completed the line-up. The band made their debut at the Marquee in London on January 18th 1992 supporting 999. Three months later, Die Toten Hosen came over to England to promote their album and while over here they played at the Borderline in London on March 5th. Once again Andy appeared on stage with them. This time he sang “No Russians In Russia” as well as “Dirty Pictures” and Martin was also invited on stage that night.

 

March 30th saw the double CD “The Chiswick Story” released and featured on it were “Dirty Pictures”, “No Russians In Russia”, “Nervous Wreck” and “The Real Me”. The following month Andy made another appearance with Die Toten Hosen, this time when the band played at the Marquee on April 9th. Chiswick then released a Radio Stars compilation CD on May 26th titled “Somewhere There’s A Place For Us”. The title track was a newly recorded, although Martin had written it twelve years earlier when he was in The Blue Meanies. “Somewhere There’s A Place For Us” includes the ‘I don’t think so’ section from “Nervous Wreck” at the beginning and this was the first time all three original members had been in a studio together since 1978. The album also includes unreleased material and is accompanied with a very informative booklet. There are 29 songs on the CD.

 

Radio Stars continued gigging around London, but in October said goodbye to drummer Mark Corder. He was replaced with ex-Jet drummer Chris Townson, who played on the very first release “Dirty Pictures”. Chris made his live debut at The Astoria in London when Radio Stars supported Stiff Little Fingers on December 10th. Seven days later they were supporting their old friends from the late 70’s Eddie & The Hot Rods at the Mean Fiddler in North London.

 

The New Year started quite slowly with just a couple of gigs, and unknown at the time, on June 18th at The Steam Ship in the Docklands area of London, this turned out to be Ian MacLeod’s final gig. During September and October the band recorded four songs for Munro Productions. These being an up-tempo version of The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby”, a new song written by the band titled “Joyrider”, and two songs that had been done originally in 1979 “Blame It On The Young” and “Accident”. There was talk of the four songs being issued as a CD EP before the year was out with “Eleanor Rigby” being the lead song, but nothing materialised. After the Munro session had finished, Ian called time on the band.

 

1994 saw Munroe Productions issue a promotional 12” single that included all four songs, but nothing happened. During the summer a replacement for Ian was found in the shape of comedian Dick Emery’s son, Mike Emery, but sadly towards the end of the year Chris Townson departed. Shortly after his departure, and before the end of the year, another guitarist Richie Davenport was added to the ranks. No gigs were done during 1994.

 

As well as rehearsing at Westbourne Studio’s with a drum machine on a regular basis, the band started to record demo’s in Mike Emery’s garage using his recording facilities. After a while the foursome ventured into the studio for Munro Productions to record a new song written by Andy called “Down Train”, as well as a new version of “Joyrider”. These songs were done with a drum machine.

 

Smash returned to the band around mid’ April for a gig at London’s Battersea Warf Festival (The Chelsea Bridge Reunion) on April 29th. This gig marked the debut of Rich Davenport. This was the first time the band had used two guitarists live on stage since 1978 on the ‘Radio Stars Holiday Tour’ when Ian MacLeod was joined by Trevor White. The set was a mixture of old songs and new ones. “Joyrider” was included, but “Down Train” wasn’t. Andy played 12 string guitar on “Joyrider”.

 

A few months later around the beginning of June, Smash was recruited again. This time for a gig at the Marquee in London on June 15th and since the band had been working with Corin, the sound engineer at Munro Productions, he was asked if he would like to be a guest musician playing keyboards on “Down Train” and a couple of other songs. Flags from different countries were draped over various pieces of equipment on stage and it is interesting to note that Radio Stars performed a set that featured quite a few songs from the “Radio Stars Holiday Album”, along with some of the old classics, but also quite a few new songs. All four songs from the 12” promotional single were done, as well “Down Train” and another new song called “Madmen”. Once again Andy played 12 string guitar on “Joyrider”, but during “Scare Me To Death” injured himself quite badly, but managed to finish the show.

 

It was after the Marquee gig that the members of the band considered changing the name of the band. This was because the new songs they were coming up with were completely different to what the old songs sounded like. The Lift was one name that was considered, but after discussing a few more, a suitable name could not be thought of, so Radio Stars stayed.

 

The band again went into the studios for Munro Productions and started to record “Madmen”. A drum machine was again used. For some reason the song never go finished. Only the backing track featuring Tom, Mike and Richie got completed. Another song called “(She’s So) Dissatisfied” with the music written by Richie and lyrics by Andy was recorded in Mike Emery’s garage with a drum machine. The song has never been performed live, but it is included on Andy’s solo album “Cornflake Zoo”. 

 

Radio Stars still rehearsed on a regular basis during 1995 and towards the end of the year Chiswick Records, through Ace, issued a 22 track compilation CD titled “Good Clean Fun”. This featured “Radio Stars” (short version) and “Buy Chiswick Records”.

 

During April 1996 Richie Davenport decided to leave, but shortly afterwards Radio Stars was invited to play at the ‘Holidays In The Sun’ event at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. This was a celebration of 20 years of punk. 50 bands performed on two stages over three days. It was a four piece Radio Stars that played on Saturday August 10th with Ross Bushby playing drums. Then three months later during November, with Smash back on the drum stool, Radio Stars played at a theatre in Hartlepool.

 

The entire ‘Holidays In The Sun’ event was filmed and recorded and during 1997, Visionary, a company based in Lythm St. Annes released two separate CD’s and three individual videos from the event. Radio Stars are featured performing “Blame It On The Young” on the CD titled “Holidays In The Sun Vol. 2”. The same song, plus an interview with Andy appears on the video “Holidays In The Sun Day 2”. 1999 saw a 5 CD box set released titled “1, 2, 3, 4” on Universal Music. CD 3 features “Nervous Wreck”.

 

Come April 2000, Fan Mael Records issued Jet’s 1975 album on CD for the first time. To promote the CD Martin got together with Andy, Ian, Chris Townson and Trevor White to do three gigs in the UK and Europe. First off was at Dingwalls in London on April 26th, then at Berlin Pfefferberg the night after and the final gig took place at the Amsterdam Milkweg on May 1st. The band thought it would be a good idea to reunite John’s Children, Jet and Radio Stars. So the set list included seven Radio Stars songs in and amongst all the other songs. The intro’ tape used at these gigs was from the Radio Stars ‘Weekend Fever Tour’ of 1978, and Boz Boorer made an appearance at Dingwalls on the John’s Children songs. A live CD was released during April 2001 called “Music For Herd Of Herring” first in Japan featuring the full set list and later in Europe where three songs had been omitted. 

 

In 2005, London based company Cherry Red Records issued the three video’s from the “Holidays In The Sun” series on 2 DVD’s. This features “Blame It On The Young” and an interview with Andy. Also during 2005, a 10 CD box set titled “Punk – God Save This Box” was issued by Membran Music Ltd in Germany. This also features “Blame It On The Young” from the Holidays In The Sun gig.

 

During the Summer of 2006, Chiswick Records parent company Ace Records issued “Songs For Swinging Lovers” and the “Radio Stars Holiday Album” on CD. Both albums have been re-mastered and this is the first time they have been issued on CD in the UK. Sadly none of the albums featured extra tracks.     

 

Japan saw the release of the double DVD of the Marc Bolan TV shows from the late seventies on May 2nd 2007 titled “Marc – Marc Bolan TV Show”. For some reason Radio Stars appear twice playing “No Russians and In Russia”. The Chiswick compilation album “Submarine Tracks & Fools Gold” (Chiswick Chartbusters Volume. 1) which features “Dirty Pictures” was released on CD on August 6th 2007.

 

2008 saw a 31st anniversary gig take place at the Bow Up Metro Club in London on March 1st. This was the first time Andy, Martin and Ian had played together as Radio Stars since November 5th 1978. (They did however play together in 2000 on the ‘Nothing To Do With Us Tour’ performing songs by John’s Children, Jet and Radio Stars). March 1st also saw the release of a live Radio Stars CD titled “Something For The Weekend” issued by Radiant Future Records.

In Japan on May 21st the double DVD titled “Marc – Marc Bolan TV Show” was re-released. Radio Stars appear twice playing “No Russians In Russia”.

Radio Stars played at the Forum in London on December 13th as part of the Rebellion Punk Festival, and they also played in Southampton the following night at Talking Heads. Both sets included the unreleased song “Terrible Mess (No-Good Shoebomber)”.

January 2010 saw Smash back in the fold on the drum stool, and rehearsals began in Wraysbury on January 19th. Radio Stars played at the legendary 100 Club in London on January 22nd supporting Eddie & The Hot Rods.

Steve Wright c 2010

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