The London SS is a name spoken in legends of the UK punk scene of the 1970s. Although the band never released any material (but there are rumours of tape, buried somewhere in the depths of Mick Jones' old flat) they were arguably as bigger influence on the formation of the infant punk movement as the Sex Pistols. Former members of the London SS went on to form the Clash, The
Damned, Generation X.
The following is founding member and exHollywood Brat E.S. Brady's account of how the original London SS got started.
It was February 1975. I was just recovering from the tragedy that was the Hollywood Brats (one of the greatest unknown rock bands) breaking up, when I met three guys in Portabello Road.
The Tall skinny one with long black hair approached me and said "Are you Julian?"
I looked a little puzzled and walked on. "Julian" I thought, sounds like some twat in a folk group. The Tall Guy Turned out to be Mick Jones (The Clash) his mate John Brown and Norwegian Geir Wade. Geir who had played in a band with Casino Steel (ex-Hollywood Brats) first name, no one can, that's why I call myself BRADY INNIT!
So he told the other two guys that my name was Julian. Anyway, Geir called me the next day and we went to Mick's place on Paddington Green. Mick was just another guitar player, obsessed with Mott the Hoople, Stones, Iggy etc. It was Bernie Rhodes that brought all the political bollocks to the Clash.
I wasn't impressed. I'd just record an album (which is now regarded as a 'classic') in a PROPER recording studio. I remember Mick doing a double take when he saw my 1968 Gibson Firebird.
We needed a lead singer Enter Kelvin Blacklock. We thought he looked cool but there was a power struggle between him and Mick, and Mick being the younger, lost out. Eventually, after doing a showcase for Guy Stevens on June 2nd, Mick was ousted from the band.
The band later became "Violent Luck", which basically lived up to the name. There have been many more guys in the London SS, Brian James, Tony James, Matt Dangerfield, Honest John etc. But the fact is I was in the original line up. I recon the English punk scene died when the pistols split in 1978. The pistols have gone, the Clash have gone but the London SS have returned. "But what can a poor boy do? 'cept to sing for a Rock n Roll Band"
The band now has it's first stable, touring line up and has become a fixture of Camden and Soho music scenes, with festival shows under their belt and a European tour coming up this summer.
The SS will also be breaking 4 decades of silence by releasing an album of songs written from the present day to the bands beginnings 40 years ago. We know it will be worth the wait.