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Odgie était le batteur du groupe punk The Worst en 1977. Il a aimablement accepté de répondre à nos questions. Nous retranscrivons l'interview en anglais, telle que nous l'avons faite avec lui. Vous pouvez la traduire avec l'outil en haut de page.


First of all, can you tell us where you come from ? Manchester ?

No I'm from Lostock Hall, a little village just south of Preston – about 30 miles from Manchester

How old were you when you started playing music ?

I'd have been about 10 years old or so, I bought The Last Time by the Rolling Stones on a 45 single and played it on the old Dansette family record player. I cut a some circles out of cardboard and put them on the chairs and hit them with two pencils

Was it drums first or something else?

See above... ;-)

Which band(s) did you like first ? Your first musical « crush » ?

The Rolling Stones, in the very early 1960s. There was always music in our house, Frank Ifield, Petula Clark, Lonnie Donegan etc, but then the Sixties hit and suddenly music was all guitars and decent tunes (lots of in influenced by American RnB). The Beatles were big but a bit squeaky clean and their tunes were a bit too 'nice'. I preferred the Stones, the Who, music with some goo to it. And of course later I was really into Hendrix. That was the prime time for music, I often say music's been going downhill since 1969. Listen to some of even the more obscure garage bands of the Sixties and you'll find tunes that are still fresh and exciting today

How were things in Manchester during the punk era between bands? A lot of competition?

Yeh I suppose. There were kinda two groups, the proper punk bands (and people), and a few sort of Johnny-Come Lately types', who just jumped on the punk bandwagon. But mostly it was all pretty cool.

You shared the stage with Warsaw, were you friends?

Yeh, I'd known them from Pips, a nightclub in Manchester with several floors, one of them just played Roxy and Bowie all night. Then we used to go to the Ranch Bar, a tiny gay club underneath FooFoo's Palace, which was about the only place that would let us punks in – what few of us there were at the time. Warsaw had their first gig at a place called The Squat in Manchester, so they asked us to play support. We weren't even a band, my mate Deavesy had a guitar and I had a kid's Chad Valley drumkit. We knew a guy who had a bass guitar so we asked him to join in. We quickly wrote about five songs in about a week. We played our set and people loved it, they were shouting for an encore. But we didn't have any more songs. So we played the whole set again. It only lasted about five minutes anyway. We got a great write-up in NME and then it all went on from there.

What kind of guys were they? I mean, nowadays we have the image of Warsaw/Joy Division as a “dark” band, like grey clouds in the sky, you know what I mean. Were they that sad and depressed or absolutely not? Maybe they were funny blokes?

They were a little bit serious – not as madcap as we were – but not sad or depressed. They were nice enough guys – and very nice of them to offer us a support gig when we weren’t even a proper band really. But that’s how it was in those days. Ian was quiet, but not so’s you’d say he was depressed. But we were all kids really, and we didn’t know him too well. To be fair we really didn’t know any of them that well, we just all hung around together when we were in Manchester because we liked the same music and went to the same places. But of course we lived 30 miles way so it wasn’t like we saw each other during the week.

What about the other bands, Buzzcocks, The Fall, etc.?

Yeh we were all good mates, we played a lot with all of them, and toured with The Buzzcocks a few times, along with John Cooper Clarke

You appear on the front cover of a Sex Pistols album called "The Good Time Music Of The Sex Pistols". I think your girlfriend at the time appears on a Clash LP ("Take It Or Leave It"). Both records were released by the PFP label from Manchester. Was it your label?

No, I was just an Evo-Stick kid, I wasn't arsed about running anything. It was run by Richard Boon (the Buzzcocks manager), possibly with somebody else, I dunno. PFP stands for Punk For Pleasure, the whole album design is a piss-take, the track comments on the back are from an old Monkees album

Do you own a copy of that LP, maybe somebody offered it to you when it was released as you are on the cover?

Yes I have a copy, it’s still around here somewhere. Richard Boon gave it to me in return for doing to cover photo. I had it transferred to digital and used to sell CDs I’d burned on ebay until some twat complained about copyright, for fuck’s sake.....

Odgie as a golfer on the Sex Pistols bootleg album cover

Did The Worst release any record? You never recorded in a studio, but maybe there are live tapes somewhere? It seems the Buzzcocks manager recorded some of your gigs, did you get the reels?

We've tried for years to find any recordings, they were definitely made, some from the mixing desk when we toured with the Buzzcocks, and at least one more when we played the last night at The Electric Circus. But we've never been able to find them. Other people have done lots of research as well, but nothing's ever turned up. Might be just as well, maybe we were shite... ;-)

Do you still play music now?

No, I just DJ now. Mostly Sixties garage and psychedelia, or EDM/Progressive House, with lots of random genres thrown in at times, everything from early 30s Delta blues to gay disco

What are your favorite 60's Garage and Psychedelia bands?

Mmm, hard to say really, most of them were just one-hit wonders, so you don’t really get favourites. But I’d probably say 13th Floor Elevators and The Golden Dawn (check out their Power Plant LP). And of course Velvet Underground, Iggy and The Stooges and the MC5 for more well known bands.

Now, speaking of motorcycles and cars, how did you come to this passion? This was before punk?

Yeh, I wasn't a punk until 1976, but I was building bikes from the mid-Sixties. I started with pushbikes, then did my first motorbike when in was 11, in 1965. I loved motorbikes from even earlier, there was a scrambles track just down from our village, if I heard the bikes in the distance I'd ride down on my little kid's pushbike and climb over the fence to watch.

It seems you build your own bikes and cars, is that right?

Yeh, I've built maybe 50 or 60 bikes over the years, and about 6 or 7 cars. Some I build completely from scratch, building the entire frame, chassis etc just from scrap steel

That's quite a lot. Were they all orders from people or some were for you, how did it happen? If someone orders a car or a motorbike from you, what are the average deadline and price?

Yeh, mostly they were just things I built for myself. I did open a shop called Anthill Customs in about 1983, ran it for seven years I think, building things for customers. But I got fed up with the repetition, eventually you are just bending and welding steel tubes to order. So since then I only build my own stuff, my own ideas, with no-one looking over my shoulder. So the second question doesn’t apply, I don’t take any work in for anybody else – I’m too old, I haven’t enough time to build all my own ideas, so you couldn’t pay me enough to fanny about for somebody else.

Do you build all the motorcycles and cars or do you restore some of them?

No, can't be arsed with restoring in the slightest. It's like paint by numbers, there's no creativity, no engineering challenges, no design capabilities. It's just kinda boring really, all that time and effort just to build something that looks exactly like what everything else is doing, or what was made by a factory donkers ago. I don't mind my stuff looking old, I prefer it, but I like it to be unique, something no-one else has seen or done before

You have chops, sixties cars, hot rods, customs? Do you specialize in a style, an era?

I don't think I do, I just kinda build what's in my head. The ideas come to me all the time, I always have ahead full of them. And I usually have one climbing over the others and clammering for attention before I've even finished the last one, once it's at the paint stage the next one is going, 'Build me now build me now!' It's mostly a stripped down and minimalist look, with lots of the engineering on show, but it can be painted and shiny or rusty and old looking. People often say they can tell when they see something if I've built it though, so maybe that's my style

Sometimes, bikes, cars and rock music are very “close friends”. Is it the same for you or is it totally different, nothing to do with music?

I've never thought about it. It's all just stuff I like, I don't see any connection. If something grabs me it just grabs me, it doesn't need to be relevant to anything else.

Where is your company located? Is it a cars and bikes workshop or something like that?

I don't really have a company any more, I just do my own thing in a little shed behind my cottage. I'm still racing motorbikes, I race flat track now (people say to me, are you not to old to be going racing? And I say, I'm 68, I'm too old to not be...). So with keeping all my race bikes in fettle (I currently have three of them that I've built), I don't take any work in for anybody else

Thank you very much, Odgie, for answering our questions. | What a load of rubbish…

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