|Jackie, PA and Transit|
Back in the studio in February, this time Audio International with Midge Ure to record 'Baby'.
Next month, 5th March, we (Snips, me, Midge Ure, drummer Steve Young and guitarist Gary) are on In Concert at the BBC's Paris Theatre. Sharing the bill are The Tourists (Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, Eddie Chin, Pete Coombes and Jim Toomey). I heard a recording of it years later - it sounded great and we were genuinely live, no stopping or rerecording!
Snips is doing some more producing, this time a guy called Mike Jaye, another MAM artist who has written a good, commercial (we thought) song 'Automatic Life', apparently turns out to be the 'b' side of something called 'Romance'. Mike has been working on this track (Automatic Life) for a while and Snips has been brought in to get it finished. I do some backing vocals and now Mike needs to do his vocal, there are quite a few takes before he is satisfied and now the tape is starting to shred because it's been across the tape heads too many times. The race to achieve a final mix before the tape disintegrates is a tight one. I don't think I've ever seen that happen before. Sadly for us all - 'Romance' and therefore 'Automatic Life' is not a hit.
|Steve Young, Snips, Jackie Badger at The Venue June 1980|
|Spedding and Snips at Riverside|
|Spedding, Clem, Jackie and Snips|
8th December 1980 John Lennon is shot dead outside his home, the Dakota, after returning from the recording studio, I won't name the perpetrator here as I have no interest in giving any further publicity to the waste of space who murdered this supremely talented musician, singer and composer. What a dreadfully sad loss.
Later this month Snips and I fly to a snowy New York to play some gigs with Chris Spedding and drummer David Van Tieghem. We check into the Gramercy Park hotel and get straight into rehearsing at Spedding's girlfriend Jody's loft. Spedding is so good at giving helpful and useful musical information I have reached saturation point and have to beg him not to offer me any more! My head is holding a whole new album and Spedding's set, one wrong move and I feel like I could forget everything.
The gigs begin on Boxing Day, Christmas Day we have been invited to Jody's mother's place in Queens. It is a fascinating drive out there, it's the first time I have seen front garden's decorated with lights and Christmas scenes. Back then it was mind blowingly hilarious. We arrive around lunchtime but there has been a timing confusion and dinner is a whole lot later than we imagined. We - Spedding, John Cale (who married Jody's sister), Snips, me and Spedding's manager Nina - passed the time down in the den watching TV. John Cale drops the most unbelievably dreadful fart and we all run out, leaving him there laughing. When we are called into the kitchen for dinner it is clear there is not a whole lot to eat except meat. It has to go down as the hungriest Christmas I can remember.
The Left Bank performance is slightly tentative, but OK and then we fly to Toronto for a short tour. On arrival and as our bags are being searched, the Rizlas that 'someone' has in their luggage are spotted and we are all taken away to be thoroughly searched and I do mean thoroughly.
Eventually we are allowed on to the sacred Canadian turf where we are met by two of Martha and the Muffins' road crew who are booked to do the tour with us. One of them bails and Mikki a young Japanese woman is left to do the job on her own, which she does impeccably, driving the minibus, carrying some of the gear and tuning guitars.
Sometimes the set begins with Spedding, Van Tieghem and myself as a three piece performing songs from some of the Spedding catalogue, like 'Silver Bullet' and 'Guitar Jamboree', and then Snips comes on and we do songs from the new La Rocca album. We finish or encore with two Sharks numbers 'Snakes and Swallowtails' and 'Sophistication'. And other times it's the other way round.
|Spedding on tour in London Ontario 1980|
The London, Ontario gig at The Cedar Lounge was lively - one of those clubs where you have to play behind a grill. The rooms above the club seem to be a doss house except for the one given to us to use as a dressing room - ah the glamour.
The electrics in the club in Windsor are deemed lethal by Mikki who refuses to allow us to appear until the promoter has called in an electrician to earth the place, which he does very reluctantly do (thanks Mikki!).
The last gig in Canada is the Masonic Temple Toronto, which I think is recorded or broadcast live on radio or something of that nature. Here's a couple of tracks from the show- 'Work' and 'Mama Coca'. For this run of gigs me and Steve have bought various items from the Vivienne Westwood Pirates collection and here's some pics of us wearing it...
|Jackie B Toronto Photo: Wayne Eardley|
|Spedding + Snips Toronto Photo: Wayne Eardley|
Back in NY we play at Trax club and as we are waiting to go on, a guy in the audience asks me if I'm the Jackie Badger. At this point I have no idea.
Just before we are to return to the UK, I find my fee has been spent on an end of tour banquet arranged by Nina, that none of the band are invited to! Really? The tour was an experience I wouldn't have missed for sure, but it would have been good to have been paid!
|Snips at The Venue 22.4.81 Simon Etchell, Steve Young, Jackie B + Kirby|
More recording and gigging - London clubs - 101 Club, Rock Garden and the Greyhound in May. And in October we're back in Music Works recording - Preston Heyman on drums.
|Pete Chapman Jackie B+Jackie B's dad. Bonny Street|
|Snips at The Clarendon 1983 Dom de Sousa, Jackie B + Chris Pye|
Changes are ahead: in 1982 Pete and I find premises in Camden Town to open a rehearsal studio and are extremely happy to put the PA into Bonny Street Studios instead of the endless loading and unloading of the van. Although it's always busy, there is only enough space for one studio. There's a couple of small rooms, one is the office (my brother shares this space to fix electrical equipment). We branch out into tape copying and equipment hire, but do not find anything that increases the takings to any useful degree. Plus the equipment we hire out gets stolen too often. We find one of our keyboards, a DX7 on a boat bound for Africa!
September William S Burroughs is at the Ritzy in Brixton to promote his book Cities of the Red Night - so good to hear him speak, that voice is incredible, it cuts through you like a knife! Dr Benway! Hysterical
I join a band put together for a singer called Behira, Mark Sidgwick is playing guitar. We play one gig - the Moonlight in West Hampstead. We have known Mark for a while - plays both bass and guitar - was with The Boyfriends and Holly and the Italians.
1983 sees me and Snips playing with Dom Bon De Sousa (sax) previously with Goldie and Chris Pye (guitar) previously with The Books. We play at the Manor House (the same space that was the Harringay blues club where I first saw John Lee Hooker) and even more weird it was promoted by Gary Schombert who I fist met in 1967 standing in line for the Windsor Jazz and Blues Festival, with his friend Pete Chapman, who became my boyfriend and whose bass I used when I first started playing...aghh!!! It truly is tiny world. This pic is taken at The Clarendon, a pub in the middle of a roundabout in Hammersmith.
Defeat is finally admitted at Bonny Street Studios and new premises are found in Hornsey - a bigger building, which has space for recording too. Pete runs this and names it La Rocka. I quit to have a baby.
Stephen has also moved sideways and got into the music for film business, working on TV ads and films. We incorporate a studio into our flat - I continue to play bass and sometimes do vocals, but although this is a good move for Steve, I'm not sure it works for me.