Gerry - Fire Exit
I suppose it all started about late 1972, my brother Billy followed and listened to bands all the time,
mostly rock bands like Slade/Mott the Hoople/Lou Reed, Nico, The Velvet Underground and Alice
Cooper, so i'ts fair to say he got me into it. I remember watching 'The Old Grey Whistle Test', that
was an opportunity to see bands from around the globe some were utter shit but a few diamonds did
appear on the odd occasion like The New York Dolls/Iggy Pop & The Stoogies/Patti Smith/The
Ramones and home grown guys The Sensational Alex Harvey Band who lived up every bit to their
name. If I ever had a hero it was Alex and I wanted to do that. I made a point in the 70s of going to
see them as often as I could at the Glasgow Apollo and they also played at Parkhead supporting The
Who but they stole the show. In 1979 "Fire Exit" played at the Ally Pally in London with the Angelic
Upstarts and Alex Harvey.
When I was watching the bands I kept saying 'I could do that, that's what I wanna do'. So I fuckin' did!
I started a band called The Invaders. We were all local Renfrew and Paisley area but we found it hard
to get somewhere to practice. A guy called Alex Fergusson (who went on to play with ATV and PTV
) helped us get a hall to rehearse in and we became great mates. We got about 10 number together
and started to gig but we only lasted about 6 months as our music was too drastic for the venues (so
the old bastards said). I then started a band called The Pencils and we started gigging after 3 weeks.
Our first gig was The Christmas Ball/Party at Paisley Collage Of Technology which I was asked to
organize. That was a laugh - I had Bikers for bouncers who were all wrecked. They didn't want money
just drink and other stuff. I booked The Heavy Metal Kids (Gary Holton (RIP.) the punk from AUF
The whole punk scene was fuckin' amazing. You would be in Paisley one day watching Defiant Pose
or The Mental Errors and the next you would be in London with Crass and the UK Subs, meeting
people all the time. I ran around with a guy called Johnny Grant (Jock Strap) from Johnstone who
ended up in London singing with The Straps (Jock Strap). I saw him supporting The Damned at the
Glasgow Apollo in oh 1980?
I met Johnny and The Straps at Morecambe in the summer of 2005 as we both played the Wasted
festival. Also, DennisBoy put on a gig in Glasgow in November, 2005, which was a benefit for the
Glasgow Homeless -both The Straps & Fire Exit played at it. Isn't life strange.It would be great to
remember everyone's name but fuck me that was two decades ago and drink and things make you
The Stanklifters were about 50 punks and punkettes from Glasgow, Paisley, Renfrew, Bellshill and
all over the central area of Scotland who followed bands everywhere, usually meeting at Bruces
record shop then going drinking down the Clydeside band stand watching bands like The Zips/Fire
Exit/The Shock. Bands would tour the country and a handful of Stanklifters and others would follow
them, even do the guest lists for the bands. I remember Parky (The Dialectics) asking me who we
should put on the UK Subs list at the Mens Union in Glasgow and we gave Franks wee sister Carol
& her mate Mo (Morag who is now my wife and best mate for life, we're now married 25 years) to
make up the list. The students president was fuckin' levitating hahaha it was great. Then, the time
Crass were playing at The Plaza in Glasgow, they asked me to do a guest list coz they did not know
anyone so we put 40 people on it, this included my 3 year old nephew hahaha !!! They got into shit
Think of all the gigs and there were never any fighting. If you wanted that you went to a football
match/disco - that's still the fuckin' case. The councils banned us all over but we're having the last
laff. They said Punk will not last hahaha. Punk won't die.
Some of the regular venues - The Apollo, The Burns Howff, Paisley Tech, Glasgow Tech, Glasgow
College of Art, The Mars Bar, Arkleston Inn. TUC Club Paisley, Astoria (Edinburgh), The Lemon Tree
(Aberdeen), The Abercorn, Gordies (Paisley) ,Night Moves, The Hole In The Wa', Renfrew Town Hall,
Chivagos, The Wig 'n Pen , Hope 'n Anchor, Fulham Greyhound, Adam n Eve's, Elder Park,
Robertson Park, The Three Horse Shoes (our local), The Bungalow Bar, The Cellar Bar, The
Amphoria, Saint 'n Sinners, Tiffanies, Satellite City, The Red Cow, The Rat Club, Fulham Funhouse,
The Railway Club.
But not forgetting The Silver Thread thanx to Disco Harry who brought most of the bands into
Scotland. Ask Arthur (The Lurkers). They did their first tour here just coz Harry had the balls to put
the bands on, and coz Paisley was outside the Glasgow jurisdiction. He could do it - and he did! Hat
off, top man.We also had Arthur from Bruce's Record Shop that used to run buses to gigs. We all
went to Balloch, Loch Lomond - three bus loads only to be sent packing by the polis. So we went to
a hotel near the venue and got rat arsed. Someone set fire extinguishers off and threw the bench
outside into the loch and nearly got us all nicked.