John (Jock) - The Straps
The first gig I remember going to was at the Paisley Tech. College. Covered in safety
pins, rips and zips, I entered the world of punk proper. I must admit that I cant really
remember too much about the gig itself though I remember the bouncers were all west
coast hells angels who had already shown signs of dislike of punk rockers, There were
2 punk bands that I remember, the Shock and the Pencils and most of the others were
heavy metal. I met a couple of guys from the Pencils. Gerry Attrick was the singer and
Tam Fleming played the drums. They told me that most of the punks they knew hung
out in Glasgow at a record shop called Bruceís, which soon became a regular
Saturday afternoon haunt for me and two other guys that I met at the same gig. There
was a total of 5 punks in Johnstone, so you can imagine the abuse we got on the late
night bus going home from the Glasgow clubs like the Satellite City on a Saturday
night. This was another great place for Scottish punks to meet up, (haha) it is
laughable now but they only ever played about 4 punk songs all night and the rest of
the evening my ears had to suffer tracks like Lets All Chant by some shit band, and
Saturday Night Fever by the Bee Gees.
I had a part time job in my mateís iced cream van and we worked in Foxbar, Paisley
where I met Joe who went on to form bands like The fegs and Defiant Pose. He would
regularly come out and buy a pack of fags off us. He told me that he liked the punk rock
scene and that he wouldnít mind watching some punk bands. I got him a ticket from my
mate to come along with us to see the Jam at Zhivagoís in Glasgow. It was a really
small place and it was completely packed out that night. The condensation was dripping
off the low ceiling so much so that I was soaked through to the bone, but the Jam were
fucking excellent that night and I guess that gig must have inspired Joe as much as it
did me that night, because it wasnít long after that that I bagan to play bass guitar. I
soon started going to more and more punk shows in Paisley, Glasgow and Edinburgh. I
went to Edinburgh to the farewell to the Roxy tour, which was great, apart from the
fighting with Edinburgh Neds near the train station after the show.As the fight progressed
the Neds multiplied rapidly and we were in trouble until the English punks came to our
rescue .The tour bus stopped and the Neds ran and we managed to get a lift back to
Glasgow with the bands.

The Silver Thread was another good place to go. I remember seeing some bands, the
Buzzcocks was the last gig I remember there, but sadly after the show there was some
petty damage done or something and the owner said that was it no more punk nights.
Then the white riot in the Glasgow Apollo was next up, the Clash played and a band
called Suicide supported, they were the bravest band I had ever seen, man if a Glasgow
crowd hate you boy will they let you know. The cans were hailing down on Alan Vega by
the dozen, and he still carried on singing Frankie Teardrop to the whaling tones of an
organ and a cheap drum machine in the background. Then of course the bouncers who
were renowned for their violence kicked off, only this time so did we and it was bad. Joe
Strummer begged for calmness, but I'm afraid to no avail. After the show shop windows
went in and jewellery disappeared from shop windows to the chants of White Riot I want
a riot
Not long after that night It soon became apparent to me that punk was dying in
Scotland and London was the only place to be as we were fast running out of places to
go apart from the odd gig in Edinburgh which was a 50 mile train ride. I packed my
factory job in and headed to London where I met a guy called Dave Reeves who
needed a new singer for his band called the Straps. Dave played rhyme guitar and he
said he had done a couple of small gigs with the UK Subs and Johnny Moped. Would I
be interested in singing? I laughed and said no but when the old singer Howard had let
them down again by not turning up to rehearse, I gave in and took the microphone in
my hand. The rest is history and the next time I went to a gig in Scotland was to
support my old heroes the Damned on their Black Album British tour in 1980. We
played at the Edinburgh Playhouse and the Glasgow Apollo where my old mum was
sitting in the Royal boxes haha .

C/o 2006 J Grant
I never really fitted in at school very much. Donít get me wrong I wasnít a wee prick who
got picked on or anything, far from it, but there was just something I hated about kids
conforming to everyone elseís ways, but more than anything I hated taking orders from
anyone - teachers included. Most kids wore the school uniform. Me - no way! I had a
David bowie feather haircut which I dyed auburn in 1974, you can imagine how well that
went down at a high school in Johnstone, which is a small town 22 miles west of
Glasgow. I liked the sued head / skinhead style, though I didnít want the crop and I didnít
like Slade that much either. I loved music from a very early age, and listened to stuff like
T Rex, Bowie, Alex Harvey, Hendrix, Deep purple etc. My favourite artist was John
Lennon. I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the overall complacency of music
and I was always looking for new bands to explore and, as 1976 drew nearer, I was
listening to a lot of Lou Reed, Thin lizzy, Iggy Pop, Alice cooper and the New York Dolls.
By the age of 16 I had left home and was staying at a mates house after a family bust
up. I had a shit little job in a shop on the high street and my life was going nowhere. One
Sunday evening, as I was lying on my bed chilling out, my mind was full of adolescent
thoughts. I was wondering what the hell I was going to do. The radio was playing in the
background, Radio Luxembourg to be precise; the DJ was the late Stuart Hendry who,
like my dad, was an MS sufferer and also a friend of his too. The song was New Rose by
the Damned. It was like something hit me hard on the head, I had an overwhelming
feeling of relief in an instance, its strange really and hard to explain, but I knew my life
was gonna change and for the better as I turned the volume up full - to the dismay of the
neighbours. It wasnít long before I began my punk record collection. The first album
naturally being Damned Damned Damned by the Damned, followed by almost everything
punk related that I could get my hands on.
John, 1977
John & Rat Scabies, 1980
John, Wasted Festival, 2006
John, Wasted Festival, 2005
Links
Official Site
John's MySpace page