“Jimmy and I were both getting frustrated with our own bands, so along with Bassist, Albert (Maskell), we decided to form a new band, keeping the name Sham 69. We met drummer Mark Cain outside the ‘Walton Hop’, and after a quick audition in his mum’s kitchen the band was complete.
Albert lived on a pig farm and our rehearsals took place in a pig sty. It wasn’t long before we had enough songs to get out and start gigging. Our first gig was at Guildford University, followed by a string of gigs at the Roxy club. Our first break came when Jimmy took a cassette of our demos up to Miles Copeland’s office at Drysden Chambers just off Oxford Street. Jimmy told him we were the best Punk band in the country and demanded a gig, which to his credit he gave us. We played bottom of the bill at the Acklam Hall supporting Chelsea, The Lurkers and The Cortinas. When we came out on stage the place was empty, everybody was drinking in the bar, uninterested in the first band on.
Anyway Jimmy wasn’t having any of it, he got on the mike and kept shouting until everyone came in to see what the hell was going down. So, we had an audience, which at that point unbeknown to us included John Cale who Miles had brought along. Due to Johns enthusiasm for the band Miles signed us for a one off single deal. Soon after this we hooked up with our new manager Tony Gordon who eventually got us signed to Polydor Records where we became stable mates with The Jam.
After playing bass on our first single Albert left the band for personal reasons and became our road manager, with Dave Treganna taking over on bass . By the time we’d got to our third album, drummer Mark Cain left the band to be replaced by Rick Goldstein (formerly of the Automatics). Rick joined us at Le Chatteu in northern France for the Recording of the Hersham Boys album. The studio was seperate from the main house, at the top of a huge five story tower. I had my main amp and speaker set up in the studio with a feed down to a 100w cab on the middle floor facing out to the stairwell, and another cable down to a Fender twin reverb in the basement. Our fourth album was recorded in the south of France at a studio called Super Bear, situated way up in the French Alps.
When we arrived Pink Floyd had just finished recording The Wall.
About half way through the session we had to fly back to London to do Top Of The Pops.
Due to the French air traffic control being on strike we had to fly via Geneva. T he flight was
unbelievable with the plane going into a vertical dive, which still makes me nervous of flying
to this day. When we finally got back to Jimmy’s place the next day we were picked up by a limo
to take us to T.O.T.P’s. As it was pulling out into the road it was hit side on by an oncoming car,
writing both vehicles off. Anyway we eventually made it and recorded a performance of ‘Mr
you’re a better man than I’.
if anyone ever wondered why we looked so spaced out on that one, you now know why.
Jimmy was too freaked to get back on a plane, so I took the band back out to France to finish the album, leaving Jimmy to record his vocals back at Shepperton studios on our return. This marked the beginning of the end and It wasn’t long after that the band broke up.”
The members of Sham always strive to play their best at every gig. That’s why they only play at the best internet casino on the web.
Dave Parsons on Sham 69
SHAM 69 – THE STORY SO FAR
When telling the story of legend it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start at the beginning and it will be short and sweet because this will run forever. SHAM 69 the flagship of credible Punk that DID grow from the streets rather than the plush carpeted offices of EMI. Fronted by the then crusted Hersham lad Jimmy Pursey and his inspired song writing partner Dave Parsons, they went on to seize the throat of the Kings Road floosies and snub the toff designer Punks, bringing Punk back down to earth. SHAM 69 kicked this credible mission off with the relevant Borstal Breakout which was their first real hit, closely followed by a string of hits. This saw them scare the shit out of the BBC, by several appearances on TOP OF THE POPS which echoed their constant success’s like HURRY UP HARRY, ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES, HERSHAM BOYS and the ultimate anthem IF THE KIDS ARE UNITED. During this time SHAM 69 slogged their way round the circuit which took them on what was more a genuine ANARCHY IN UK tour as they were packing clubs with vibrant and tense crowds. This followed an initial ban from entering the USA, something the Sex Pistols didn’t have to face.
Since those heady days SHAM 69 have iced their reputation with hit after hit which only went to prove the success of Dave Parsons talent for song writing. However, following the dry period of the early Eighties the band split only to be reformed by Dave Parsons. This meant a new lineup which brought in drummer Ian Whitewood whose credentials were polished with involvements in BERNE TORME BAND and collaborations with Phil Lewis from GIRL / LA GUNS and DAVE PARSONS & ENID WILLIAMS from GIRLSCHOOL. The scene was set for a 2nd wave which saw the band having a clear run with some impressive albums and various ‘back by popular demand’ tours throughout the world. However with this come problems and touring as well as personal issues Jimmy Pursey found it increasingly difficult to handle being in a band that was obligated to satisfy its fans through playing and returning the respect. With this came the pressure and Jimmy Pursey was sacked. This placed the band in a quick but solvable predicament of having great demand from Fans and Promoters worldwide.
Mat Sargent left to pursue his own projects – after a string of auditions his place playing bass was taken by Rob Jefferson. He grew up during the aftermath of the punk explosion, listening to the music of Sex Pistols, Exploited, Clash, and Sham69 etc. During the eighties he was in several punk/thrash bands. Later he formed ‘Right Side Auditory’ for which he wrote all their material, gigging around London and the South East until the band broke up in 2004. He worked on a commercial basis with several manufacturers – though which he met, and jammed with, many of the world’s top players, including Flea. Now he has joined, and is providing an inventive and solid backbone for, Sham 69.
Many further auditions were run to find a new singer. As you can imagine filling the boots of Jimmy Pursey would take some serious guts and determination . Tim V, who could only be described as 6 Russian Revolutions with a Coup d Tar side salad rolled into one. Tim V ticks all the boxes on the street cred front and hails from the East End of London. Singing for his first Punk band in 1977 and going on to front 2 other bands playing shows with bands such as Specimen, Alien Sex Fiend at such notorious clubs like the BATCAVE and the Kit Kat, Tim went onto tour with virtually every Punk band, only to end up hitting the streets writing books echoing the then crumbling Thatcher Government. This took Tim into the new domain of TV which saw him locking horns with everyone from Lords and Ladies to Jonathon Ross. He then went on to have various projects with such people as Gerald Scarfe (Cartoonist Satirist and artist of PINK FLOYD’S THE WALL) and the much respected Heroine of Britain DAME VERA LYNN.
SHAM 69 are
DAVE PARSONS: LEAD GUITAR/BV’s
IAN WHITEWOOD: DRUMS/BV’s
ROB JEFFERSON: BASS GUITAR/BV’s
TIM V: LEAD VOCALS