1970s-1980s Liverpool bands, Signing On, Job Interviews and the DHSS.
Above Photo: Me playing bass with Pink Military in March 1979, at Eric’s Club, Liverpool. (I know it’s that month because I still have my crappy second-hand shop bass I learnt on. And that’s a red plectrum in my mouth, not a thick lip – or lipstick…)
I was amused to come across a note I’d made in the spring of 1979 about a job interview, which I discovered in my eclectic box of Punk/band memorabilia recently.
It was written around the same time as my first Pink Military gigs in March of that year (see above photo, also recently discovered) and related to an interview I was forced to attend, having missed a couple already.
Back then almost every member of Punk and New Wave bands not signed to a record company was signing on. Especially in Liverpool and Manchester.
At that time, the DHSS (Department of Health and Social Security) gave you three chances to attend a job interview, and if you failed to go to any, they’d cut your dole money, as you were obviously not serious about finding a job. So this one they made me to go to, but I had by then devised a great scheme to sabotage it.
It was also amusing to find the note because not only do I mention this interview in my ‘70s-‘80s Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!, but I also have a scene in the fictional screenplay which deals with exactly the same thing in the same place, which of course goes spectacularly badly…
And to end, what could be better than this Clash track: