Ruck The Cash Bar: Liverpool Band Glass Torpedoes Gets Into It With Pub Bouncers.
Above Photo: The cover to the Glass Torpedoes Single ‘Someone Different’.
One of the most iconic record covers from any Liverpool band of the late 1970s and early 1980s is the cover of the Glass Torpedoes single, ‘Someone Different’.
Designed by Dave Brown, a Liverpool graphic designer, the cover shows two bouncers from Eric’s punk club in Mathew Street, Liverpool, Jimmy (left) and Scott (right) on the stairs leading down to the club, thus recording their own unique roles in the history of Eric’s for musical posterity.
They were great bouncers when there was any trouble in the club, which was actually quite rare. Although Jimmy holding me up against a wall by my throat for starting a fight in Eric’s when someone hit one of my Nightmares in Wax band members after a gig is still a vivid memory, and one I recount in more detail in my Punk and New Wave memoir, Bombed Out!
A former member of the Glass Torpedoes recently told me about the single:
“We recorded it as a demo tape in early 1979.
Geoff Davis at Probe rated us and thought we had something. He contacted his pal, Geoff Travis at Rough Trade, who invited us to bring our demo tape to London. We played it for him in the shop and he said he liked it and wanted to put the three songs out on an EP. ‘Great!’ We said.’ When are we in the studio?’
‘No need,’ he replied. ‘This will do.’
So, the three songs we’d recorded at Liverpool’s Open Eye studios, tuning problems, mistakes and all, were released. He put it out on ‘Teen Beat’ because it was thought (rightly) that we weren’t Rough Trade mainstream house style.
The record did well. It charted high in the Indies and even troubled the arse-end of the official top 70. John Peel loved it and made the B-side instrumental ‘Heart Surgery’ his single of the week, which meant it was played on his show for five consecutive nights.”
The band member also told me an unusual story about the Glass Torpedoes (and other Eric’s-based bands) being booked to play in inappropriate and inhospitable pubs in middle-class Southport, and some of the consequences that could arise from this culture clash.
“We kept being booked into these dreadful greaser pubs in Southport, where the hostile audience response was usually, ‘Fuck off. You’re shit!’ from a crowd wanting Thin Lizzy and Led Zep covers.
To make matters worse, dodgy pub managers up there often told our ‘manager’ to fuck off when he asked for payment.
At the Scarisbrick Hotel we were actually attacked by the door gorillas for arguing the toss. Singer Barbara had a drum smashed against her head…”
It’s a shame they didn’t have Eric’s bouncers Jimmy and Scott as their road crew that night…
You Tube links to the tracks on the single are below. My favourite is first, Heart Surgery.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php