Fabio has been around a looong time. There during the soulboy days at Crackers, lieutenant to Tim Westwood during electro's rise, and playing at after-hours parties at acid house's peak. Oh, and he was instrumental in the creation of jungle and drum'n'bass.
Start with where you grew up
I grew up in brixton, music was always around me., My dad was a good record buyer, brilliant tunes, not a massive collection but a great collection of ska, Motown and stuff like that. Across the board black music. He loved ballads, like Marvin Gaye, stuff like that. In Brixton growing up it was a massive blues party kind of scene going on. Round the corner from me there was a place called Elland Park. On a Saturday night you could have five, six parties going on, with sound systems. I could hear it from my house. They were in people’s houses, or they used to rig up a sound system in old squats. There were a lot of squats in those days. We used to go to a lot of the local blues parties, when I was 13, 14. I had a whale of a time, man. That got me into going out and being in this place with loud music playing. It was great because the blues scene was the original club scene, on one level: using huge sound systems, having MCs, not mixing, but the whole emphasis on loud sounds.
And this is very much Jamaicans doing over here what they used to do over there.
That’s right. And bringing it over here. We used to go to regular clubs and the sound systems were so crap, and you’d get DJs talking shit all night: ‘the next one is, A Ha, Lean On Me...’ It wasn’t like that at all. You’d have the host, the MC, and the guy who used to play music, it was kind of like this narration. You weren’t that aware of what was going on but it was brilliant. Those were my first indulgences in music. Growing up in Brixton was great because of the vibe. Brixton’s very colourful and you can’t really escape the music thing. Music and crime. You had these two areas where you could go if you didn’t want to do a 9 to 5. Either be a criminal or be, not necessarily a DJ, but just have something to do with music, maybe be a singer... The sound systems were great. Weren’t no money in it or nothing. Strictly for breaking premises and having a party til one o’clock in the afternoon.
Did people charge?
They did. They used to charge like two pounds on the door. The whole thing though was going in and buying drinks. They used to have a little bar set up and stuff like that. It was all very civilised, but it was really dangerous, because we were mixing with like hardened Brixton criminals. You stepped on someone’s lizard-skin shoes man and it was curtains. For real, serious. It was like Goodfellas. You see guys that were... you knew don’t fuck with these guys. There was one guy in particular, one dread, he was so smooth and what he used to do was this slow rubbing thing with girls, and he could dance with a girl and skin up a spliff at the same time. We used to watch him; he’s the fucking man. It was this whole mad thing. The dangerous thing was a lot of people wanted to be like them. I did as well, but luckily I was more into music than wanting to go out on the rob.
Was it inseparable?
The DJs were the guys who decided we want to set up our sound system here, and play our music, the guys, the criminals used to follow them around, cos all the girls used to be there. And of course wherever there’s nice girls there’s criminals. And it was great, these beautiful women that wouldn’t look at you. You never had a chance. We were like 14 and they were 21. At around nine in the morning they’d slow it down and you had to ask a girl for a dance. I think I had one dance in the three years I was going to blues parties. I was so nervous I think she walked away half way through it. It was the earliest memory I have of being captured by the whole club thing. And things kind of moved on I got into the whole soul scene.
Did you think that reggae was your music, cos you grew up here.
I felt reggae and soul music. I was kind of divided. In them days as well, you couldn’t really be both. You had to be one or the other. I remember they used to say if you like soul music you were gay. What happened a cousin of mine used to go to soul clubs, and she used to sneak me in and I never used to tell anybody. Then at the weekend I used to go to the blues dances. Once a girl said to me:
‘I saw you in Crackers on Wardour Street.’
‘No you didn’t.’
She was like: ‘No it was you.’
‘It wasn’t me.’
‘It was you, you were...’
And everybody was like ‘Boy, I hope that weren’t you.’
‘Nah, a soul club, are you crazy?’
Then I got caught up in the whole soul club thing, so when I was 15, 16, I kind of ventured more into going to Crackers and a place called 100 club, and just getting into the whole soul movement.
Was it the teen disco on a saturday lunchtime you went to at the 100 Club?
I went to the adults one. I looked 18 when I was about 8. I used to wear a little waistcoat and a shirt. My auntie used to get me in there. This was Friday lunchtime. Telling my mum I’m just popping down the road, I was clubbing, there were girls, everything...
The Friday lunch thing, was it at Crackers?
Yeah. Guy called George Powers used to play. Paul Anderson, man trust me man, cos he was old then. The mid 70s. Crackers was an amazing club. People used to go there and just dance. Everyone just got on it and there were amazing imports from America. It was fresh and vital at the time.
What was it that attracted you. Every black kid in London we’ve interviewed says Crackers was amazing: Norman Jay, Jazzie B, Cleveland Anderson, all of them.
I tell you what was so great it was going into a place and it was mixed. That was another thing. Blues parties you didn’t meet any white people in there. Very rarely you used to meet the odd white guy that knew the local guys, but it was 99% black. But this was 50/50. That was the first time I’d ever seen that. And the first time I saw colour didn’t really matter. You could go out with a white girl and it weren’t no big thing. White guy’d go out with a black girl, and you could hang out with white guys. It wasn’t an issue. You had white DJs you had black DJs, and it was the first time I’d felt this social thing, I can hang out it’s all good. You could do what you wanted there, in Crackers. The DJ never talked. He never mixed but kind of segued the tracks, so it was this seamless mixture of funk and soul. it was amazing. At the time you didn’t know that in 20-odd years you’d still be referring to this place. It was just a place you went to on a Saturday afternoon and had a wicked time.
Do you remember any of the tunes?
Running Away by Roy Ayers was a big tune. They played that every week. Brass Construction’s Moving On. They used to play the tines that you knew and then the real fresh imports from the States. It was funk, and maybe not soul but funk is dirty soul, isn’t it? Little bit grimier than soul, not as produced, little more dancefloor. I used to go down there and just lose it.
If you were a dancer did you look up to guys like Peter Francis and Horace?
Those guys! Horace and a guy called John O’Reilly, that used to dance for Paul Anderson. There was a whole lot of them. So instead of looking up to criminals I was looking up to them. They were getting all the girls. When you’re young that’s what it’s all about. And they’re cool. They used to dance and everyone used to crowd round them. They’d walk off with the best looking girl at the end of the night. So it was that same thing: looking up to these guys and thinking I want to be like them. And luckily I took that road so me and Colin Dale, who was my dancing partner, we used to go out and tour and dance round. There were a few clubs you couldn’t get into: Global Village, that was a Saturday night. Lacey Lady, they were more like you’ve got to be over 18. So we didn’t travel to them places, but all the central London places.
If it was such a hot scene, why were people so against it? The whole reggae vs soul thing?
I think even in the days of the mods and rockers. There were even divides in soul. The jazz dancers used to think we were pussies if you liked funk. Jazz is... Going around dancing 100 miles an hour. We used to go to the Electric Ballroom as well. There used to be fights with guys coming from rival soul clubs, with jazz boys and soul heads. They’d be like, ‘you guys are pussies, all that pussy music you listen to’, and so there used to be regular fights. It was just wanting to belong to a certain clique.
Do you think the reggae/soul thing was also rooted in a slightly older group whose allegiance to the West Indies was slightly stronger than the younger kids who really had grown up in London. Do you think there was a kind of split there. Most of the guys we’ve spoken to were looking for a British identity and reggae didn’t fit that.
I don’t think consciously we were doing that, plus it really wasn’t a movement, it was more like a local... it happened all around London. You went to Battersea, Clapham, all over south London there were blues parties. You did used to follow sounds but it wasn’t a movement in the way that this [soul clubs] was a movement. This was going out into the West End as well. You’ve got to remember the West End was the place.
It’s neutral. It’s not a neighbourhood.
It was a travelling thing. The whole thing getting ready and dressing up as well. We couldn’t afford to buy clothes in the West End, so the only way you could go to the West End was to club or buy records. The whole thing of buying imports of getting things first, that all came from that, more than kind of the reggae scene. They used to play a lot of old stuff, Alton Ellis and stuff like that. It wasn’t really a forward moving thing.
It’s more about having a dubplate than the latest thing.
Exactly. And it was more localised as well. If you went to a blues dance in Battersea they’d be like, ‘You guys aren’t from round here’. And you could seriously get yourself in trouble. The Brixton sounds stayed in Brixton. The soul scene was different. You used to meet people from Wembley. We’d be like, ‘Wembley, where the fuck’s that?’ And Ilford. Ilford? Never heard of it. We’re from Brixton, ‘it’s a bit dodgy down there.’ Then the whole soul movement, Caister, it took on a whole new lease of life.
Did you get involved in that?
To be fair I didn’t. None of use drove, and we used to hear about this Caister thing, but by the time we wanted to get in it was kind of like an exclusive club. It was a very white scene. Caister was 80% white. Which was bizarre, Essex which was known for... In them days you had the National Front. And Essex was kind of like the bastion of racism. We were like what are these guys doing being into soul music? It was bizarre, it really was.
When did you first start DJing.
I was collecting records, and my buddy Colin Dale was a soul DJ and we’d follow him around. The idea of DJing never really struck my mind. I wanted to be a singer, or be involved in production. I was a real trainspotter. I used to know the serial numbers of certain tracks, and me and my friend, we used to listen to brand new tracks and try and guess who the producer was. We used to sit there all night and do this. Listen to pirate radio from one to five in the morning. ‘Right, who produced this then?’ ‘Well it sounds like the drums could be Harvey Mason, the bassline could be the Brothers Johnson’, and a lot of the times we were right. DJing never really came into it, until my first gig was at a place called Gossips in the West End, for Tim Westwood. He used to be a soul DJ that we followed. And Colin Dale used to do the warm up down there, and Tim phoned me up and was like ‘I really need you to play’. I was like,’Cool man…’
Cos he went into that electro thing in a big way.
This was just before that happened. Literally months before it happened. When stuff like Change and tunes like that were around. And I DJed there. It was the most horrific experience. I never thought I’d ever be that scared. I was absolutely bricking it. And I didn’t enjoy it at all. I walked away thinking, ‘nah I don’t want to do this’. And then the early Electro scene started and we used to go to Global Village on a Sunday night. But anyway, that was very exciting. Fuck man, this electronic music. and then behind this as well was the electronic thing, because we were soul boys, and we were like “man this electronic things taking away the soul of it...” But Planet Rock, and all the early Tommy Boy stuff was just irresistible. And there was also a guy called Yakamoto...
Yeah, and he done a tune called Riot In Lagos, was the most incredible tune, even more to me than Planet Rock. I just caught the bug. Then I was like dissed by the soul boys ‘I can’t believe you’re into this electro shit man’. So I just moved from scene to scene. But the early electro scene I felt honoured to be part of that. People diss Tim Westwood but that guy was in it from dot man. And he changed the game. He stopped playing the souly kind of things and went full steam into electro. Used to go to Spats, Saturday afternoon. People would be breaking, we were into the Wildstyle thing, all of that shit.
Where was Spats?
In Oxford St, just opposite 100 Club. Where Plastic People was. Little hovel downstairs. Wicked little space. great dancefloor and stuff.
How did the house thing come about?
The pivotal point was a pirate station called Faze 1. That was the turning point for everything that’s happened to me since. A guy called Mendoza, he was setting up a station. Around the same time Kiss were trying to go legal. This was 84. He set up the station he said I want all of you local guys to come in and do a show. It was a Brixton thing, right next to a pub, a hovel, and he had a shebeen, an afterhours place, downstairs. He owned the building, he was in construction, and upstairs he had the pirate station and downstairs he had the shebeen. Incredible thing. But this shebeen, no-one ever used to go to. It was our local but he never had any more than six people there on a Saturday night. We used to go there, get pissed, go upstairs and play some music. A great set-up.
I had an afternoon soul show, where I used to play kind of funk and really early house and electro. Then one night he said, “Listen I got a brother called Chris, man, and he knows some guy called Paul Oakenfold and they’ve got this mad thing, have you ever heard of Spectrum?’ I said no, and he said, ‘What were going to try and do, we’re gonna do some after-parties’. So I said right I’m going to check out Spectrum next week. So Monday night we went down there. Me and a couple of lads from Brixton walked in and they were like, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ It was a Monday night, we saw everyone with smiley t-shirts, with big eyes, chewing their teeth, and just walking around in another world. And they fucked off and left me in there. They were like, ‘You know what? It’s like we’ve walked into hell. We’re going back to Brixton.’ And I just remember looking up seeing Paul Oakenfold and this smoke, and him being like a fucking god up there. I was like, ‘My god, this is absolutely fucking amazing.’
So I started going there every week by myself. To cut a long story short, he said Chris knows Paul Oakenfold and we’re going to have an after-party down there. Would you like to play? I said, ‘What in Mendoza’s? You’re going to have an after party? No way are they gonna come down there.’ He said, ‘No, man, the only other guy I know who plays house on the station is Grooverider.’ I said OK and I didn’t really know Groove that well. Groove was quite arrogant and aggressive and he used to do the night-time shows. He said, ‘Get down there about one o’clock in the morning’. So me and Groove was in there all night, no-one came down, not a dickie bird. Groove had to go work, he was working with computers. He said, ‘Listen Mendoza, I’m off.’
So we was loading the records up in the car when we saw these guys walking down the alleyway going [scally northern accent] ’where’s the fookin’ party?’ Shorts, in the middle of winter, a pair of shorts, Union Jack tattoo on his back, skinhead going like that “I want to hear some fookin’ music, right.” He goes downstairs. We go in, we think we’d better play for this guy or else he’s going to kill us or something. He was on his own, just doing this all night [mad dancing moves], putting his head in the speaker, and Mendoza, the club owner, was like, ‘it’s alright, he’s buying drinks, just carry on playing.’
And it was one o’clock in the morning and Groove went upstairs, came back and said ‘Oh my god there are hundreds of people down this alleyway.’ All of a sudden all these people just rushed in there, everyone was pilled up. It was absolutely rammed. They couldn’t fit anyone else in there at all. There was a queue hundreds of people outside. So we decided to make this a regular occurrence, every night! Seriously. We used to do it on Monday, Tuesday. i think we had a night off on Wednesday cos there was nothing going on. But there was a thing on Tuesday called Samantha’s, they used to come down after that, there was a thing on Thursday and then on the weekend we just took it over. In the end he said, ‘Listen do you guys want to have the weekend nights?’ we said cool, we did our own flyers, Groove went out and bought a Ford Cortina for 60 quid and we used to go down to the Trip at the Astoria, and we used to give out flyers there, and the rest is history basically. We had something going on every single week for about two years. That really got us known. Oakey used to come down, Trevor Fung used to come down. All the guys used to come down and we met a lot of the big promoters and we got a lot of work out of it, man. And that was really the start of the whole Fabio and Grooverider thing.
Did it ever have a name?
No just Mendoza’s. It didn’t have a name or anything. People didn’t give a shit, they knew they could come down there, used to go till four in the afternoon. People used to go home and take their kids to school, have a wash and come back at one in the afternoon. And that’s what makes me laugh when people say “Can you play for two hours?” What!? It was happy days, man. It was great.
What was Spectrum like, drugs-wise?
Spectrum was crazy. Spectrum was every single person was out of it, you never seen people out of it before...
How quickly did you catch on to what was going on?
About the third time I went there. Quite scary though because you saw... It was quite scary, man. It was pretty hellish, and that’s why a lot of people turned their back on it because it was, the music was so loud and the lights were so intimidating, and it was very Balearic. The music wasn’t soulful. You’ve got to remember that. The music was this kind of flamenco mixture. And that’s why a lot of the urban guys were like fucking hell. And then acid... it was extreme. At the time it was like punk, but cos of the background, of listening to electro, we kind of kept up with electronic music, we were like this shit, man, it is so fucking extreme. And Groove was always extreme. Groove was into Public Image Ltd and stuff like that, so he was ‘THIS IS ME, YEEEAAH’.
How soon did you get him to go down to Spectrum?
Groove is so completely teetotal. So he came down there and was literally in there for half an hour and said, ‘I am getting the fuck out of this place. I love the music but this out of the head business is... I’ll meet you down at Mendoza’s yeah, you stay here.’ I was like ,‘OK, yeah cool. Oakey’s playing, let me just stare at him, man...’ And I didn’t want him to think... Anyway, he might have thought I was gay or something... This hero worship man. I was like, ‘No man he’s gonna play Jibaro in a minute. And Groove wasn’t so much into Balearic music, Groove was much more into Fast Eddie and the kind of real soulful acid coming out of DJ International and Trax.
So how did Rage start.
Rage was the US thing. Rage used to be on a Thursday and they set up against Spectrum which was a European thing, Rage was a much more...
Wasn’t Justin Berkmann and people like that involved?
Yeah, Justin Berkmann, Trevor Fung, Colin Faver, and they were much more into the American thing, the imports, the Trax thing. And they were kind of against the whole Spectrum thing. That was the first divides; very rarely you’d meet people who’d go to Spectrum and Rage. We knew the barman there, they didn’t really have DJs at the Star Bar, they just had a guy just playing music, and we met Kevin Millins who ran Rage and he was like, ‘Do you guys want to do a little thing down here?’ So we started upstairs, but we had such a massive following up there. We used to ram out this place. We’d established ourselves as kind of underground heroes, so we had a following. We didn’t know how big because we’d never ventured into the club world. Anyway, Colin Faver and Trevor Fung went to LA and missed their flight back, and Kevin said, ‘I’m going to take a chance on you guys tonight downstairs’. And we went in there and basically smashed the shit out of the place. The end of the night everyone was going crazy.
But we didn’t want to step on Trevor’s toes, and Colin and them guys, but, then we shared the main floor with them, and then cos we was doing something a little bit different, cos they were still into this ‘yeah man we’re strictly US’, but we were playing early techno from Belgium and Germany, Frank de Wulf, R&S and stuff like that. We really got into that sound and played it down at rage, and it wasn’t quite going with what Trevor and Colin were doing, but it was getting so popular that we ended up getting the main set there. To cut a long story short we got the Derrick Mays and the Kevin Saundersons and Joey Beltrams giving us dubplates. It turned into the techno place. It wasn’t so much hardcore, it was techno. But we’d get these B-side mixes from Masters at Work, and they used to have straight up breaks on it, and we used to speed them up and mix them into the techno stuff, and we were just realising anytime we did that we were getting people euphoric. Like this is something new.
We used to get this guy called Danny Jungle lead the dancefloor, going ‘Jungle, Jungle!’ and then before we knew it that was the tag. And then people started making jungle; Living Dream was an early label, and Ibiza records, and we had a set full of these way out there breakbeat stuff. We used to mix Prodigy into Mentasm, and things like that. And it was just the craziest mixture of extreme madness. Rage turned form being this kind of posey kind of night with loads of girls and loads of well-dressed people, to being ghetto man. We ghettoed out the whole fucking place. it was so ghetto. Until it got to the stage where... it kind of got a bit shady. It kind of added to the whole vibe of the night though. You didn’t know whether you were gonna get killed down there or not. Great! But then Kevin started to get a bit like, ‘Guys, it’s getting a bit on top in here, we’ve really alienated our old crowd.’
Were there any real incidents?
Nothing major, a few rucks, but you used to get a few of the big dealers coming in there. It started to get a little bit like that. But nothing ever really happened, but I think the old guard got a bit threatened... Certain DJs, well-known soulful house DJs, actually made formal complaints to him. Said listen, ‘These guys are betraying what Rage was all about.’ Unfortunately the night closed because of that. We had a meeting and he said, ‘Listen guys you’re really going to have to change the music. You’re gonna have to go back to playing house because I don’t really like the crowd and security are getting a bit...’ And he shut the night, man.
When did it close?
I think ’93, Closed in ’93.
When you were experimenting with the breakbeats were you conscious you were pushing things in a certain direction?
No, no. We didn’t have a fucking clue. We were just... It worked, we’re doing this, and because we were kind of hated on by the more soulful DJs we thought maybe we are doing the wrong thing. Maybe we have fucked the night up totally. We were still doing nights where we played more soulful stuff. Rage was a total experiment. And it felt like an experiment. We never used to play like that anywhere else. But in that big club where we had carte blanche to do what we wanted it was Fabio and Grooverider’s house and we just did what the fuck we wanted. Looking back on it people aren’t that brave any more, and that’s probably one of the reasons dance music’s got slightly stagnant. No-one would dare do that any more. It really was, at the time, so out there. We really got people’s backs up with Rage.
And the press just slagged it…
No, at the start the press slagged hardcore, Charly, things like that. Mixmag put it on the cover and basically laughed it off, saying this is a fucking joke. But they loved jungle, cos that cartoonish element wasn’t there in jungle. Jungle was very aggressive and quite abrasive. Buju Banton sampled over breakbeats. It was a real ghetto thing and thats how this ridiculous urban thing started, with everybody as well. “Oh it’s black music, we love black music, we love this, ikt’s the new punk but it’s like black punk. So much bullshit going on.
When did jungle become drum and bass?
That happened in about 1996.
The whole tag jungle took on a real sinister... It just got so smashed in the press. we were like If we’re going to carry on we’re gonna have to change the name here, cos we’re getting slaughtered here. And then drum and bass, the ragga thing kind of went, and it turned into drum and bass. It all fell apart in ’98. We were getting totally slagged off for the music, everyone was like drum and bass has died, which was the headline for 18 months. And then garage came along: the death knell for drum and bass. It was the new drum and bass. It was the biggest kick in the teeth for us ever.
And they had all the girls…
Yeah! They had all the girls, it was where all the girls went from the jungle scene had gone. Drum and bass was at its worst. Garage got so big so quickly, and so flavour of the month. Drum and bass was just like nothing. We didn’t even have a review section in magazines, no drum and bass reviews, never listed any clubs we were doing. It was like we’d died! Come up to modern day now, and drum and bass is as big as its ever been. And I feel this year is a real turning point for the music. It’s been around a long time and everyone’s got over the fact that we’re gonna be here now. We’re not going anywhere.
What about the Sunrise parties and outdoor raves you did?
Sunrise was the craziest times, man. I got into it cos I knew a few guys that were selling tickets. At my first gig there played 9 til 10, I did the warm up, the first slot. Colin Faver had the nightmare of nightmares when he was DJing. I don’t know what happened but he had a nightmare set. And everyone was throwing things at him. The promoter was like, C’olin get off, Fabio, have you still got your records?’ And I put on Strings Of Life, man. I’d never even heard Strings of Life, and I’m not claiming to be the first man to play it but it was the first time it got played at Sunrise. I’ll tell you what, everyone stood there, and you couldn’t direct this in a film, it was like Close Encounters and when it started going [the faster bit], it just went off!. I could have played that record all night and everyone would have went home and said I had the best night I ever had in my life.
What was it like doing business with some of these guys?
You got to remember they were making clear profit, they never paid for venues, we used to get 50 quid, these guys would walk away with I heard silly amounts, 700 grand clear profit, without the police the tax man knowing anything. And what was so surprising what they used to do, they used to go to the M1 Heston services, have these parties, police didn’t have a fucking clue what was going on. You’d have all these people marching into a field and the police used to just stand there, going, these county police who’d never even seen a black person before, going ‘oh my goodness, what are these people doing in this field, what shall we do? Shall we call the army?’ Then The Sun came out with that rave thing and that blew the whole thing apart, and they was like, ‘Yeah we saw E wrappers, silver wrappers that these druggies take’. It was laughable but it changed everything. It was never quite the same again. After that you got helicopters and police monitoring you, following you around. It was like being subversive. I don’t know if it was the time but everyone thought everyone was old bill. ‘She’s old bill, you know.’ ‘Err, that’s my sister actually’. it was a really paranoid, really weird time actually.
Did you get a kick out of feeling like an outlaw?
You did. But at the same time towards the end it wasn’t fun any more. You were literally being chased through fields with your records, and the feeling that you were gonna get all your records confiscated and it’s the end of your career. It wasn’t fun any more.
But the early days…
We used to get a call from headquarters, the database, which was the house round the corner where they sold the tickets, and they used to literally not know where the rave was going to be until nine at night. They’d be like, ‘Listen Fab you might have to play in a field tonight, there might be about 30, 35,000 people there. Get your records together, meet at the services.’ It was like a phone thing, meet in Brixton. Convoys 30 or 40 cars, like where’s the party. Got to the M1, go to Heston services, you used to go there, and then you used to get another phone call, it’s here, and you’d drive down, and what you used to see was these dark fields and then all of a sudden you’d see one laser. It was like the Batman sign. It’s over there! We didn’t know where it was. But all of a sudden you’d look and there’d be 300 cars behind you.
So you didn’t know any more than the punters where it was going to be?
No. And that’s why we used to go there, what time am I playing? Whenever you get here. It was so impromptu. It was brilliant, and we used to be driving, out in fields, you’d see farmers going fuck off out of my field, it was amazing. And in residential areas, in a warehouse, we used to see people sitting with their kids, ‘what’s going on? This is so scary’, until 11 or 12 in the afternoon. They were the greatest days man. incredible. I’m not going to witness anything like it again, but maybe my daughter will get rebellious. You did feel like a rebel. And you did feel, coming home, 12 o’clock in the afternoon, with a tie-dyed top on, dripping with sweat, walking into a petrol station with bare feet, you did feel like...
You’ve got to remember this was Thatcher’s Britain at the time, and we were like: Fuck Thatcher! Fuck the Tories, so you really did feel like an outsider. We felt glad not to be part of Thatcher’s Britain. We’re nothing to do with you. We don’t do 9 to 5s, man. We’re fucking outlaws, we’re going around with bandanas on our heads, dancing in the fucking street. It was crazy. You did feel that. You had an allegiance with anyone with a smiley badge. That was an insignia. It was like a code. You’d see a smiley badge and you’d be like ‘yeahh, shhhhh’. It really was like that. It was a secret fucking society man.
Interviewed by Bill Brewster and Frank Broughton in London, 4.2.05