WAY OF THE WEST, the inside story….

I started this blog as there didn’t seem to be any real information out there on the 80’s band Way Of The West. Their music was influential at the time, and you can still hear it today in clubs and on radio stations that specialise in 80’s new wave but information? Very little.

Just so you know you’ve landed at the right place, this was the band that put out only 5 singles (and a half, check the music page) and they were, first to last, Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys, See You Shake, Drum, City For Lovers and Feel The Steel between 1981 – 84. They recorded on three different labels Mercury, Innervision & MCA and toured in the US and Europe each year but split up not long after the last record and therefore don’t show up on most music radars.

I’d like anybody who’s interested to think of this as a little drop in centre where you can relax on the comfy sofas we have around the place and find out more, and, of course contribute yourselves to ‘the inside story of Way Of The West’. All background info greatly appreciated.

Here you’ll find various pages where you can find out what happened (The Story), hear the songs and get some inside info on the recordings (The Music), take a look at some record company photos and some of their own (Band Photos & More) and also read some irrelevant but hopefully entertaining background stuff (Name Dropping).

This is very much an ongoing project and I’ll add to it when I have the time and more content, including previously unreleased songs and a ‘Where Are They Now’ page. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for information on Way Of The West you’ve come to the right place, or maybe somewhere interesting enough to keep you diverted till the rain stops……..

Pete Kearney (Carney)

(News…… More music and a video have been added to the Music page, lyrics coming when I get the time)

( AT LAST…..11th May 08, Apparently we’re up and running on itunes!!! So, for anybody who wants to check it out, here it is: One Time,One Life

(News…Aug 08) Definitely one from the ‘Well I Never’ dept. I’ve just been sent something I had no idea existed at all. Our original saxophonist and Percussionist Jason Warre unearthed a video taken at the Peppermint Lounge NY in around 82? Although it’s early on in our career it’s the only film I know of us playing a live gig anywhere. Please ignore the bum notes, the lighting, the poor sound quality, the hair, the ……and take a look here,(WOTW-Live).

Also this month produced more bits and pieces new to me. Our one and only Liz Weller, sent me a goody bag of stuff she had which included some photos taken by the band in NY and other memorabilia.

I’m putting a few on the photos page here, (Band Photos & More) and I’ll add more when i can.

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85 Responses to “WAY OF THE WEST, the inside story….”

  1. Hi Pete,

    This is Tim from Stupefaction. Nice to see you here, and happy to see the mystery slowly unraveling. Do you guys have any interest in getting your releases up digitally? Has there been any talk of any reissues? Let me know…I might be able to help.

    Tim B.
    Stupefaction blog

  2. mercury66 Says:

    Hi Tim

    Thanks for the welcome but….Uh-oh. Being a beginner at this I hadn’t realised it would be ‘out there’ till I pressed something or added some tags! So, my cover is blown and I’d better get on with it. This is still very much a work in progress and anybody interested should bear with me as things may appear and disappear till I’ve got a grip on the process.

    As for any digital releases, we’ve recently been contacted by a record company who’ve offered to put out a Way Of The West retrospective and I’m looking at it now, so with luck we may even get some long lost album tracks out too. But If you have any good alternatives though, let me know?

    Pete K

  3. Hey Pete,

    First, look here: http://theworldsamess.blogspot.com/2007/10/way-of-west-where-are-you-here.html.

    As for the release possibility, drop me a line on my email address which you should be able to see since you publish this blog. I’d be more than happy to help – I probably know who contacted you…

    Tim

  4. Hi Pete. I have been trying to find more info on WOTW for ages, and I finally stumbled upon this site via Google. I was a big fan, having grown up in NYC listening to local college radio stations that played your songs. New Yawk also had some great import record stores, so I was able to pick up a few of your releases, though I missed your gigs. Must have been in a coma when you toured 🙂 . I still have the Feel the Steel 7″ and the See You Shake 12″ though they are not in much better shape than your versions. The post-punk years were a great time for music. I would devour everything from the UK (inc. in no particular order, Au Pairs, Delta 5, Higsons, APB, Medium Medium, Dept. 5, Wire, Chameleons, The Sound, Magazine, Psych Furs, and all of the Factory groups) as well as US groups such as Suicide, Polyrock, Gun Club, Bush Tetras. Unfortunate that your album was never released. I could never understand why a compilation was never released given the strength of your singles. Please let me know when the songs are available on iTunes, as I would like to download proper versions (and see that you get some funds). Thanks for the background info on how the songs came into being. You know, I always thought that the woman talking on City for Lovers was actually Japanese. LOL. It’s funny what your mind hears or wants to hear. FYI: The Mudd Club, Danceteria, and Peppermint Lounge in NYC are long gone. Also, were you responsible for the video for Drum being posted on YouTube:

    Also what release was The Cool Set on? I didn’t see it listed on the Music page. Also, what was the concept behind the song Don’t Say That’s Just for White Boys? Also, posting lyrics would be cool!

    Please let me know if you need any help in promoting your music. Those songs have brought me many hours of enjoyment (I was just playing all of them on my iPod on a trip back home to NYC, which is why I was searching for more info on your band).

    Harold Grey
    San Jose, CA

  5. Hi Harold. Really good to hear from you and thanks for the comments, it’s nice to hear somebody was listening out there.

    No, I didn’t know there was a video of Drum on youtube!! I thought I was the only person in the universe with a copy and it was definitely not me. I’ll have to check it out, though it’s actually quite useful as I don’t have a video player these days.

    She could actually be Japanese if you prefer? I thought she was Italian because, in the last half of the 12″ of City For Lovers there’s a man speaking very quickly in Italian and I thought it was the same radio station I’d recorded but when I checked back (it was via a radio cassette player with short-band and I still have the cassette) I found that the station had been changed in-between so – let’s make her Japanese!
    Or at least stateless…..

    This is an embarrassing confession to make but I’d always assumed The Cool Set was the 2nd track on the B-side of the 12″ version of City For Lovers after Countdown. I say assumed because I don’t even have that version of my own record but I have the original acetate and that’s how it comes on there. I’m hoping that’s how the record actually came out but these things were sometimes changed by the record company so I’m open to correction from anyone who actually has the record? Thanks for reminding me anyway, I’ll put it up here on the music page soon as I can. I’ve also discovered some live music from a club in Boston I think, recorded in 84 and I’ll put those here along with a couple of the unreleased album songs I’m transferring. Yes, I guess I should really do a lyric page too. I’ll try to organize that over the next couple of weeks, (wish I had a secretary).

    The concept behind ‘White Boys’? At the time (early 80s) there were riots in the UK, mainly black in the poorer parts of London. They were about exclusion, from good jobs, education etc. I guess it was thinking about what exclusion meant (on that level) and on a personal relationship level and trying to write something that could be perceived on both levels. Does that help? It’s the best I can do. A friend studying sociology showed me her textbook with the lyrics from ‘White Boys’ as a discussion subject! Fame at last!

    You’re right, the post punk DIY ethic spawned a whole bunch of great bands and it was an exciting time to be playing. Most of those bands you mention I know, though for some reason I assumed The Psychedelic Furs were American? Don’t know why but no matter.

    I’m almost done with the itunes thing and when it’s sorted I’ll post all the details here and I can email too if you’d like.

    Pete K

    France

  6. hi harold..we do have some archive stuff but its all a matter of transferring from cassettes etc…you never know what may turn up!! cheers..speak soon .neil(bass)

  7. Harold Grey Says:

    Hi Pete. Thanks for the info. I kind of figured that was the idea behind “White Boys” but it is always interesting to hear it straight from the artist. It’s funny, but when I hear the phrase “white boys” it sounds distinctly American, given the history of racial tensions in this country. I used to hear that phrase all the time, where I grew up in Brooklyn. Also, there was that song by Wild Cherry (“Play That Funky Music White Boy”) 🙂 So I pulled out my CD of Pere Ubu’s The Modern Dance, and there on song 10, Humor Me, was the line “that’s just the way of the west.” Fascinating the influences that happen in music. Ohio was a real hotbed for a while in the late 70s with the likes of Ubu and DEVO. Many of these groups also seemed to have a Zappa/Beefheart influence in their thoughts and music. I guess what I really liked about WOTW is that there was always a sense of underlying political commentary (social or personal) in the music. I am also a sucker for great funky bass lines in songs, and I love the way your and Reid’s guitars play off each other, filling out the space in the music. Not to mention that Dave’s drumming is superb. I guess alot of people do consider the Furs American since the Butler brothers moved to the States in 82 or so, and they seemed to have bigger success here, but I know they got their start in London. FYI: You can always post a link to the YouTube video on this site. What are you up to now?

    Rgds,
    Harold

  8. mercury66 Says:

    Hi Harold

    That Wild Cherry song was weird because, weren’t they white? People assumed they were black because of the lyrics.

    Yes that’s the song, Humor Me. Pere Ubu were a band favourite. Liz was a big Devo fan and Neil, her replacement liked Beefheart and that mystery San Francisco band The Residents. We played a gig there and Neil visited the address printed on one of their records. No answer………just the way it should be.

    Talking about Dave’s drumming reminded me that a US fanzine voted Neil & Dave as the rhythm section to see on tour, and in soundchecks I’d go out front with a long guitar lead just to hear them. Not so easy for Dave…….

    I have a small update to the video mystery. I checked it out and called the company (Rock America) that originally made it. Though they didn’t post it, the original director (Ed Steinberg) is one of the partners there along with another guy who was a DJ on WLIR and a big fan of WOTW. Incidentally he also asked about the identity of that girl on City For Lovers so you’ve started something there. The outcome is they’re going to send me a DVD of the video which is cool as I don’t have a player. I’ll try doing the link thing but I’m not a natural at this so it may not work first time.

    What am I up to now? Well….I’m still ‘obliquely’ connected to music though I haven’t played live for around 10 yrs. I’ll save the story for when I get round to doing the ‘Where Are They Now’ page but one of the things I’m involved with is a little ‘international’ electro pop project with a German keyboard player and a London girl singer. Hardly any gtr and we don’t play live! Here’s the link if you want to check out the very low key site http://www.i-love-pop.com/ though I leave the website stuff up to others and don’t usually mention my earlier days! We also made a very expensive ($10) video for one song here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwzaDnDRkcI in which I feature for a nano-second, and I mean nano-second.

    Talking about Devo reminded me of a favourite saying I found scratched in the wax around the centre of Boojie Boy by the (i assume?) cutting engineer.
    “Money Talks, Men Mumble”………So true

    Pete K

    France

  9. Hi Pete. That would have been funny in SF if they answered when Neil rang and they were wearing the giant eyeballs 😉 So to include the Drum video in your blog, there is some code on the YouTube page for the Drum video along the right side called “Embed.” I believe if you copy and paste that entire piece of html code into the code for your page, such as https://mercury66.wordpress.com/music/, it will automatically do what you need it to. Let me know if you get stuck. I like the sound of “I Love Pop.” Great stuff…

    Rgds,
    Harold

  10. Thanks for the advice.

    I believe the giant eyeballs were eventually stolen? They’ll probably turn up in an art gallery somewhere, though I can’t imagine the band turning up to claim them…….

    Glad you like ILP. I’ll attempt to put some never released WOTW album and live recordings on the blog in the next few days so feel free to check them out.

    best wishes

    Pete K

  11. Props Harold for posting this link on our Psychedelic Furs site and getting me here!
    I owe you one buddy!
    Great job and great information Pete!
    Keep it coming!
    Regards,
    DiP

    (Moderator, http://www.BurnedDownDays.com)

  12. Pete,

    Just re-read this thread:

    “…though for some reason I assumed The Psychedelic Furs were American? Don’t know why but no matter.”

    Perhaps you were just partially psychic since RB, Tim and John are all American now!

    D.

  13. Really?…..Well. Now I just need to buy a lottery ticket.

    It could have been the sound.Compared to the other UK bands around at the time I think they ‘sounded American’? Maybe if WOTW had stayed in the US we’d be rhyming leisure with seizure by now??

    Pete K

  14. OMG I LOVE YOU GUYS!! I consider myself a latter-era fan of Way Of The West, not having discovered you guys until the Internet introduced me to your music, but now I am a full on, fully fledged fan. One of my absolute favorite songs is “My Own Front Door” and I also happen to love “Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys”, and obviously “City For Lovers”, which started it all for me, kicks so much ass. I love that you’re taking the initiative and doing this to reignite interest in WOTW, thus joining the ranks of fellow awesomely cool New Wave groups such as the Scars and B-Movie, which also have official presences online. OMG, and I just forgot that “See You Shake” was another great, notable song of yours!! Oh man, now I’m off to play “My Own Front Door” because I am totally craving a few dozen listens of it.

    p.s.: I’ll be 28 later on this month, so I’m interested in finding out if there are any other twentysomething fans you’re aware of.

  15. Hi Deanna

    Your comments are very sweet and most appreciated. On behalf of the rest of the WOTW crew we all bow before your kind words!

    I’m very impressed that you’re a fan of “My Own front Door” too. It was always one of our favourites but sometimes seen as ‘difficult’…..especially by the record company.

    Your other point about taking the initiative? I’d like to think it was as thought through as that but really, I only started this because there was so little out there and I finally gave in to the people who kept asking me to get something together. I don’t know where it will finish up but it’s an interesting ride…

    I’m constantly surprised that people know our songs at all, and without the internet there’d certainly be no new fans like you so, 28?
    Yes, that’s young as you couldn’t have seen us first time round but I’ve been contacted by young fans who say they discovered us on vinyl or radio and they love the stuff.

    Happy to be included with the ‘awesomely cool’!

    Pete

  16. Hi Pete,

    Just dropping by to see if there’s anything new going on here. Drop me a line when you have a minute. Have you made any progress with Keith & the digital thing?

    Tim B, NYC

    p.s. Happy new year!

  17. mercury66 Says:

    Hi Tim

    I’m just out the other side of the festivities and had a few things to finish but I’m back and hoping to get a lyric page happening in a few days.

    As for the downloads, the holdup was a technical issue with the files. That and Keith just back from holidays too….. It should be sorted this week and then (fingers crossed) they’ll be up on itunes within a month. 20 yrs late so a small delay shouldn’t hurt. I’ll keep everyone posted with all the details soon as I get them.

    and a Happy new year to you too.

    Pete

  18. OMG iTunes — why did you not tell me about this development in email??? I would LOVE to purchase WOTW tracks on iTunes so I can contribute some to the “let’s help WOTW actually make some cash money in these here 2000s” fund! Congrats on the iTuneage!

    p.s.: WOTW are still “awesomely cool”. In fact, because of you, Mr. Ex-Carney, you have all gotten way cooler in my book and could already be the coolest obscure[-ish] NW musical artist of all time.

  19. We’re having a few techie problems with the song files but we’re almost there. It should be this month, fingers crossed.

    Just back from London and a friend showed me something he’d discovered on ebay. The WOTW collection! 17 songs on a CD with little prints of the single covers inside and a ‘marketed by Phonogram’ sticker to give it some official look. They probably do loads of bands. Anyway, I was a little nervous when I listened to it. What if it sounded better than my own versions? I Needn’t have worried as at least 50% were distorted. Not sure how they were put together but just shows what’s going on.

    My day is made. Not just awsomely cool but obscure(ish). How will I sleep?

    Pete

  20. Pete,
    Any updates???
    Thanks 1M!
    D.

  21. I’m told 6-8 weeks till the songs are on itunes. We had some strange happenings
    where the files were fine when uploaded but when they reappeared they were running
    at a completely different speed. Everything’s ok now but delayed of course. Looks like it won’t be before March/April now.

    Pete

  22. Thanks Pete.
    I’ll be sure to post the details on our Furs site!
    The word must be spread!
    D.

  23. “My day is made. Not just awsomely cool but obscure(ish). How will I sleep?”

    Ha ha ha. Your wit is practically arid. 😉 And sure, “obscure(ish)”, but only because I don’t hail from the American NE. Apparently WOTW were an especially huge success in the NY Tri-State area and got measurable airplay for at least two of your/their songs on commercial radio. So good for you, you “made it there”, as the old Frank Sinatra song went. Unfortunately that didn’t lead to you “making it everywhere” (as he might’ve sung) as I don’t believe such success traveled all the way down here in the U.S. Southwest. Which, come to think of it, is as arid as your sense of humor.

    Glad to hear the bootleg was of an inferior sound quality (after all, *you* should be entitled to the crispest sounds possible wrt the WOTW back catalogue) and hopefully the iTunes thing will happen sooner rather than later. Also — where are you? Are you busy with the iTuneage? With other things? You know, Gmail is an awfully easy web-based email provider to deal with, hint hint…..

  24. No, not busy with ‘ituneage’. Everything has been checked and sent off so I’m awaiting a date for it to go live, nothing has worked first time yet so let’s see how it goes. I’m about to return to London again for a week, and possibly out of the loop for that time too.

    As for making it v not making it? I don’t know how you measure these things but for World Domination U2 style old Frank could have sung ‘They Made It No-Where’! But as we all know, making it’ like that is no guide to quality and I like to think we have a more intelligent and of course ‘cooler’ fan base. Then again I could just be delusional…..

  25. Glad to be able to say this. For those who just check the comments…

    Way Of The West are Go…….live on itunes at last!!

  26. tomfin2000 Says:

    You know, the only thing better than (finally) finding a Way of the West site is finding a Way of the West site that’s maintained by the actual band members!

    I went straight to iTunes to purchase the digital album, but got an error message saying “Purchase of the item is not currently available. The item is being modified. Please try again later.” I can play the 30 second samples of the tracks though. Hopefully it will get straightened out soon, because I’m really looking forward to having a copy!

    I wish I could say that I was with you guys from the beginning, but I’m a latecomer as well. I was in the right time, but the wrong place (as in no place with a WLIR, KROQ, or CFNY). I first heard “Don’t Say That’s Just for White Boys” on a compliation CDR a buddy of mine put together for me back in 1999. I found the 12″ single for “Drum” at a second hand record store a few weeks later, and then that was it for awhile until I started digging for rare New Wave material again in 2006 and came across most of your other tracks through various online file sharing outlets. I’ve been hooked ever since. My favorite tracks are “Feel the Steel” and “Countdown”, but I love ’em all. As Deanna mentioned, I’m glad that I will soon be able to buy your music through an official venue so that I can finally put a little money in your pockets where it’s rightfully belonged all of these years. 🙂

    Anyway, nice to see you guys online. I look forward to finally being able to learn a little bit about the band that I’ve gotten so much enjoyment out of listening to these past couple of years!

    Tom

    P.S. You’re not delusional…we ARE a more intelligent and cooler fan base! LOL!

  27. Hi Tom

    Thanks very much for the appreciation, and the confirmation that I may not be delusional after all. Those analysts can get pretty expensive.

    I think the ‘item being modified’ message you got from itunes is hopefully for a good reason. I queried whether the album price wasn’t a little high, especially in dollars! Keith from Sentanta records, the people who organised everything for us said he’d check it out with itunes and I think (hope…) they’ve taken it off while they adjust the price. It should be back up pretty soon.

    All latecomers gratefully accepted here at WOTW central, better late than never and I reckon a testament to the songs still standing up after all this time.

    Thanks again for the appreciation,

    Pete

  28. tomfin2000 Says:

    Hi Pete,

    I just wanted to let you (and anyone else reading along) know that I was able to purchase and download all of the tracks individually from iTunes with the exception of the live track which is “album only”. iTunes applies the individual tracks purchased towards the cost of purchasing the full album, so there’s no real danger of having to pay twice for the same material. As soon as the full album is available for download again, I’ll be able to pick up the live track and complete the album for a couple of dollars.

    I really enjoyed the unreleased tracks and will post some thoughts on them soon under the music page!

    Tom

  29. Hi Pete,

    Keith finally told me about the tracks being available on iTunes. Congratulations. How come no announcement on the blog?

    Glad I could help put this whole thing together.

    Tim

  30. Patrick Says:

    I can’t believe you finally have a website! I grew up listening to your tracks on WLIR in New York. I just downloaded the stuff on iTunes. Thanks for telling us the backstory and all the great music. Where is the myspace page?
    lol,
    Patrick.

  31. Thanks for the comments, I’ve been visiting friends with no net or mobile phone connection. No withdrawal symptoms either and an interesting experience to be cut off without a daily supply of bad news.

    Tom – Glad things seem to be working with the downloads, though I’m not sure why the album still doesn’t seem to be happening. I’ll get Steve Jobs onto it.

    Tim B – Thanks for the original support and ideas. I thought I had announced it on the blog?
    A blurb with the release date was added to the end of the page above (though I guess it could have been bigger) and another announcement on the music page.
    I’ll make a separate page just for the release with the proper links.

    Patrick – Many fans said they first heard us on WLIR. We listened to it in the truck when we played the NY area. As for the myspace page? I suppose I hoped this blog would be enough. I’ll take a look and if it’s easy (and doesn’t take all day) I might try it.
    Just a minute….Why don’t you do it? After all, you have all the songs now, (and you’d have to handle all the myspace ‘friend’ stuff)!

    Pete

  32. Rob Furman Says:

    Hello Pete, like others I have been looking for the Way Of The West for such a long time. I first heard Don’t Say It’s Just For White Boys and See You Shake on The Post Punk Progressive Pop Party, WVHC then the Voice of Radio Hofstra now WRHU. White Boys was the back drop for the P5s general advertisement airing from 10 pm to about 2am. Yes, WLIR / WDRE supported you to the end.
    TWOTW is on the P5 site or http://www.thep5.blogspot.com. The link up is to deathwearswhitesocks.com, so maybe other P5 fans will find you to Mercury66 if its updated.
    Funny I bought 4 WOTW records late last year and searched as hard as I could to find you. Now 1 year latter I have WOTW on a POD. Sorry, I bought your records a 1/4 century too late. I was an early I Tunes buyer and I must say it was worth every penny.
    Does the popularity on I Tunes really reflect which WOTW song is the most popular?
    Will you every get together again? Please tour with the Gang of Four. I never saw you live so who knows? Maybe I will see you live a 1/4 century later too.
    Good luck and your site is fantastic!
    Rob

  33. Hi there Rob, and happy you managed to find us in the end. The people at WLIR and the others you mentioned were very influential on whatever success we had in the US. Without an American record label we had no other way of reaching anybody there so it was great that they kept on playing the records. I only heard about the P5 site a little while back and thanks to those guys too.

    Yes you’re right, it is weird having WOTW available on itunes. I still don’t quite believe it myself. If, by itunes popularity you mean those dark bars next to the supposedly most popular songs? I don’t know yet whether that means anything or it’s just for show.

    Talking about buying records, it may surprise people but I don’t have every record in 7″ & 12″. My girlfriend decided to fill some gaps when she spotted someone selling them on ebay and ordered them as a Christmas present. Of course they never turned up so I’m still looking…..

    Touring again? I can’t even locate our drummer Dave, last seen in Australia. Dave! Are you out there Dave??

    Glad you liked the site.

    Pete

  34. John Greczula Says:

    Greetings from Canada, Pete:

    This is unreal. Getting out of bed at nearly 3 AM to look up some Midnight Oil lyrics and ending up on iTunes by chance… only to find that you ARE out there! I have no words to describe this monumental occasion. Maybe I’m asleep.

    I’ve hopelessly typed “Way of the West” into a search engine or iTunes more times than I can count. Nada, at best, a small thread on a forum somewhere with zero info.

    I have waited well OVER 20 YEARS to find out I was right about these lyrics: “First Time Club” and to finally learn what these lyrics were: “It’s a dream heart, slow start…” (I’m a musician that happens to be terrible at sussing lyrics!)

    I even had way-of-the-west.com registered for a year hoping you or somebody from the band would contact me and ask why! I had plans to eventually upload pics of all the album artwork and tell the world what little I knew, to pay tribute.

    The City for Lovers 12″ is one of my top 5 favorite records of all time. I heard it on CFNY, an alternative station during the 80’s in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Most of my record collection was amassed after hearing the music on CFNY. I had to phone the station and find out what the song was called as I missed the info and the person I spoke with told me I had probably heard ‘Drum’. This led to a hunt to find the vinyl. I found ‘Feel the Steel’ first. It was hard to find ‘City for Lovers’ and I couldn’t believe it when I finally did.

    Over time, I have found and bought multiple copies of the City for Lovers 12″ including different pressings with different track listings. I have all the other 12’s and all the 7’s as well. If there is vinyl you still need, please contact me.

    I’m happy to see you’ve uploaded the music to iTunes, but being old school, I’m not big into the MP3 format. (I own some Macs but no iPods.) Is there ANY chance a CD compilation of all the WOTW material might happen? Do you know if the original master tapes still exist? I would do anything I could to help make this happen – I’m a designer and would be pleased to create the sleeve artwork. I have other contacts which may be useful as well.

    Feel free to contact me directly, xeno@xenoweb.com

    Thank you so much for putting up the site and lyrics. I’ll be coming back to read every word.

  35. John Greczula Says:

    Pete,

    Just went to the Death Wears White Socks site and saw a post I made years ago under user name Atlantis75. I forgot all about that, but it echoes the same bottom line: I’d give my left nut for a WOTW compilation CD!

  36. Hi John – I’m wishing you’d got that tribute site up and running, then I could be putting my feet up……never spotted it.

    Thanks for all the appreciation, It’s gratifying to know that our songs had an impact out there in Canada, an adventurous DJ too to play the 12″, doesn’t happen much these days with playlists etc. Looks like you’ve collected more versions of City For Lovers than I knew existed and definitely more than I own right now. Maybe I’ll contact you for a scan of those versions?

    Now, a CD? Personally I’d prefer to have a physical CD too but that would mean starting negotiations again with Universal who own the rights to our recordings. I’ve mentioned this somewhere else on the site already but a while back I approached Universal who took over Phonogram and MCA and asked if they’d give us the rights to our songs back as they’d done nothing with them for over 20 yrs. They wouldn’t do it. Also, a few years back, before the takeover, I tried to locate the master tapes for Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys in the MCA tape vaults. After a couple of days they admitted they couldn’t find them. So – even if I manage to sort something out with the bloodsuckers (sorry, record company) there’s a good chance they’ve miss-laid (re-used) the original recordings. WOTW have some copy masters of many of the songs and original 7″ & 12″ acetates of others. We used those to make the downloads for itunes but it would be great if we could locate the missing masters for a CD.

    Even so…….I should take a deep breath and do it, as it needs doing. I’ll know what’s happening before the end of August so with luck I may be able to announce an official Way Of The West CD here – watch this space. Anyway, I need to find out once and for all if the tapes are still there.

    Maybe we could go the Prince route and call ourselves ‘The Artists formally known as Way Of The West…and maybe prepare for life without your left nut?

    Thanks for the design offer. I’ve been touched by the various offers of help by fans on this site. If everything works out I’ll contact you.

    By the way, I never realised those lyrics were unclear? I’ve had people say they don’t make any sense but now I can tell them they’re not listening properly.

    Pete

  37. So pleased to have found this site and itunes album! I searched for information and around record shops for years and years. Saw the band in a club in Southgate, North London and also at the Rock Garden, Covent Garden. Best band I ever came across …. the music had a huge influence on me. Thank you for great memories … and now continued enjoyment to listen to Way of the West music again!

  38. We played the Rock Garden many times early on in our career, the AnR who eventually signed us to Phonogram saw us there first but……I have no re-collection of the Southgate gig?

    Of course this doesn’t mean we didn’t do it, those were hectic times but what if the best band you ever came across wasn’t actually us! I don’t want to give up that title without a fight so from now on that was us you saw – officially.

    Thanks Nick, If I manage to re-connect a few memory cells I’ll let you know.

    Pete

  39. lovely to see so much interest in WOTW stuff…these were great times and t’was a great band to be in!..HOLLAND/CANADA/USA et al..NEIL(BASS)…

  40. Harold Grey Says:

    What rabid fans! Willing to give up a left nut. Pete, I like you, but I don’t think I’d go that far 🙂 I tracked Dave Bonnefoy down in Australia when I was originally searching for WOTW info several years back. He is associated with some artists agency in Australia: http://www.stickylabel.com.au/artists.html

    Harold
    San Jose, CA

  41. John Greczula Says:

    Hi Pete,

    I don’t think your lyrics were unclear, it’s just for whatever reason, my brain somehow doesn’t hear what’s obvious in sung lyrics, I guess!

    I would be happy to re-register a WOTW-related web site domain again that you can use in the future, if you like. I’m swamped with my work but I would like to eventually put up discography pictures and whatever else you’d like to include.

    I will certainly take photos of the WOTW vinyl I have to show you. Please email me at xeno@xenoweb.com with your email address to send the photos to. I promise not to “bug” you.

    Did you know that the single version of “Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys” is on a compilation CD? It appears to be a promo-only CD called “B.L.A.S.T. – Modern Rock Program #4. I found this CD once when scouring GEMM.com for WOTW music on CD – the only thing I’ve ever found. The recording was taken from vinyl by the sounds of it. I can send you pictures…

    I truly hope the master tapes still exist and wish you luck – We’ll all be watching to see what transpires at the end of August. Worst case scenario would be to use the acetates or vinyl and clean up any “snap crackle pop” digitally.

    If Universal still owns the rights to the recordings, who owns the publishing? If a CD is released, will mechanical royalties need to be paid to Universal? At least, in today’s world, it would be easy to create a CD comp of the WOTW catalog with top notch audio quality, and not have to press more copies than you need. Again, I can help with sleeve design and probably the printing thereof.

    Sigh, I have 20 grand worth of recording gear sitting in storage – I wish it was set up, I’d love to offer/be offered a chance at doing some WOTW remixes! We should talk about this, it could still easily be done if the masters exist.

    By the way Neil (BASS), one of my favourite moments in WOTW recording is when the thick lush chorus kicks in on the bass line on the 12″ version of City For Lovers. It’s Magic!

    Pete, Neil, a shot in the dark – do either of you know of a U.K. band named “One O’clock Gang”? They appear to have had one album and a few singles, one called “Close Your Eyes (Think of England)” which also got played over here in the 80’s. My right nut is reserved for a comp CD of their recordings. ;0) But first things first!

    I see a figure running down the street…!

    John G
    Ontario, Canada

  42. John Greczula Says:

    While I’m at it…

    Pete, The 12″ of City For Lovers features a Roland TR-808 drum machine that kicks the mix off and stays in the background. (Can’t recall if the single has it, I’ve only listened to the single a couple times – I’ve worn out the 12″).

    I’m curious, whose idea was it to use the 808 and was the choice based on availability (the studio or a band member owned it) or was it because it was nearly a new product at the time and there was excitement around using it?

    On Feel The Steel, it sounds like there was some major interaction with a set of Simmons SDX electronic drums! This song seems to be the only WOTW recording with fully electronic drums – why the switch? Simply for something different, or an effort to capitalize on the expanding synthesizer use at the time? (Please be kind, I’m a synth lover!)

    Best,

    John G
    Ontario, Canada

  43. Harold – Thanks for the ‘stickylabel’ link to Dave but i tried that studio site a year ago and no luck. I wondered if they don’t exist anymore but I’ll give it another try. Thanks anyway.

    • dave bonnefoy Says:

      hi pete. drummer dave here checking into wotw central. just downloaded the album from itunes. sounds great well done . i’m sure you would have sent me a copy had i asked but i just could’nt wait as i have’nt heard some of those later tracks since the time of thier recording. thought they stood the test of time quite well. hope you’re doing fine i;m ok …stiill liveing in sydney oz . niel contacted me a couple of years ago but i mislaid his email address… would’nt mind getting in touch with all the chaps from the band’ maybe you could forward some adresses to me.

      i still keep my hand in on the drumming front, i have a small recording set up in my house where friends pop in from time to time .mainly to drink beer and talk about 80s bands they where in. we do play music at some of these sessions as well. we are called … the livingstones[i presume]. aparently, we’re being played on radio basingstoke…thought about calling the album…big in basingstoke…what ya think ? cheers, dave.

  44. John – so many questions….so little time……

    I’ll work back from the last to the first if that’s ok, but first, I may have to disappoint two long held beliefs of yours.

    1) I could be wrong but I don’t think that was an 808 on the intro to City For Lovers? We had a very early Korg drum machine (can’t remember which) which we used with a Tascam Portastudio to try out ideas quickly and I think that was what we used. At the time the state of the art drum machine was a Linn Drum but only studios had those. Still, till we get confirmation one way or the other from Dave we’re probably in ‘Schrodinger’s Cat’ territory here, it both is, and is not an 808. How about that for now?

    2) I don’t think that’s a chorus effect (or just a chorus effect) that comes in on Neil’s bass on the 12″.
    We experimented with kicking the bass out of phase as an effect and that’s what you’re hearing. I love that part too and it’s very powerful on headphones. If Neil doesn’t remember we’ll have to try and find out from Jeremy Green the producer. For those with any interest in this stuff, it was recorded with an Ampeg SV Bass Amp and DI’d too……

    That’s it for the balloon bursting….. Yes that’s a Simmons SDX but we only used the module not the kit and ran it from a Simmons Sequencer, a silver box with rows of flashing lights like something from Star Trek. I think Dave only played percussion on this song along with background vox. We were experimenting with all this stuff as it was pretty new at the time though when we played it live that was just Dave and no, we weren’t trying to capitalise on the expanding synthesizer use. WOTW were most definitely not a synth band, our concept was to push against the limits of our instruments. We weren’t anti synth at all and did try using one once, think it was a Wave PPG? but because of it’s unlimited nature it reduced the energy and edge so that was it. Is this making any sense?

    Thanks for the offer but don’t worry about any site registering. It never occurred to me that Way Of The West.com would be free because of the western movie. I’ll investigate what’s available but if you want to send me any scans or memorabilia for the site I’ll email you with an address.

    Also thanks for the offer of the use of recording equipment but after my time in music I’m up to my ears in the stuff as it is. I now have a small writing studio here but no reel to reel, which I’ll need if they ever find our tapes….

    As for a CD, as Universal own the rights to the recordings I would have to pay them mechanical royalties if I wanted to put out an official CD. As usual these weren’t very favourable to the band so I have to hope the label will take a smaller cut and don’t insist on the original contract. It would only be a small run which may make it not worth doing. I’ll put up the outcome here when I know.

    The publishing was owned by another large publisher but they’ve reverted to me now because of the time interval.

    We used tape copy masters and acetates of the music for the itunes downloads and for a couple of the acetates we did indeed have to iron out a few crackles. Even though we couldn’t remove every little pop, they still sounded fresh. It was worth it. Still, I’d love to find those masters – if they exist.

    Afraid I’ve never heard of the One O’clock Gang. Why not try ebay – if they’re worth ripping off, somebody will have done it by now as they it did to us, and you won’t have to sing soprano?

    cheers

    Pete

  45. neil doesn’t remember!!!..i’ll listen to it and try to work it out.(seem to remember thet it was something to do with the mixing desk ,though it could have been my incredible ability to overdub slightly out of time and tune..ahem!)…

  46. John Greczula Says:

    Pete,

    I dug out one of my City For Lovers 12″s and put it on as I haven’t listened to any vinyl in ages. Indeed, I may be speaking out my arse as now I agree that it very well may not be an 808. This is doubly embarrassing as I own an 808! Still, I’ve owned more than one over time and they can sound quite different depending on how the internal circuits are tweaked. Anyway, whatever drum box it is, it sounds very sweet indeed. I’m still curious to know either way though!

    I’ve got a LinnDrum as well but would like to find the original Linn LM-1 as the sounds of these when detuned are like nothing else.

    As for the bass, I realize there’s more than one way to create a “chorus” effect. Cool idea to put it out of phase at the desk – you can save money on effects pedals that way!

    Thanks for all the other info on the SDX and publishing. I do hope you are able to work something out with the record company. Good luck with it.

    One O’clock Gang – I think I’ve found all the vinyl they put out, I just prefer the “clean” sound of CDs much more.

    Jack Richardson stored many of the Guess Who master tapes at the college where I studied. He said there was sometimes the issue of the oxide coming right off the old tapes when trying to play them. So, may the oxide be FIRMLY stuck to the tape for all the missing WOTW masters!

    Best,

    John

  47. Hi,
    Stumbled across this site by accident. But what a great find.
    For years now, I’ve been trying to find out it is in fact correct that there were TWO 12″ versions of White Boys. I seem to remember back in the 80s (god, I’m getting old…) that there was a remix out there that had more percussion in it. Via the internet I’ve been asking around for matrix numbers of vinyls that were/are for sale but I’ve have no conclusive answer. I have both the dark blue and clear blue 12″s. The versions are the same. So, maybe a remix was made when the 12″ was re-pressed ?
    So then, were there 2 12″ versions ?
    PLEASE, can someone help me wiith the answer ?
    THANKS !!

  48. john aguirre Says:

    I remember covering Don’t Say It’s Just For Whiteboys in 82 with Joyce Rooks & I.M. great song just found it on youtube, thanks for the info.

  49. yvonne saunders Says:

    i would just like to mention my ex husband andy saunders was the original guitarist with pete, liz and dave and released don’t say that’s just for white boys with them on the phonogram label, recorded at scorpio studios, euston, london and produced by richard strange. quite a few of the songs on the album he played with them back in the days of the rock garden gigs, marquee gigs etc. i spent many many hours watching rehearsals in the early days until he left in late 1981. i have of course bought the album for sentimental reasons and think it still stands up well today

  50. John DeGrauw Says:

    Was just streaming Flashback Alternatives.com and heard the 12″ single for Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys. Figured I’d Google the band and came across your blog as a result. Thx for the info and your great blog! John. Brooklyn , NY.

  51. Richard Eccles Says:

    Hi Pete
    White Boys always a special song for me… My uncle Ken Flower had a rehearsal studio in Maida Vale that you used and I visited once when I was about 14 and he got me a signed copy of the 12 inch because I had said I liked it. I played it all the time at home . Whether this is the old pub you refer to probably yes at it was a corner triangle type building. They had a dog but not a German shepherd and I don’t remember it’s habits! I also remember having a go on drums belonging to The Boys and also my uncle was involved with John Otway. When I got first iPod a couple of years ago and looked for an obscure single with lots of memories I chose white boys as my first download.
    Best wishes
    Richard Eccles
    Cumbria

    • Hi Richard

      We rehearsed many times at your uncles studio in Maida Vale.
      We also did the photo shoot for DRUM there and the cover of that record and the photo of my head and Reid playing gtr on the TV at the top of this blog were from that shoot and all taken by Ken Flowers.

      Don’t think you’re right about the pub though. That was run buy an Irish bloke, the one with the incontinent alsation, which made our rehearsals a bit like learning songs mixed with bomb disposal. I think your uncle’s place was near there but on the opposite corner if I remember rightly? I hope he’s well.

      Pete

  52. Parker Dulany Says:

    My band Certain General played with you at The Mudd Club in early 1981. It was a great show and ‘White Boys’ was a big influence on our sound then and now. Our manager at the time was a big NYC dj named Sara Salir (Hurrah’s and Tier 3) and she played the hell out of that single of yours so we were naturally very excited to get to play with you. You were quite friendly and very interested in our music. Over the years CG played with many great bands in so many great venues, but this show with you at the legendary Mudd Club stands out as one of our most memorable. We still play and any time you are in NYC and want to play we will back you up. Thanks. Parker Dulany

    • Hi i’m Liz bass player with the band. Nice to hear your memories it was a great time and a great memory as that was a highlight of our tour. The Mudd Club is always iconic and we are happy to be part of it’s history.I can remember a DJ mixing white boys with another record and thinking this is the future, if only I had realized what was about to happen.

      • hello liz..i’m neil(second in line of bassists)..i remember seeing you and the band playing at the venue,victoria in 1982.i still have the ticket,little realising that i would attempt to fill your shoes a few months later! are you still playing?

  53. Thought you may be interested to know my band, The False Dots played a support gig with Way of the West on 3rd April 1981 at the Midland Arms in Hendon (now the Claddagh Ring). The gig was organised by a guy called Rob Armstrong, who ran a cassette duplication service called TCS and was looking to get into music promotion. As I recall, “Dont say its just for white boys” was or had recently been the Radio 1 single of the week. As I recall the gig was sold out and had quite a lot of press coverage in local papers.

    The gig also got mentioned in Sounds on 7th March 1981, in a piece on the new venue and in Trax on 10th April 1981

  54. Neil Hi how ya doin…..I sold my bass ages ago……got fed up playing in cover bands although i mastered lots of exquisite bass lines I’d never usually have played like Dire straights and Paul Simon and my favourite Peter Gabriel, very difficult to play but I managed.

  55. Harold Grey Says:

    Hi Pete. Hope you are doing well. Saw this interview and thought of you: http://thequietus.com/articles/11345-pere-ubu-david-thomas-interview

    Harold Grey
    San Jose, CA

  56. Thank you Harold. Sorry to anybody hoping to get a reply from me but I haven’t been able to join in for a while. All ok now.

    Yes Mr Certain General. I remember that Mudd Club gig and your band too. You were good. Good name too….When we do the Way Of The West coast to coast revival tour, you’re on the bill. That may be a bit off in the future though?

    Roger. Yes, that was an ‘intense’ night. It was good fun and a little rowdy just as Liz says. A few energetic skinheads there but no worries. Rob, the tape guy, booked us after hearing the tape we sent him to duplicate. Our first single hadn’t come out then but it had by the time of the gig.

    Pete

  57. Sorry Yvonne, I didn’t spot your comment.

    Lots of love to you and I hope you’re well. Also hope your ears are still operating properly after all those rehearsals?

    Pete

    • Yvonne Saunders Says:

      Hi Pete, thanks for the reply. I am fine, with two strapping lads, one of which is an amazing drummer/songwriter so it is great for me still having constant music around me. Have many happy memories of the band all those years ago and often wondered how everyone is. Downloaded the songs from itunes a while ago too and still think they are brilliant and relevant all these years later. Take care Yvonne x

  58. Really enjoyed your groove. I unfortunately traded my ‘City for Lovers 12″ for Soft Cell’s ” A Mug’s Game”….the second worst vinyl trade of my life…the first being trading all of my West Germany pressed Roxy Music LP’s….for hooch.

    ANYWAY…I was way deep into your scene seeing the band just about everywhere I could…just to hear the opening bass line in City rumble thru the room was worth the price of admission.

    Back in the day….WLIR rolled your vinyl non-stop….in the New York Metro Area.

    I put your band in the category…..Great Bands before their time…

    Hunter’s & Collector’s are there and so is Kitchen’s of Distinction.

    Thanks to the internet….the band is clicks away.

    • I was just going off again down the page tonight,
      about the crucial role WLIR FM played in breaking
      bands like WOTW but WOTW in particular, in this
      context. I also meant to add, though, how crucial
      getting a copy of the Village Voice every single
      week was, in the 1980s and 1990s, in terms of
      keeping a finger on the pulse of the concert scene
      and clubs, alone. The Village Voice plus college radio,
      some good indie record shops, and WLIR type
      stations were utterly crucial. And maybe some fanzines
      if you could find them which, on L.I. in those days,
      as now, wasn’t all that easy. NYC, Boston, Hoboken,
      Philly, D.C., much more so.

  59. Dundee Muso Says:

    Just heard White Boys on Absolute 80’s radio station, brilliant song with great beat and some real fab riffs and guitar work. The DJ gave some background about he band and the 5 singles. He also said there was an album recorded but never released ! !
    Suggest it would be worth getting cut on CD or put on I Tunes ?

  60. craig smolen Says:

    Did the Candymen have the same lineup and are there any songs from this band?

  61. Eugene Peterson Says:

    Hi Pete,
    Your music was innovative and very danceable, definitely one of the most interesting bands of the period.
    I believe I have (love) all of your vinyl singles, but one question plagues me: I seem to vaguely recall a remix of “City for Lovers” with a sound byte in the beginning (“Christina, You’re So Clever”) that differs from the Extended Version (“Keep Our Fingers Crossed, Ha Ha Ha”). Maybe it is a corrupt memory, please set this right.
    Thanks Pete, and yes, hope to see you on tour some day.
    Gene

    • Hello Eugene.
      Apologies for the delay in answering (only 18 months!) which I’ve explained further down this page.

      Now, your memory of those extra words in the radio voice on City For Lovers. I’ve asked Reid and he has no memory of it at all but way at the back of my mind I think you’re onto something.

      I taped that segment from a late night short wave station and it was part of a longer dialogue that I cut down. I reckon that somewhere there was an earlier ‘cassette only’ mix of a longer version with those words still there but how you heard it I can’t imagine?

      If I can find the original cassette and you’re right, I’ll put my hand up..

      Pete

  62. Hi Pete its Ian Todd-Weller Liz’s BRUv how are you Im living in MK and Liz is in Stony hankering to play again. Imsong writing too well trying Unfortunately my son Alex died age 21 not so long ago he was a drummer with a Band called invocation check them out on you tube or facebook So Way of the West I think a reunion gig would be good?? be good keep in touch itw777@aol.com oh and heres my song Tracks of Love
    .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7beq_vlMnY

  63. teleg o'shea Says:

    Saw WOTW at the old 9:30 Club in DC. Great memory!

  64. My first comment got eaten by WordPress: Pete, are you still
    posting on here? I, sadly, only discovered this blog tonight (June 14, 2016), after looking up the band again on YouTube for various
    reasons. I was so young in the early 80s that I was too young
    for the clubs whatsoever, and grew up on L.I. Nassau County,
    so recall Way of the West from WLIR FM radio airplay,
    and they’d play your singles and 12″ etc. on the weekend
    live club broadcasts from the Malibu nightclub in Lido Beach,
    Long Island, etc. and perhaps the odd college station here played
    your band, but my chief connection with you is via the
    once-venerable WLIR FM.

    My chief memories of hearing
    City For Lovers and White Boys is just that,
    sitting at home in my suburban bedroom on L.I. and playing
    WLIR on my boombox or Walkman and wishing I was
    old enough to go dance in the clubs!! WLIR of course,
    is now defunct except their
    online presence. By 1984-85 I’d started to at least
    see more shows, and became an R.E.M. nut very
    fast, so after that the die was cast. I count myself
    lucky to even have seen R.E.M. 3x live from
    1985-87 in NYC, mostly at Radio City. I didn’t
    start clubbing till 1987 or so, given the raise
    in drinking age which was nonsensical.

    I never even got to go to Peppermint
    Lounge, it closed by the mid 1990s or so, at least,
    and The Mudd Club shut down by at least the mid 80s
    if not before. Of course the later version of Max’s Kansas
    City shut down around 1985 or so, I believe?
    Even CBGBs I didn’t get to really go to
    until the later 80s and 1990s, and I was also
    too young for the infamous Danceteria!

    In any case, I’m a huge
    fan of your music, though I don’t even recall hearing
    the few later singles like Drum or seeing that video!
    I do hope you can manage to release a remastered
    Way of the West collection, somehow. Any plans
    to return and do some “reunion” shows at all?
    I know that would be tricky, given the several lineups.
    of course. The past few years we’ve even seen
    APB and China Crisis come through Long Island
    and NYC and do reunion shows, wnich is very
    bizarre, but true. I once saw APB do a great sweaty
    live show in 1987 in Sag Harbor L.I. at Bay Street
    club, although their WLIR heyday was a bit after
    your own band’s, I reckon. Even theirs was short-lived.
    since APB (a Scots band led by Ian Slater) was
    ever only on indie label LINK Records and never
    even got signed to the majors. Also a very good
    funk-punk dance band for sure!!

    Do you by any chance recall the artist Hilary (she
    was from the west coast, American) who did
    “Kinetic” and “Drop Your Pants” which also had a good solid video to promote it? I heard the poor lady passed away
    a few years ago. She did some fun new wave
    music as well. I don’t believe she ever got to
    release a proper album, either, or maybe one,
    just videos, singles, and 12″ singles.

    Cheers,
    Scott D. Briggs
    L.I., NY

    • Hi Scott

      Reading your account of your early days, it reads like someone who just missed out on all the wild things that were going on at the time because of your age?

      To comfort you I’d like to say it wasn’t such a big deal as it looked to someone looking through the glass from the outside.
      I’d like to say that but it was, it was…

      I’m glad you liked the music and that was a nice story of you sitting at home in your room with the late night radio feeding a young and impressionable mind all this crazy stuff. That’s what makes it worthwhile.

      Sorry, I don’t know of Hilary but her fate was shared by many great bands who never quite made it for all sorts of reasons.
      That’s the way of the west…

      Pete

      • Dear Pete,

        Great to hear from you!! Yeah, basically I grew up
        a classic rock kid like most of us on L.I. in the 70s and 80s,
        not getting a clue to the indie or underground movements
        until getting into college radio, and once WLIR FM radio
        changed formats in 1982 or so, and MTV started getting
        adventurous, it was only then that things started getting
        interesting. We went to concerts and such, but I wasn’t
        old enough for the clubs or smaller NYC venues until
        1986-87 onwards. Thus, I missed a lot of the classic NYC
        venues like Danceteria. By 1987-88 things were a lot
        different–I was working a record store job, in college,
        and was taking trips even to places like Sag Harbor LI
        to see the venerable WLIR-promoted band APB (the
        Scots punk-funk band that you may know, Ian Slater
        and co.).

        I’m honestly aghast reading your tales of
        Mercury not promoting USA or even NYC with your
        singles, etc., very much, and not pushing more touring
        here, given the buzz that your music was clearly creating
        in the clubs here, around the USA apparently as well,
        and on radio. All they would have had to hear was
        an average broadcast day of WLIR from 1982-1985
        to glean what a push they should’ve given to
        WOTW, it would’ve been a no-brainer. I don’t
        understand it also because, it seems like bands
        like The Mission U.K. received major pushes
        from the same label for years in the USA,
        with moderate touring, etc., though their
        heyday was obviously a few years later than
        y’all. Well, as you say, a lot of artists had
        struggles and not as much exposure as they should’ve
        received. Sadly I just attended a tribute concert
        for another fave 80s band of mine, Winter Hours,
        last month in NYC at Pianos, given we lost Michael
        Carlucci the guitarist and co-songwriter to a sudden
        heart attack last October, and we already had
        suffered their wonderful singer’s all too early
        death from drugs/OD causes in 2004. Winter Hours
        were also hands-down one of the finest unsung
        80s jangle rock bands, they had a fine string
        of indie releases, 2 LPS, and toured incessantly
        through 1990 or so, then signed to Chrysalis,
        got mistreated horribly and dropped, and then
        called it a day in 1992. Winter Hours were on
        LINK Records earlier, were from NJ and the
        Hoboken Maxwells scene, and college radio
        was key in their ascent, like many, but sadly,
        I also still blame mainstream radio and
        even the usually savvy WLIR for ignoring
        their output, at least in the NYC area. They
        may have received more airplay in other
        markets. Their disillusioning experience
        with Chrysalis caused them to break up,
        basically, which, to be sure, is not an
        uncommon story with so many artists.
        For every 10,000 Maniacs/R.E.M. going quickly
        to the majors and thriving and expanding,
        there was a Winter Hours banging out
        tons of fine music, only to be thwarted
        for various reasons. But if Joseph Marques,
        their singer and writer, (and what a singer and
        writer he was) succumbed to drugs as
        badly as it seems like he did later on,
        well, there’s that too to blame, alas.
        As for poor Hilary, she did some fine music
        but then seemingly disappeared on her
        own steam. Maybe that was her wish,
        I dunno, but WLIR was always behind her
        and played her music incessantly around
        the time WOTW hit the airwaves, so hearing
        all of that music is intertwined in my mind
        from the time. As well as The Thompson
        Twins and all the usual rot! I also knew
        the delightful power pop band The JudyBats later
        in the 1990s, they signed to Sire, were on MTV,
        had a big buzz going, then…well….lineups
        changed, tastes changed, grunge
        happened, and they limped on for
        a few more years and that was it. It’s odd
        how some major labels cultivate their artists,
        and some just don’t. And now things are
        100000x worse and more hideous in the
        music biz.

        I wanted to also reiterate how important
        WLIR FM here was in my hearing your music, and many
        others at the earliest point onwards. I didn’t always
        agree with some of the directions WLIR took later,
        and some of the narrow programming choices they
        often made at the expense of more adventurous
        or underground music, but on the whole, WLIR
        was an enormously important venue for bands
        like yours, and many others. I read there’s a documentary
        in the works on the station, and I do hope it comes out
        and is worth watching, as I’m sure it shall be.
        So WLIR shut down in 2002 or so, ultimately,
        and the station was sold and is now a Spanish-language
        only station.

        Anyway, Pete, sorry for the essay,
        I’m a writer and critic so we writers cannot, seemingly,
        shut up (haha)! I’m planning to go purchase the whole
        WOTW catalog on iTunes as soon as I can,
        get it on the old school iPod rig I still carry around.
        Cannot wait! Spotify was ok but expensive,
        and killing my iPhone data, so I dunno what’s so
        great about that. And the quality really isn’t that great.
        Meant to ask: do you recall what LI venues did you guys play?
        We used to have several new wave dance clubs
        on L.I. through the early 1990s, The Malibu
        in Long Beach was the major WLIR one,
        plus places like Spit in Levittown LI, Thrush,
        Paris NY, The Angle, 007, and various others.
        Spit in Levittown was near my high school,
        on most nights it was a horrid disco called
        Uncle Sams, other nights, punk and goth
        and new wave for many years until it mysteriously,
        ahem, burned down in the later 1990s!!
        It’s too bad you guys didn’t press on into
        the later 80s, since if you kept touring here,
        places like Maxwell’s in Hoboken,
        or The Knitting Factory (once in downtown
        NYC) would’ve been thrilled,
        I believe, to have you in residency!!
        If you came back now and toured,
        I daresay they STILL would be.

        Cheers,
        Scott Briggs

      • P.S. Here’s a link for Hilary (nee Blake)’s “Kinetic” video:
        don’t recall what label she was on, but she only
        put out perhaps two albums and a bunch of singles
        and 12″s herself. What a brilliant piece of electro pop here!
        Her other popular single “Drop Your Pants” was a tad more of a novelty tune. “Kinetic” reminds me of a wondrous mix
        of Kraftwerk, early DM, later Cab. Voltaire, and Lene
        Lovich et al.

        https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yfp-t&p=Hilary+Kinetic+video#id=2&vid=dee5c0f72b9e89fec15446a539464012&action=click

      • I Like that. Along with those influences you mention I can hear early Gary Numan
        though Hilary is more playful. Thanks for the link,

        Pete

  65. To all the people who’ve been commenting on here for the last couple of years and wondering where their messages had gone or why no-one was replying. I’m afraid the answer is that I managed to lock myself out of my own site, partly a broken password and partly a change to the way the site worked. Whatever, it meant that I couldn’t approve any of your kind and interesting views or get into any dialogue at all.

    Here’s hoping I’ve managed to fix the problem permanently and everything now works as it should. Anyway, I’m blaming the Ghost In The Machine till I hear otherwise. Meanwhile I’ll work through and try to answer any questions that need answering.

    I’ll put this reply on all the pages so we know where we are.

    Many apologies to our loyal WOTW fans out there

    Pete

  66. Carolyn Says:

    Hi Pete!
    Hope all is well in your neck of the world.
    Just a shout out to say hello. It has been a few years.
    Carolyn

  67. Hi Carolyn
    it’s good to hear from you again!

    The world seems to be getting crazier and crazier
    and drowning in news (and now France).
    it’s a welcome change to hear from a rational being.

    Hope you’re well and happy
    Pete

  68. For the incurably curious I’ve put three of my own songs, strange love songs I guess (not WOTW songs) as a playlist on SoundCloud. I’ve kept Mercury66 as an id and the playlist is called Pop Not Pop. They should be down-loadable but I haven’t figured that out yet.

    One track, Haunt You, was co-written with legendary pianist Mike Garson who was Bowie’s piano player, playing the famous solo on Aladdin Sane and many of his records. Sadly, I think you can tell pretty quickly that it’s not me on piano…The very cool backing vocals are by my friend Dawn Joseph.

    All comments are welcome but we should probably keep them on the SoundCloud page. Not being an expert I’m hoping it’s possible to comment there.

    Also not being an expert in these things I’m hoping this link here actually works! Please let me know if it doesn’t.

    Pete

  69. Pete,

    A brief (!) note to say chuffed you liked Hilary, aggh
    what could’ve been. She of course was an early WLIR
    highlight fondly recalled by many. Gary Numan right,
    I can see that influence as well. I got off me duff tonight
    and purchased the whole WOTW kit on Itunes so that’s
    sorted, right to the Ipod for sure. Did you ever have any run-ins with the band APB at all? They were rather good, also “punk funk” but not as “arty” as A Certain Ratio, perhaps. I think APB
    lasted till 1989 or so. I did hear they came back for some
    shows in NYC a few years back, but didn’t get to attend.
    I think some of the footage is on YouTube.

    Scott

  70. No Scott, no run-ins with APB, though I know the name. Thanks
    for getting the songs and I hope you like them.

    Pete

  71. Pete:

    I figured not, but you never know. I read yet again on APB
    that they’d been going since 1979, I had no idea that was
    the case, but did recall them constantly playing The Ritz
    in NYC for a number of years (the downtown Ritz). Apparently
    their own small indie label had no idea that their first singles
    were getting tons of club play in NYC and LI NJ area(s),
    a sadly familiar tale. But why it would take them till almost
    1985 to capitalize on this, I dunno, then again, a small label
    is just that and has a limited pull and budget. But a label
    like MCA should have had no such excuse! Anyway, been
    enjoying the WOTW collection immensely on the old Klipsch
    headphones, cannot believe I never heard 90% of this
    music before.

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