The Story

In the early 80’s when ‘New Romantic’ music, heavily synth laden, electronic drums etc, was the big movement, a few bands decided not to take that route but to take the standard line up of bass, drums, and electric guitar to a different place.

You could count among them Talking Heads and Pere Ubu in the States and Gang Of Four, The Pop Group and The Cure in the UK. A lesser known band who took that route was London band Way Of The West, who, for various reasons, not least that they never released an album and didn’t play on much beyond their last single release, remain pretty much a mystery.

Way Of The West, the short version….

It was the early 1980s and Pete Kearney had spent a long time unlearning the ‘proper’ way to play the guitar. He wanted a more jagged sound and would hit the strings, scrape them, mess around till he had something he liked. He also de-constructed his name to Carney as he said he preferred people to pronounce it properly than spell it properly.

He wrote some songs and got a like minded bunch of people to join him. They played gigs and the fans seemed to like them. They got some great reviews and there was a real buzz. They were signed to a major record company (Phonogram).

Their first single ‘Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys’ was released to critical acclaim and did well. In the US it became a cult hit in the clubs and on local radio and they toured the East coast of America, but the company still wouldn’t release it there so it stayed on import only.

There were 2 more singles on that label, See You Shake & Drum, all well received but they had signed a ‘singles only’ deal and the record company wouldn’t commit to an album. Eventually after a couple of years they managed to get another label to buy out their contract.

They were a small label with just 4 acts, (Innervision) but one of them was George Michael and when he took off they couldn’t cope, they didn’t even have a secretary.

Way Of The West wanted to record their album but after a year of inactivity, Innervision, in turn, did a deal with MCA who promised to record it. They recorded their last 2 singles Feel The Steel & City For Lovers there and, much later than they’d hoped, they went into the studio to work on their album.

They finished the album and were given a release date but before that happened the label got cold feet and eventually they were dropped. During that time they continued touring America and Europe, always going down well with fans.

They carried on for another couple of years but without support or record releases it was impossible to regain any momentum and eventually they called it a day.

The album was never released.

And that’s it. The short version. And if you were just curious about what happened to this band that promised so much, you can stop now, you’ve got the basics. But if you want to know how it felt from the inside? Read on. Just the standard tale of innocents caught in the machine? Partly. Due to the success of our songs on import in the States, we found ourselves probably more popular there than at home, and without new record releases and the cost of touring we could no longer play there. We’d also not been as media savvy as some others and hadn’t really forged any strong relationships with individual writers in the UK music press, who were very powerful in those days. When we decided to definitely stop we didn’t leave many traces on the radar, though every so often you’d hear, “I wonder what happened to them?

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Why Now?A few years ago, just out of curiosity, I typed Way Of The West into Google to see what was there. And what was there? Virtually nothing.

A few record stores with one or two old Way Of The West singles for sale, and that was it. Not much to show for a band that had regularly toured the US and Europe and released a bunch of records that got great reactions.

But I wasn’t surprised, we’d had a strange career, signing to three different record labels and yet only releasing singles and no album, though we did record one, and never even getting it together enough to start any kind of proper fan club.

Earlier this year, I searched for info on the band again, fully expecting no
change, but what do I find? There are people out there who remember us http://www.deathwearswhitesocks.com/2007/02/way-of-west.html among others, who know the music, stupefaction and < good job I kept my turntable also among others, who maybe even saw us play live, some of our songs are played on internet stations and myspace sites specialising in 80’s ‘new wave’ ,and there are some of you who want to know why there’s so little about us out there.

I genuinely didn’t expect to find anything and it was a good feeling to realise that we’d had some effect on people who thought and still think that we were a good band. I happen to think they’re right, but then I’m biased.

Pete Kearney

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The Name, Way Of The West, came from a line in a song by an American band that we all loved back in the day, Pere Ubu. They had an album called ‘The Modern Dance’ and one of the songs (sorry I can’t remember which) had the line “Well, suffer….That’s the way of the west’.
Great name, I thought.

Our first line up

Liz Weller Bass Guitar

Dave Bonnefoy Drums & Backing Vocals

Andy Saunders Guitar

Pete Kearney Guitar, Vocals

Liz Weller answered an ad I put in the Melody Maker. I can’t remember the wording but we arranged to meet in a pub near my flat in Maida Vale, west London. She turned up, nervous but confident, if that’s possible, and wearing a little home made badge saying ‘Are We Not Men’? a logo based on a song by the ‘deviants from Akron’ Devo.

She was worryingly far more knowledgeable than me about this kind of stuff. She also had a 3/4 size Music Man bass guitar as she found the full size ones a bit unwieldy. Another reason to sign her up.

Dave Bonnefoy I think also answered an ad in the music papers. We went out to see him at his place where he was still living with his mother and older brothers.

We were all fairly young but he looked seriously young and turned out to be just 17. None of us had a car and Dave’s mum had to take his old Rogers drum kit and him to the audition. It turned out he wasn’t just seriously young, he was seriously good too and we tried to act casual as we told him we’d call him later, and then worried that some other band would get to him first.

Andy Saunders, again I think we found Andy through a small ad. I do remember he turned up wearing an orange T shirt with G Plan written across it. In the UK this is a brand of furniture that had passed it’s sell by date. I couldn’t decide whether this was actually a really cool (pre) postmodern statement or just the only thing he had. I still can’t. He was a good guitar player though and understood what we wanted so he was in.

Jason Warre wasn’t an original band member as such, more a friend who played with us (sax & percussion) in the early years so often that he might as well have been. He also played the sax on our first single Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys.

We met through an earlier unlikely incarnation when I somehow ended up ‘managing’ the all girl ska group on 2 Tone records The Bodysnatchers, thebodysnatcherslater to become The Bellestars.

They were all beautiful and dangerous, a lethal combination and nothing I’ve done since has been as scary. I handed over after a few months to someone who knew what they were doing but by then I had met Jason, who was the brother of one of the many boyfriends in tow.

Pete Kearney, I had spent ages learning to play my battered acoustic and my Burns electric, bought for £5 in a second hand shop. I was into bands like Wire and Brian Eno, The Clash and The Pop group, with Kraftwerk and even The Beach Boys in there too. I also spent ages looking at Top Of The Pops and thinking, “I could do that”! I’d written a few songs and thought they were pretty good and now I needed some people to play with.

Suddenly there was a music explosion and everybody else seemed to be doing it too, new bands were springing up everywhere, The New Musical Express was the paper to write for, if you couldn’t play in a band. But play in a band was what I wanted to do and 4 months after placing the first ad, that was what I was doing.

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2nd line up

Liz Weller Bass Guitar
Dave Bonnefoy Drums & backing vocals
Reid Savage Guitar
Pete Kearney Guitar, Vocals

Reid Savage we found via another well known London band, Sore Throat. onetimeonelife They had a riotous live show and have been recognised by Madness and others as a real influence. Andy was the only Way Of The West member who was married and with a regular job, and didn’t feel he could abandon everything to live the well paid ,morally upright, and secure lifestyle of a touring musician. He was probably right too.

Reid took over when Andy left us, a few days before we were to do a gig at Dingwalls, a well known venue in London’s Camden area. He learned every number and played without a single mistake. He was and is a great guitar player and a natural. He can also consume an extraordinary amount of alcohol for one so thin!

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3rd line up

Neil Rickarby Bass Guitar
Dave Bonnefoy Drums & backing vocals
Reid Savage Guitar
Pete Kearney Guitar / Vocals

Neil Rickarby. By this time we were playing more complex stuff, rhythm and chordwise. Liz didn’t really enjoy the touring life, and it was definitely harder for her as a single woman on tour with three guys and everything they get up to, so she decided to quit before we did another tour around Europe and the US. We advertised for a new bass player and Neil came along. Looking a bit fierce with his shaved head he was actually a brilliant player and a good guy.

There are a couple of honorable mentions here too. If I’ve left anybody out I apologize. I’ve always had a bad memory for names so if you’re out there and feel rightly offended by your absence, please remind me.

Greg Mason, an original Sore Throat member like Reid and one of his best friends, took over from Jason Warre when he (Jason) found it too difficult to tour. A sickeningly brilliant natural musician who played drums and keyboards too, he joined us on sax & percussion for most of the later dates in Europe, two US tours and also played on our last 2 singles and the album.

Graham Cooper, our long suffering ‘manager’. I put the manager tag in quotes because he actually did everything else as well. He spotted us early on, believed in us and was always there beyond the call of duty. You can see his legs poking out from under our broken down truck in the Holland pictures (Band Photos & More page)Though we did have what you could call ‘real managers’ occasionally too, Graham was the one we called when we needed anything and could be trusted, even with the drink… You can check out his top half on the left of the Tel Aviv street pic. He’s moved on to mega stardom since us (well, in tour management and lighting circles) but I hope he still remembers his time with us with a smile. If not a full wallet………

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In the beginning we rehearsed in a church hall in North London and then ‘advanced’ to the top floor of an old pub in Maida Vale, London, just round the corner from the BBC studios where The John Peel Show was recorded and where we later did, I think, two Peel sessions. Of course, I don’t have them. The landlord had an enormous german shepherd dog that shit wherever it liked, which apart from the dubious smell, meant we were pretty careful where we sat down.

We played as often as we could, everywhere, mainly around London, as of
course we were broke musicians, but also a few memorable gigs in Scotland and some northern cities, Coventry, Wolverhampton, Leeds and others.

We were looking for a more angular sound, and experimenting with new ways of playing the standard instrument line up, guitars, drums, bass. Of course ‘angular and challenging’ were words that the record companies dreaded and suspected were code for unlistenable and unsellable’ but nevertheless ,after 18 months or so of gigging as often as we could, we were signed, first to a publisher and a little while later to Mercury records, a label on Phonogram. I remember thinking that was quite cool, as Mercury was also Pere Ubu’s label in America. Little things please little minds?

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2 homemade gig posters from our pre-signed days.

Early poster 1Early poster 2

Phonogram was a happening label in the 1980s. The guy who signed us had just signed Tears For Fears and they were doing well so confidence was high. Their office was in Bond St, a very upmarket London shopping district and right next door to Chappells, a musical instrument shop who did well out of the Phonogram artists dropping in. The first thing I did with the advance was to buy a black Fender Telecaster which I used from then on, though the guitar on our first single ‘Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys‘ was my old original £5 Burns electric. That was a nice guitar but a bit temperamental for touring. The Tele was the heaviest and simplest guitar you could buy, drop it and it stayed in tune. When we started out we couldn’t afford roadies so that was a plus. Of course it also sounded good.

Hearing your song on the radio is a startling thing, and you never get blase about it. Maybe it’s those first few bars when you think “What is that”? And then the realisation “Holy shit – it’s us”! Whatever. Of course things may be different for Madonna but….. Anyway, ‘Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys‘ was a big radio hit when it came out and we heard it everywhere. A well known BBC UK radio dj (Peter Powell) picked it as his record of the week and as he was a regular dj on Top Of The Pops we had hopes of being on it. This was a major show at the time and guaranteed a song would go much higher, but it stalled and missed it’s chance.

A few weeks later someone told us that the song was a club hit in the US and a small promoter there wanted to do a tour. We checked and it had been the most played song in the clubs for 2 months running, due to it’s exposure on local and college radio. The record company hadn’t told us about it and it became clear that they weren’t interested in putting it out there at all. I think they missed a good thing but there you go. It stayed on import only but we did do a small tour on the East Coast and it was great. Whenever we went to a club there, the three most played songs were Soft Cell’s Tainted Love, Billy Idol’s White Wedding and Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys. In New York that first time, in a very hot summer, I think we played the Mudd Club and The Peppermint Lounge, both great nights, though I’m not sure whether any of those places are still open.

Going to America was the catalyst for Andy leaving, He’d been getting uneasy as the time approached and we’d been pressuring him to make his mind up. I don’t think that deep down he really believed we would get anywhere or what that would mean for him if we did. He was the only one of us married and with a regular job and it all blew up one evening and he left. We were in trouble as we’d been getting great reviews for the record and gigs and had one booked for the week after. In the end Reid came to our rescue, learning the whole set in a week and we did the gig. It was a sticky moment but I think we all came out stronger in the end.

We toured America, I think four times, from 81 to 84. Mercury Records weren’t really interested and wouldn’t release the single there. They wanted us to stay in the UK, but as they wouldn’t commit to an album, we preferred to tour and keep busy.

Our first time in the US we played just a few gigs around the New York area and Washington DC but the second time, Nov – Dec 82 US Tour Dates 82we drove right across the country from East to West playing practically every night with our second from last gig in the I-Beam in San Francisco and the last at the Danceteria in NY two & a half days later, driving non-stop to get back. I think we got 3 speeding tickets on the one day.

In between, we played as often as we could in Europe, more than once in Holland including some open air music festivals and lot’s of universities and clubs in the UK.

After all our problems with the lack of an album, everybody would ask when it was coming out and we had to admit we didn’t know, we eventually managed to re-sign to Innervision, a label with only 4 acts, one of which was Wham, George Michaels pop duo with Andrew Ridgely. We were only there a short time when Wham took off, bigger than even the record company expected and being a small outfit without even a secretary, everything else got pushed further and further behind. We were promised we’d be going into the studio soon to start the album but of course ‘soon’ never arrived so eventually, after even more contractual stuff, we re-signed for the last time, to MCA.

This time we did make it into the studio to record our album. Most of it was done at Wessex Studios in North London with Jeremy Green producing. We recorded City For Lovers while working on the album and I remember we had an early and very expensive sampler to insert the ‘Keep Your Fingers Crossed’ sample which could record and playback something like six whole seconds, we were all seriously impressed with that. Think it cost thousands. Here are a few pictures from the studio.

Ecstatic! Reid, Dave & Pete Neil, Reid & Dave stare at a fader?

This session is going really well….. Reid Dave & Pete recording at Wessex Reid Neil & Dave stare at a fader

In the end though it all came to nothing. City For Lovers was critically well received but didn’t exactly storm the charts. We recorded our 5th and last single Feel The Steel back at Scorpio Studios with Dennis Weinrich and Mark Kamins and that was that. At the end of 84/85 we were out of a deal.

We did carry on for a while, maybe another couple of years but it was increasingly hard without record company support. We had plenty of songs but no way of getting them out and because we were only ever released on import in America we had no label there either. Eventually we had to call it a day.

I guess we ‘could’a been contenders’ but no matter. It didn’t work out, which is the story for most bands anyway. At least we had a hand full of songs released that caused a stir at the time and are still played today. If we could have done a few things differently, maybe we would have pushed harder to get our songs properly released in the US, been more careful with the original recording contract, made sure we had a genuine album deal but there you go. Bands still make those mistakes now because some part of them can’t believe that people actually want to give them money to do what they’ve always wanted to do.They don’t really want to ask awkward questions.

When we had our first single out, Don’t say That’s Just For White Boys, I decided to keep a little diary, mainly because right at the start we had no manager. I found it again when I started doing this blog and opened it at random. In between the memory joggers such as

10 am Phonogram. 1.30 pm interview with Record Mirror. And “Got a slagging in NME today, Barney somebody, but good review in Melody Maker“, there was a little note. “Went out to buy clothes but spent most of the time walking about. Liz got some stuff in the market at Covent Garden and we ended up in a fish & chip shop listening to ‘White Boys’ on the radio”.

Another day…….. that’s the Way Of The West………….

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44 Responses to “The Story”

  1. Thanks 1M Pete for putting this out there!
    I have been a WOTW fan since I can’t remember when. Over the years, I have been telling my friends since forever about this “Brigadoon-like” band that blew my mind back in the day. I usually got a blank stare, and a “who???” I stumbled onto the “DWWS” site back in February and finally got to quench my WOTW thirst with a full download of the songs that were slowly slipping beyond my memory. Now with all of this info, the gaps are now filled.
    I had the good fortune of seeing WOTW live twice if I remember correctly, once in NYC at Danceteria and once at the now gone great club, City Gardens in Trenton NJ.
    Nice to be able to say thanks for the tunes at long last and pass on the fact that there are some of us that remembered your music fondly and enjoyed and respected your efforts.
    Be well!
    DiP

  2. Hi DiP

    “Brigadoon like”? We’ve been called lots of things but that’s a first. Thanks also for the kind words, it’s good to know we made a mark with people back in the day.

    I remember our gig at the Danceteria, big place with different levels and I think I also remember Trenton NJ, smaller but wilder, on a very hot summer night. If I have my timeline straight, the night after the Danceteria we saw Run DMC at Paradise Garage. Don’t suppose that’s still there either.

    If you haven’t checked it out, there’s a new (old!) live take from a club in Boston on the music page. I’ll add more as I get the time.
    Good to hear from you.
    Pete K

  3. Yes Pete, Danceteria was the multi-leveled club on West 21st St. City Gardens was a wild pit of a club in the heart of the inner-city. City Gardens, along with Emerald City in Cherry Hill NJ (also now long gone) were THE places to see EVERYBODY while I was in college other than heading up to NYC! Like Maxwell’s now, there was no backstage so the bands were forced to take the stage through the crowd. That usually led to a drunken shoving match before the show even got started.
    I found this website and it partially explains why I saw the Ramones so bloody often. No WOTW show listed unfortunately but a lot of other amazing shows.

    http://cornslaw.net/city_gardens/index.htm

    The new compilation disc sounds like a great idea.

  4. Hey, look what I found!

  5. Well done! Amazing what’s out there. I seem to remember Men Without Hats?

  6. that must have been a very early BAD BRAINS gig!! i too have some flyers,i’ll dig them out and endeavour to put them on the site..

  7. Neil – Just for the record, the Bad Brains had most likely been around for 4 or 5 years by the time this gig took place.

  8. Like many peers I was in NYC in my teens when all these tunes were released. I was broke and rarely bought records, having to rely on WNYU’s “New Afternoon Show” as my primary source of music. I recorded these songs on the cheapest tapes possible, and in true record-from-the-radio fashion I would inevitably miss the name of the song and the artist – having to sort it out for myself for years to come.

    I knew “Don’t Say that’s Just for White Boys” from friends but could not really find WOTW records when I later had cash to regularly purchase records. “Drum,” however, was a real mystery. It was sandwiched (without any DJ bater) on an old tape of the “New Afternoon Show” that eventually disintegrated. So by the internet age, when hunting for lost footprints became easier, I didn’t even have an audio reference to go by. (Took me years to figure out that “Roads Girdle the Globe” – heard on the same radio program – was so titled and included as a “bonus” single packaged with XTC’s “Drums and Wires” LP) So imagine my shock and surprise when last week I found a video of “Drum” on Youtube, while scanning the web for “Don’t Say that’s Just for White Boys”. Two for the price of one.

    • Like he (Peter J K) said! I followed WNYU’s New Afternoon
      Show religiously for many years, but especially from
      1984-1988 or so, and still I mainly recall Way of the West
      from WLIR FM L.I. NY (briefly also WDRE) rather than
      NYU’s station. I bought records on and off through this
      period but was in jr. high at best, had limited income,
      and limited record stores to buy them, except rare
      forays into NYC but mainly post-1984 in my case.
      If not for WLIR I would never have heard Way of the West,
      and if not for WNYU, remained ignorant of the likes
      of Throbbing Gristle, Scratch Acid, or E. Neubaten!!

  9. Found your site a couple days after I posted Don’t Say That’s Just For White Boys on my blog! Great song – I look forward to hearing the rest of your recorded work! If you’re interested to know – ‘Don’t Say’ was played on the radio show that my blog is dedicated to tonight, sandwiched between The Odd’s – Heterosexual Man and Depeche Mode’s – Precious.

  10. Hi Peter & Ralf

    Strange but ‘White Boys’ seems to be getting some kind of re-discovery exposure out there. The BBC have just played it on a couple of their radio stations this month, I think one was DJ’ed by Tom Robinson of War Babies fame according to friends. Of course I missed them both…..

  11. Carolyn von Hauck Says:

    Hello Pete,
    Imagine that… digging through my old albums, looking at WOTW and a few letters fell out dating back to the 80’s and a postcard from Jaffa. I Googled and ended up here. Sending out a hello from across a few years and hope you are well. Glad I still have the vinyl. Cheers!

  12. Well I never!…..The power of Google, and our small world getting smaller. I do hope you’re still outraging the world from on high Carolyn. D’you know I often wondered, but Google never occurred to me?

    Actually that’s a pretty good book/ song title you’ve hit on – ‘Postcard From Jaffa’.

    Pete

    • Carolyn von Hauck Says:

      Hello Again Pete,
      Hope all is well in your neck of the world. Listening to my iTunes purchases of WOTW. Great music, great memories.

      Cheers,
      Carolyn

  13. I remember WOTW playing in a dance venue in Southgate, North London in summer 1981 and being into the distinctive, jagged guitar sound which set them apart from the other more glossy sounds around. I would estimate about 100 were at the gig.
    I also recall around the same time, a colleague at work hummimg ‘ just for white boys’ but was unable to name either the band or the song so they must have been getting some airplay. I always thought they were a local band but it appears that NYC had the same idea; strange that it has taken 27 years to get the full story.

  14. I was an avid collector of “Flexipop” when it was around, but I found that most of the offerings were “discarded demos” rather than something that was worthy of a chart release.

    I often found the most rewarding tracks were those by artists I had no pre-conceived expectations about.

    Way of the West was one that probably made the biggest impression out of the whole series… Here’s a track on an E.P. with such luminaries as Thin Lizzy & Graham Bonnet & yet it was “Monkey Love” that I had in my head for decades.

    I recently went searching to see if there was anything else by this mysterious band & eventually found a site that had a number of other tracks.

    I downloaded these & have been playing them regularly, although the quality wasn’t great, I used my Sound Engineering skills to remaster the tracks (I even got my Flexi of “Monkey Love” sounding crisp).

    Just as I burned my CDR I was put onto this site which has even more music & quality stuff it is too, I love the arrangements & vocal harmonies.

    You were a talented bunch, if you were still recording, I’d love to work with you.

    If there’s any more material out there, I’ve got to hear it!!!

  15. Thanks Dave. Monkey Love was a song we all liked a lot and was going to be the original B-side for our first single, but when we were asked to do something for Flexipop (and you’re right, the record company didn’t want us to ‘waste’ a good song on there but we didn’t agree) and we found out who the other acts would be, we wanted something that would deliberately sound very different to them and Monkey Love was ideal.

    Now, If I’d known there was an engineer out there cleaning up the tracks and putting them on CD, that would have saved me a lot of trouble. Never mind, It looks like i may get some tape copies from the original masters soon, fingers crossed. As for any more material, most of it is already out there but there are a couple of things I’m looking at and when they’re done I’ll put them up here.

    We don’t work together as a band anymore these days but there are a few things I’m still involved with and I’ll email you to check out. All the best.

    Pete

  16. Cheers Pete,

    I have a fair bit of spare time these days as I work part-time for the NHS (yeah, very musical) but I used to work for Sound Control until they went bust, which made me look for something a little more secure.

    I still play with several bands & engineer at venues on occasion, but I love cleaning up stuff that is otherwise unavailable & mastering CDs as a sideline, but if anything turns up that needs a little tweaking, I’ll be happy to give it a go.

    Dave

  17. Hi Pete,
    I, like many others it would appear have been trying to get hold of your music for a long long time.
    I played Bass in the support band when you played at the General Wolfe in Coventry, I also got to see you at Warwick Uni as well.
    ‘Don’t say that’s just for white boys’ has been floating around in my head for over 20 years…….I’m glad you got to release your album at long last,
    If you are still in touch with Liz say Hi from me.
    Ian Jones

  18. Pete –
    Well you may be biased but I’m not. I first became a fan when I heard White Boys on WLIR (NYC) and WNYU and in clubs – it became my favorite song for a while, and I bought the 12″. [It reminded me a bit of the Police only better!] Then I got Drum & City For Lovers. I finally picked up Feel the Steel and See you Shake just a few years ago. If you just assembled an album with these 5 singles & nothing else, it would be one of the best CDs ever! These songs are not only catchy & brilliant but also timeless. With a bit of effort and some more exposure, I seriously think you guys could develop a decent following for the simple reason that there’s really a lot of substance in those 5 singles. By the way, I decided to write a little blurb on you guys on lastfm.com – you might want to take a look and see if it’s accurate or could be embellished. I only did it because I thought it was a travesty to NOT have anything up there!

    Cheers & good luck!
    Jason B

  19. Hi Ian

    I’ll pass your message onto Liz. I do remember the General Wolfe, a great live music gig. Apologies but I’m afraid I don’t remember the name of your band that night but I’m sure you were fabulous. You can jog my memory here wotw@innocent.com

    Jason.
    Maybe we will put out a singles only CD with all versions. I’ve said before here that the problem is negotiating with the record company as they won’t return the songs. Still, I’m working on it. Glad you finally managed to find them all, they’re getting hard to get these days. I looked at the last.fm blurb too and thanks for doing that.

    Pete

  20. http://www.myspace.com/big_head_ed

    i am a little younger than you guys and met you guys in long island at a gig.
    there was nobody there and i had way of the west all to myself.
    you guys werent happy but asked me how i heard of you and i said wlir.
    i was and am a huge fan.
    i still listen to a zip file i found on the net a of all the above singles and more.

    good quality!
    i cant believe i found it. 14 songs total.
    a god send.
    i think and write like you guys,check out my stuff.
    theres nothing 80s sounding on there.
    but i was there and with some revamping and new material and new sounds…….it could come full circle.
    the sound was never given a chance.
    my services are free.and expect nothing in return.
    Ed Basile

  21. Some days ago, I happened to stumble upon the “Don’t say that’s just for white boys” and I’ve been very fascinated with that piece, in fact I still can’t stop listening to it, especially the 7 min long 12 inch version. so I’ve been very surprised to find there’s only very little information to the band on the internet. So I’m glad you made that little site. By the way, that Pere Ubu Song you got your nam from is my favourite song by the band and is called “Humor Me”.

    Stefan

  22. At last…news on WOTW!
    I picked up The Collection on ebay lasy year…Brilliant!
    A question for you…did the band ever record a song call “Way of the West”?? I seem to recall I had it on 7in single but time has frazzled my memory….someone walked off with it I’m sure

  23. Not guilty. All the released titles and B-sides are
    on the music page here.

  24. […] his bands name and nothing came out and decided to write himself the story of Way of the West, so read it here, beacause there is still nothing besides maybe one blog post and you tube uploads, and well, maybe […]

  25. Hey, great to find you! Had all the 12″ singles back in the day, sadly all long gone now, and got to see you in London somewhere back in the ’80’s – I think the gig may have been at the Lyceum, with Fischer z??

    Anyway, keep on keeping on – great music!!

  26. Way Of The West has always been on my mind since I first heard them back in 1984 and I always loved their recordings. Drum, White Boys and City For Lovers inspired my own music very much – to me WOTW was one of the best 80´s Wave bands, great grooves and great vocals. It´s a pity the guys never released an album….

  27. Craig B Says:

    Thank you so much for putting up this web site. WOTW were in my head for such a long time but sadly I lost my record collection in 85 and was unable to find any information (would have helped if I had remembered the name accurately). Yesterday I was listening to The Skids and the music stirred up memories and I woke up with the song “White Boys” in my head and the full name, I quickly entered it into a search engine and finally arrived here and listened to the songs again. Really enjoyed hearing them and reading the stories… bit older now but still good music.

  28. I have a fairly strong feeling that I saw WOTW live doing our Christmas party at Digby Hall, University of Leicester in December 1981 – could I be right?

    I am sure the bass player was a woman and she wore a purple mettalic wig. You/they were brilliant..

    I certainly ownes DSIJFWB and Drum.

    Phil

  29. Yes Phil your memory serves you well. That was us and you’re right about our bass player Liz too. I’d say it was more of an electric blue
    though for what it’s worth.

    Glad you liked (and remembered) it anyhow.

  30. Richard Blais Says:

    Don’t Say That’s Just for White Boys came in #79 on Toronto’s CFNY 102.1 Best Damn Music of ’82 – voted by the listeners. This song was played once a day, as this was the radio station rule for all songs played on this once great radio station. Had the vote been taken during the spring/summer of ’82, it would have surely placed in the top 10. However, by the end of the year, when the voting was tabulated, it still managed to sneak into history with a placement. Check out the list to see the greatest year of music – ever … http://spiritofradio.ca/Charts/CFNY-1982.pdf

    Great to hear your music once again … I love it … !

  31. HI Richard – It’s funny, this song popped into my head a few months ago too! I think I heard White Boys earlier on CFNY than 82 – was it released as a single in the UK in 1980? CFNY used to play lots of imports in the late 70s and early 80s – it was like a campus radio station.

  32. Steve Mollon Says:

    Should have made the big time a great band, was a mate and went to school with Dave Bonefoy, saw them play a couple of times in a pub in East Lane Wembley cant remember the name of it.

  33. My first exposure to WOTW was when I was in London late winter/early spring 1981 for three months as a college exchange program from the States – White Boys was on the radio, of which I bought the 12″. I thought it was fresh and incredible. Later that summer I moved from Indiana to New York City and was there at the Peppermint Lounge (or maybe Danceteria – I can’t remember, lol!) for your first tour. I remember Liz having a Popsicle blue wig or dyed hair. It was a great show and I was an incredibly-lucky 21-year-old to have seen you guys.

    • Thanks Allen

      We definitely did The Peppermint Lounge on our very first tour.
      Yes Liz had a very cool wig, maybe a bit like that robot girl in the Fritz Lang film Metropolis. Or I could be imagining that…

      Pete

  34. Still have my 12″ copy of DSTJFWB. Love it! B Side is “Prove It”.

  35. Just heard you on radio 6 .. 2014 ! Still sounds fresh I still have my copy of don’t say

  36. Nicole Cross Says:

    Finally!I’ve been a fan of WOTW since hearing ‘White boys’in the early 80’s.I remember taking my copy every week to the local nightclubs to get it played-the d.j still has my copy and refuses to return it:-D
    It’s good to find out what happened,but so sad that they never received the recognition they deserved.
    Thanks for the songs,they did,and still do,have an impact on me.

  37. Anthony Davis Says:

    White Boys was brilliant Pete. My favourite 12″ from the 80’s by far.It’s an absolute travesty your album was never released & White Boys 12″ has never been released on CD.

  38. 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

  39. 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.

    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! Let me know if it doesn’t.

    Pete

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