SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #166 : JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS

That’s the reverse of the picture sleeve of the one single released by Glasgow’s very own punk combo, Johnny & The Self Abusers.

The NME seemingly stated the single was “…a drab parade of New Wave that jerks off aimlessly into the void.”

mp3 : Johnny & The Self Abusers – Saints and Sinners

To be fair, the b-side was much more listenable:-

mp3 : Johnny & The Self Abusers – Dead Vandals

From wiki:-

The band was conceived by would-be Glasgow scene-maker Alan Cairnduff, although he left the job of organising the band to his friend John Milarky. At Cairnduff’s suggestion, Milarky teamed up with two musicians he had never worked with before – budding singer and lyricist Jim Kerr and guitarist Charlie Burchill. Kerr and Burchill had known each other since the age of eight. After joining Johnny & The Self-Abusers, they brought in two of their school friends, Brian McGee on drums and Tony Donald on bass (all four had previously played together in the schoolboy band Biba-Rom!).

With Milarky established as singer, guitarist and saxophonist, the line-up was completed by his friend Allan McNeill as third guitarist. Kerr and Burchill also doubled on keyboards and violin respectively. In common with the early punk bands, various members took on stage names—Milarky became “Johnnie Plague”, Kerr became “Pripton Weird”, MacNeil chose “Sid Syphilis” and Burchill chose “Charlie Argue”.

Johnny & The Self-Abusers played their first gig on Easter Monday, 11 April 1977, at the Doune Castle pub in Glasgow. The band played support to rising punk stars Generation X in Edinburgh two weeks later. The band went on to play a summer of concerts in Glasgow. The band soon split into two factions, with Milarky and McNeil on one side and Kerr, Donald, Burchill and McGee on the other: at the same time, Milarky’s compositions were being edged out in favour of those of Kerr and Burchill.

In November 1977, Johnny & The Self-Abusers released its only single, “Saints and Sinners”, on Chiswick Records The band split on the same day that the single was released, with Milarky and McNeil going on to form The Cuban Heels. Ditching the stage names and the overt punkiness, the remaining members continued together as Simple Minds (naming themselves after a David Bowie lyric from his song “Jean Genie”).

JC

4 thoughts on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SONG : #166 : JOHNNY & THE SELF ABUSERS

  1. Saw a few bands in the Doune Castle in my youth
    In Shawlands – now the Village I think

  2. Now you’re talking my language! The dawn of Simple Minds on 7″ was nary a blip on my radar in 1977, but I sourced a copy of this when I started buying mail order in 1985. As I recall, I got a copy for about $8-12 at the time. A fun ratpunk record that didn’t even begin to promise what was yet to come from these lads. You have to start somewhere, and why not the bottom?

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