Squat City Rocks: proto-punk and beyond.

By 1974, the British rock scene was splintering into varying factions – heavy rock, progressive rock, glam rock. Add to that the burgeoning soul scene and it’s easy to see how the many disparate parts were each evolving by themselves, taking their own paths of growth or decay.

Then a new back-to-basics movement begun welling up and causing a stir in the small pubs and clubs of the day in  London and Essex – pub rock!,  ‘The Feelgoods,‘Kilburn and the High Roads,’ and ‘Ducks Deluxe’ all played simple, “back to mono” rhythm and blues and was an angry reply against progressive and glam rock.

Pub rock was notable for rejecting stadium venues and for returning live rock to the small pubs and clubs of its early years. The bands reinvigorated a local club scene that had dwindled since the 1960’s. It was also the catalyst for the British punk rock scene.

mick hair1Back in the early summer of 1974, Mick Jones was buying his first ‘New York Dolls’ Album and working at the ‘Economist Bookstore.’

Paul Simonon was also working – at John Lewis department store in Chelsea, carrying carpetsPaul Simonon_ The Clash in their warehouse.

Bernie Rhodes_manager of The ClashUp in Camden Road, Bernie Rhodes was busy with his Renault repair garage in Chalk Farm Road (Harry Motors), designing and selling silkscreen t-shirts in Kings Road boutiques, and even designing puzzles for a children’s toy firm.

Meanwhile, over in Maida Hill, newly-arrived from Newport,

Woody Mellor_ The 101'ers Wales ‘Woody Mellor’ was squatting at 101 Walterton Road. He too was working – for the council, trimming hedges in Hyde Park. Finding a few musically inclined fellow squatters, the seed of an idea was germinating inside his head – the formation of a gritty, rough-and-ready garage band.

Richard Dudanski was there squatting too and became the drummer for the seminal 101’ers. In his new autobiography ‘Squat City Rocks‘ he tells it like it was! Read on….


richard on drums

One thought on “Squat City Rocks: proto-punk and beyond.

  1. Macarena Smith

    Squat City Rocks is masterfully written by Richard Dudanski. Before you even finsih you have a clear picture of the spirit of that time and it’s as if you’re peeking at each scene– and as if you’ve met all the unique characters. I enjoyed it thoroughly and highly reccomend it. Richard’s vast expirience in the music industry and world travels make for all the more enjoyment. The illustrations by Esperanza Romero are great sketches and ofcourse fitting since she was actually there!


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