|Sham 69 have been going in and out with members and it have been some angry feelings I can imagine and here gives Tim his story about the group...may-2014|
Please tell me the complicated history about the group and how is it now, which the members are and so on?
-Well that would take decades to explain but in short from the very first time Pursey walked out of the band in 77 to form a new line up and never told the rest of the band he has done similar manytimes since. The only difference is that the 2007 line up stood firm and has without question won its right to exist and under extremely difficult circumstances.
Pursey then went onto leave the band again in 78 to be the new Johnny Rotten only for Cook and Jones to kick him back and label him 'a bigger pain in the arse than Rotten' and as usual he came back to SHAM 69 like nothing had happened and they had already employed Jimmy Edwards to replace him though Edwards had been a active member of the band's inner circle before as a contributor to the songs. So the band limped on only to split 4 years later. The band reformed in 86 with Whitewood and Parsons and though musically it was challenged by its fan base as Jimmy like always tried to jump on every ship that passed be it Disco or Indie style and try to reflect Sham's music in that vein and forget the fans who had loyally followed him. The band never recovered and just existed bringing out various albums that had the occasional 'song' that people liked but never in the extent that they could be remembered for. The gigs got less and less and it was only when the band sacked him in 2006 that they realised as to why these gig's were so thin on the ground. It was due to a mountain of debt to which Parsons and Whitewood were unaware and this debt was created by deposits that promoters had been sending to Pursey for shows and not getting back when Pursey would cancel the show. These payments were worldwide and to this day these promoters still haven't been paid, and these are the ones that we know of, so god knows how many more there are. So that's just one part of the reasoning behind him being sacked.
Parsons remained in the band up to 2011 when he decided that he would dictate a new direction of never playing unless he wanted to and that was more based on his increasingly comfortable life and the fact he had no regard that the rest of the band who were working people and had given up their jobs and sacrificed many things to do it full time and didn't have the luxury of choice or a heavy weight bank balance like he does. So he went and the band carried on and added to the line up with ex Angelic Upstarts guitarist Tony Feedback and original SHAM 69 founder and guitarist Neil Harris. The handicap of 'members' has never effected this line up and though many may make stupid comments in turn this is normally by people who don't know the history of the band or have never followed the band as a real fan would. It also came to light that Pursey had been arrested and registered for the indecent assault on a under age girl, so that just sealed it for us that being in a band with Pursey is the ultimate shame. We do everything we can to help in the fight against child abuse and for us it evens out what we do.
So in the 'official' line up we have Tim V on Vocals, Ian Whitewood on Drums, Al Campbell on Bass, Neil Harris on guitar and Tony Feedback on Lead Guitar.
The other lot who are calling themselves the original 77 line up which is another falsehood is Pursey, Parsons, Treganna and who ever they can get on drums.
What does Jimmy Pursey do now...does he have an own Sham 69 or I don´t understand?
-I don't know and don't care to be honest..lol.
How long have you been in the group?
-7 years 4 months, Ian 28 years, Al 5 years, Tony 3 years and Neil collectively 4 years from 1976.
Isn´t it any original members in the group now?
Please tell me a little about your new CD?
-The CD is called THEIR FINEST HOUR not because its only an hour long but it was in reference to the fact we have been through so much shit and dealt with it feels something that Winston Churchill would say well done. Sham 69 is about real people and though that ethic disappeared many years ago we do believe in people and we believe in respecting people regardless of race age and sex. Its an ongoing thing with us but our songs are more earthy and we like to reflect what's going on and not write songs about 'being a punk'.
Which are your own favourite Sham 69 song?
-Through all times? WOW well IF THE KIDS is a fav but I like songs like Questions and Answers
Which are the favourite among the audience?
-IF the Kids..but more so lately is our latest song SING WHEN YOUR WINNING..
When we talk about audience....which type of audience do you have... age from where to what?
-Well it varies alot from Country to Country..in the UK it's mainly older skinheads and footy fans and younger skater kids and punks..but most of the skins are skins through old age than through choice..hahaha. But in Europe and worldwide its a real mix of crusty kids Punks and general youth of all types and colours and that's brilliant the way it should be!!
Politics and muisc, deos it goes hand in hand do you think?
-Well sometimes yes and sometimes no, I do feel very passionate about politics and feel at times when bands are put on the spot they get scared. SHAM 69 before me was very non-political and at the time it was the right thing to do as Punk was the word and so society was the enemy but times change. We are now in a very polarised society where the enemies of the working class are more visible than ever and so everyone including bands must be able to voice their opinions. What I don't like is when bands choose to opt out because they are too scared of reprisals and that's bullshit. To me taking the 'Im not political' route is chicken shit cowardice...me Im a working class man and I solely believe in the autonomous right of the people. Political direction must come from the communities regardless of what race and colour. I cannot stand any political movement that creates division with those communities whether it is based on the Left or the Right. I think Music can be too dominated at times and people go to shows to have fun and get inspired not to be bored to death with political rants, but any good band who has a strong stand point of view can do this through their music..so yes at times it does go hand in hand.
Best political band?
-Hmmm good question well in my day The Clash, The Jam but I suppose bands like Steel Pulse were top of the pack.
Is it calmer with the naziskins on your concerts which came to the concerts back in time and thought they were welcome?
-Well we don't get nazi skins at our gigs and if they do come they are very quiet, I will not tolerate them peddling their shit..patriotism is something that can come out of the mouths of anyone and that's fine..if a afro-Caribbean guy from England waves the Union Jack or any flag of their chosen nation is fine by me as long as its not in support of prejudice or racial division. For me personally speaking I long for a day when we dont need flags.
Is there any other good bands in England right now?
-Too many to mention, I think its more about having a scene that encourages bands to start and to see it through. I'm afraid that now as the industry is struggling to survive bands both young and old are now seeing that they have to go on the road and show what they are really made of and that's good.
In the world?
-Aaaah loads..I do prefer bands in the scene that give recognition to their folk routes.
What do you know about Sweden?
-Its near Norway..haha..well its a fantastic country and I have been very honoured to play there over the years. There's one thing that I admire about Sweden is their diversity of tastes in music and that's great. Just recently we played Gothenburg with the City Saints and they were a great band...but I also love Perkele.
Have you heard any good swedish bands?
-Yeah ABBA..no of course I've heard many bands over the years, but like anyone its hard to have a favourite but I did like Ebba Grön.
How is it to live in England right now, i mean politically?
Its a puzzling question as most people are in a daze really where most countries have or still are struggling with the recession, people are at a loss and I think that's why many countries are turning on themselves like in Ukraine and that's very sad. The UK is in itself facing a backlash soon and its only a matter of time before there's a fucking big explosion, but from where is the concern right now.
Is it many people who is on the dole right now?
-Yes many people are on the dole and many leave school now with absolutely no hope of ever finding a job. The problem in the UK is that people moan about people coming in from other countries but then cannot face the fact that they are too fucking lazy to work. I'm afraid that the legacy of capitalism is that its generated a generation of people who have lost respect and a self worth and that's very sad. When we had the riots in the 70s it was because it was the real communities getting hassled by the cops etc..now its very hard to listen to rioters when they are standing there dressed in cloths that cost more money than I have in the bank.
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-Hmm an old but valued question...well Punk to me was a flag that was raised by circumstance of social division both musically and politically.
It was only when the industry claimed it and what became a scene for the people became and Orwellian 1984 for Punks... the cloths the uniform etc etc and both the Punks and the bands went along with it as long as the price was right. Many bands didn't and that's why some are still working their arses off today in the Pubs and Clubs. This is in effect why I despise Pursey/Parsons as they have are not doing it for any other reason other than for money. Band and musicians need to eat and things cost, to think the music scene runs on thin air is pure lunacy and eutopian..but at least give some respect back to the art and more importantly the fans. We will play at huge venues and small clubs and why not, but don't lose your identity from where you came. Punk for me is heart and should not be a badge and certainly not to make shit loads of money when you have already ripped off people...Punk evolves and it will always be here long after I'm dead.
Please tell me a little about every member in the group, age, family, interests and soemthing bad about every one?
-Something bad...oooh that's a no no..hahaha..well I will let Ian talk about me first then: Well on vocals we have Tim V and Tim has probably had the hardest job of them all having replaced Jimmy Pursey. But Tim came in from a good background of Punk and is known but most of the greats in the scene but his greatest strength is his roots. Tim is a very grounded South London man and with his Millwall Football Club heart he doesn't suffer fools gladly...so back to Tim. Well I am 53 now I love football especially my beloved Millwall, I also am very passionate about Animal Welfare and have 3 kids all grown up and I'm a granddad. I love films especially old ones and love travelling and meeting people from all over the world. I also love reading and writing...
Neil..well his older than me and at an age well you don't ask how old, he supports Chelsea and is devoted to his grandchildren. He's old school and loves music but also loves fighting..haha..now and then. Alan..hes still in his 40s and has been around the Punk scene forever mainly with the UK SUBS..he is a great fan of St.Mirren FC a Scottish football team. He has 1 son who he is devoted to and he also loves to read alot, mainly about violence. Ian..well he is in his 50s and loves HULL CITY FC he has 1 daughter who he worships. Ian loves music and making it but has a love of all things gadget wise. Tony..again in his 50s but like me he loves travelling and meeting new people. BAD THINGS..well I think we have many bad points from violence to what football teams we support..but our biggest bad points are that we believe in morals and fairness and respecting people...
Do you live on the music or do you have to have a porper work, if you must what do you do?
-Well I do this full time and the other guys work for themselves but the band is our number 1 priority.
Where is the best place to play?
-SWEDEN OF COURSE..well you asked and I told you..hahaha..well its everywhere really we don't have favourites, for me its irrelevant where we play as long as I can see smiles and happiness on peoples faces regardless of where we are..thats enough for me.
If you could choose five bands from now and from the history to make a concert together with sham 69, whcih five bands would have been on that gig?
-SLADE, THE CLASH,THE DAMNED, CAPTAIN BEEFHEART, THE STREETS
Please rank your five favouriterecords, five favouriteconcerts and five most important things in life?
-1. GOODBYE TO JANE(SLADE) 2. WHITE PUNKS ON DOPE(THE TUBES) 3.HANDSWORTH REVOLUTION(STEEL PULSE) 4.NEW ROSE(THE DAMNED) 5.RES(THECARDIACS)
1. DAVID BOWIE, 2. MORRISEY, 3.THE WHO, 4. THE CLASH, 5.IAN DURY AND THE BLOCKHEADS.
1. HONESTY, 2. LOYALTY, 3. RESPECT, 4.UNITY, 5.UNDERSTANDING OF HUMANITY AND ANIMAL WELFARE.
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-BLOCKBUSTER BY THE SWEET, SHOSTAKOVICH, WAGNERS RING CYCLE.
Which is the group you really want to do a new record, it could be a living or a dead group?
What do you think about downloading stuff and those things?
-Well it comes with the times and I think its a good thing for bands to have the freedom of choice nowadays to give away if they want, but for me I love product to be able to play vinyl is the ultimate pleasure.
Is it good or bad for a band like yours?
-GOOD..we can put out everything in all formats, but its very important that fans can have the choice.
Futureplans for the band?
-To play till we drop and travel the world and meet new people and of course more songs and more albums
-Be true to myself and stand by what I believe in both for my family and for fans.
-Something more to add?
Well the grand finale..I just want to say to the fans out there and no doubt to our enemies, that is very very easy to throw stones and to criticise but to do it without knowing why is a negative and stupid occupation. If people choose to turn a blind eye to the theft and humiliation of people then what does that make you and how would you stand up morally. We perform as SHAM 69 because we are and history proves that, we have worked to hard and have taken a band that was at its lowest point and brought it back to life. We have gained our respect and our followers. If people choose to be blind and persist in throwing shit at us then do it with conviction and not because you were told to..and as the old saying goes..if you don't like it then don't buy it. We love our fans and they love us and its a mutual partnership and we respect that and them fully, there's too much bullshit and conflict in the world without adding to it...