Thursday, April 07, 2005

"The most American of the English punk bands"

The Automatics were a second wave British punk band and some people dispute that they were a punk band at all since some of the band started out in pub rock bands. Did anybody ever say that about Joe Strummer? They hung out with Johnny Thunders, played at the Roxy with X-Ray Spex and got dropped because of bad behavior. That sorta stuff is punk, isn’t it?

Several of The Automatics shared a house with a guy that worked as a gopher at Phonogram Records. Steve Lillywhite was hoping to get into production and recorded some songs with his housemates. These recordings led to a deal with Island records and one of the songs was an alternate chart #1 hit in 1978. Island released an LP called WALKING WITH THE RADIO ON but then dropped them due to the band’s bad behavior and extremely high studio bills which were mostly caused by the bad behavior. They were replaced as Island's token punk band by a well behaved young quartet from Dublin.

The Automatics are still around, living in Los Angeles and playing shows. They finally got to release a second LP in 2002.


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