MUDKISS FANZINE

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STEVE SHY: 'SHY TALK' COMES OUT OF HIS SHELL - INTERVIEW BY MELANIE SMITH

Hi Steve aka 'Shytalk'. I've known you on my space for well over year. It was great to finally meet you in person last night at the New York Dolls gig in Manchester. People who know you will know that you have a wicked sense of humour. I know you have a wealth of stories to be told as you worked at the infamous Ranch club in Manchester and was amongst the first punks in the North West. The Shy Talk Fanzine you wrote was one of the original Punk Fanzine in the North West. I've even seen copies selling on ebay.

Come out of your shyness and tell your adoring fans, who you are and a little bit about your background and how you came to be involved with the Punk Scene in 1976.

Mel - I saw you in a TV program a documentary about 'Punk Rock', tell our readers about this and how this came about about .

Steve - The program was called 'brass tacks' it came about through a word of mouth thing at the circus I think. I got the feeling I was asked because I seemed to know everyone involved with the Manchester punk scene. An interesting fact about it was the bloke who did all the interviewing was Michael wood, one of the best historians about today and remembering telling me he'd seem the stooges twice he put me at ease although you wouldn't think so watching it. The show featured Pete Shelly and The Worst and was about the influence of punk rock .

Mel - You wrote a fanzine which went by the name of 'Shy Talk' but tell me more.

Steve - The name for it actually came from my dad and also/probably worked on a better level as shite talk. I did the fanzine with another guy called Graham who I haven't heard of for nearly 30 years. The fanzine came about from getting mithered off Richard Boone (Buzzcocks manager, who did as much for m/c music in the early days as Tony Wilson did) and Pete Shelley. They more or less said you are involved, so now you have to do something. There wasn't too many of us in them days. a guy called modest young used to help, he was the one that nicknamed me Steve shy, I still call him modest young but he's done ok for himself over the years (books, telly, record company) another one is Kevin Cummins who gave me any of the photos I wanted (a nice bloke  but very BITTER about something)

The first interview...can't remember? It was probably buzzcocks cos they were mates.The price was 20p I should have worn a mask. I sold it in the ranch, circus, the oaks, virgin and I think paper chase sold it as well.

I did 4 issues but only 3 were published (lack of money) no3 came out in May 77.I never bothered keeping any copies; they were probably cut into squares and hung on the hook in the toilet where they were of more use. The typewriter? Fucking hell Mel, give us a break, probably sold for a gram of whizz.

Mel - What for you was your personal highlight of the Punk movement?

Steve - Personal highlight.... so many bands I could mention but instead I'm going to mention the people whether it be bands or fans. We were all in the same boat; we were going to change the world. We were together because of the way we thought and looked.

You helped each other no matter what. Money, fights, (whether you knew them or not you'd help another punk out) drugs, somewhere to stay if you were in another town or city. No matter what anyone says we were one. We were also young and naïve !
 
Mel - Did you go to the infamous Sex Pistols gig and "swear you were there" as so many did? If not why not? In your own words what it was like seeing the sex pistols for the first time and why did you blatantly refused to go to the reunion gig last year?

Steve - Yeah, I was at the pistols gig along with the thousands of others, in reality it was the 2nd gig 6 weeks later and I hadn't even heard of them. I was only there to shut my workmate up (Wayne Barrett from Slaughter & The dogs).
Up until that moment I was into my northern soul and heavy funk (brass construction, Rufus, that kind of thing) it was a bit like being at a football match that night, a fair bit of trouble but I just couldn't take my eyes off rotten, pint pots were being smashed against the wall and showering down on people and he just seemed to be smirking at everyone (must have been before the snarl) and couldn't give a fuck about it, the way he dressed also did it for me, a sort of street urchin look (before Westwood)

The so called punk rule book came later on what we should be like and do but this gig really did change my life. It's what I'd been waiting for, not really a couldn't give a fuck attitude, more a if I care and if its worth it attitude

 I go to quite a few of what I would now call punk cabaret gigs (seeing the dolls tonight). I'm not against it in any way; we all have to make a living.....

Its also a great night out with old mates but to go and see the pistols who really did change my life the whole way my life has been since 76 has been because of that gig. It made me question things it made me think it made me the person I am today. The thought of 4 fat blokes taking that away from me scared me to fucking death. I just couldn't do it.

Mel - Did you have any good mates from the music scene of the time such as Morrissey, Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto,who were the early Punks of the Manchester Scene?  Dish the dirt Steve go on.

Steve - yeah, most of the one's from m/c and a lot from elsewhere but they were just mates the same as if you weren't in a band. There weren't too many punks about in them days so we all stuck together (safety in numbers and all that)

Mel - A little birdie told me and it could have been you, that you played in a band with Kevin Cummins and Paul Morley 

Steve - I played bass in the first 2 gigs. Morley was on guitar, Cummins - drums, Richard Boone - sax and Dave Bentley (drones manager) was the singer. we'd have made the front page of the papers with song titles like my kind of girl pays 4d on the bus if it was today.

Mel - What is you favourite Kevin Cummins tale? (He might be up next)

Steve - He had a flat in ..Salford.. and remember sitting/ jumping on his brown sofa. Didn't realise his Persian/or whatever it was, cat was lay on there. I nearly killed the fucker, if he had been a real punk he would have dyed it city blue and I would have seen it. So it was his fault.

Mel - Did you become disillusioned with the scene and if so why? When did it all die out for you? And when did the enthusiasm for music make a comeback?

Steve - I didn't become disillusioned with it, I was moving on to the next phase of it. It probably got more exciting for me. I'm probably going to sound a prat now but Devoto got it right, it was time to move on + the fact I was now doing too many drugs. I did one to Torquay for a couple of years; when I came back I chose the gigs I went to instead of just going to everything.

What got me back? An old band The Fall. I'm hooked, haven't missed a gig within 50 miles of m/c by them for a couple of years. Even a bad gig is special.

Mel - What do you do with your time these days? I do know you go to a hell of a lot of gigs and you have talked about managing & promoting bands.

SteveI got made redundant from my job at Manchester Airport 3 months ago so I have plenty of time on my hands (anyone got a job for me).

I've have caught quite a few bands (about 15 a week) some good, mostly bad and a few I think are special. So I've just been trying to get them more gigs, it looks like I've managed to get a Thursday night in m/c starting soon. (A non profit for me night).
I'm going to pick bands I like, let them pick the support themselves and let them play the music they would want played, then let them go round with a pint pot after for their wages (I'm a lazy sod). I can't stand these promoters who say you have to sell so many tickets to get so much. Just in it for themselves.
I also help out with a band called the Sandells (think a sort of can/wire thing).
They are roughly the same age as me so probably won't get anywhere but I think their music deserves to be heard.

Mel - I believe you helped with stuff for Alex Ogg's book 'No More Heroes' What did you contribute?

Steve - That was/is a great book from one of the nicest people you will ever meet (that'll be £5 please Alex). We met on a punk forum www.punk77.co.uk  I just filled him in a bit about the worst (who I supposedly managed)

Mel - Something for the weekend Sir? Your favourite Manchester band at the moment who you'd recommend to people out there.

Steve - Easy.....I'm feeling like a bit of a groupie I've seen them that many times lately http://www.myspace.com/frazerking  this is where most people get it wrong. They are far more punk than any leather jacket with studs in. 

Doing it because they have to them only other option would be jail. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apg-mTBnu9Q

Mel - Tell me a funny story about your association with someone who became a 'somebody' later. Perhaps when you worked at The Ranch or at The Electric Circus?

Steve - One of the best and funniest things I saw was at the last night of the circus. it was a case of drink all the beer free from about 9pm. I had a wander to the dressing room and saw a pissed up Jon the postman (in uniform) singing all the old nugget songs with Pat Palladin and Judy nylon (snatch) who were both dressed in leather. That said it all. Punk has no boundaries. It was all in your mind. It was an attitude, something to thank the pistols for.

Mel - Who are your idols/hero's however you want to say it, people who inspire you?

Steve - Anyone who questions something for the right reasons and anyone who cares enough. From the old days, Mark e smith. Rob Lloyd (prefects/nightingales) Wayne/Jayne County, Jon savage. Richard Boone. Vic Goddard.

Mel - One last dumb blond question what is your most played track on your IPod/computer?

Steve - Probably the album 1978 now by Subway Sect or Out Of True by The Nightingales.

Mel - Finally what made you join MySpace and what did you hope to achieve?

Steve - To go by my other name notafuckingclue. i hoped to learn words with more than 4 letters in them (shit...fuck.....fail) right finished. When do we sleep together? or were you just stringing me along.......bastard, I fell for it... 

Thanks Steve you've been Mudkissed by MEL xxx