“Do you know Religion?..”
When I heard Martin Atkins was coming over to the UK from his Chicago home I was more than pleased. He was coming to present his ‘5 years in and out of PiL’ talk as part of his workshopping ideas for the forthcoming book he is planning. I made my way by train to Manchester to stay the night before he gave his talk at the wonderful Principal building in the town centre. Martin brought his son Ian over with him as his assistant and the three of us met in the hotel bar for a chat.
It’s always good fun meeting up with Martin, we spend most of our time trawling through the memory banks dredging up tales of early Brian Brain and PiL shows. He was suffering from chronic jet lag and was about to retire to bed when I told him it was only half-past eight and suggested it was far too early to go to bed. It was only a succession of double whisky and coke that kept us going till much later. I wish we had recorded the conversation because it was very funny.
His talk was at a ridiculously early 10 am the next day but luckily the venue was only a short walk from the hotel. It was an anecdote-filled hour-long talk with much humour and honesty and it gave Martin the opportunity to put a different side to events from that early eighties period of PiL history. Jeanette Lee was there which was rather nice to see, our paths never crossed when I was with PiL as she had elected to stay in England after John Lydon filmed the Cop Killer movie. She suggested we should all wear ‘I survived PiL’ badges. My eldest son came along too so it was a nice meet up for all of us.
The next day Martin was due to talk at the Islington in London. This time there was even more fun to be had. A drumkit had been arranged and I took my bass rig along to set up on the small Islington stage. The audience was all seated and this time Martin talked for over two and a half hours with some great musical interludes from the pair of us.
It was great to be playing on stage with Martin again after such a long time (35 years) the old magic was still there as we whistled through excerpts of Careering, Religion, Attack, Theme, Public Image and Poptones. We even managed a bit of Solitaire from the Commercial Zone album that we had written together back in 82 (that I was never credited for). I slipped in a bit of a Brian Brain bassline too, in the background while Martin was talking about the infamous 2nd USA tour where he ended up getting a good kicking by GG Allin.
When Martin finally publishes his book he is planning a return to the UK so I’m hoping we can meet up again and with a bit of planning, jam along to some more PiL stuff. The crowd seemed to enjoy it anyway. A fantastic weekend all round and if you get a chance to hear Martin’s talk on 5 years of PiL bullshit, please go, you won’t regret it. (especially if I’m there playing).
In other news… My solo album is finally finished and off to the mastering engineer Pete Maher for mastering. It’s to be called…
“Contrivances For the Soul”
It’s the final bit of the process that a lot of people don’t realise is so important. Not only will Pete prepare all the audio files for the manufacture of CD’s and vinyl, but he will also give the sound an extra polish with various studio trickery to make the songs sound like they fit together and are at equal loudness and tonality. Pete masters songs for just about everyone these days including U2 and you can hear songs he has worked on all over the radio, day in day out. Top top geezer. Release date is set for March 15th 2019 on Westworld.
If anyone would like access to the files for review purposes, let me know.
Happy days people, onwards and upwards!
Joyless Jones x