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JAPANESE
80’S ROLLERS

  • 80's Japanese rollers, featured in the book
  • Young Japanese men and women dancing in Japanese parks, dressed in 50's fashion. From the book
  • Young Japanese men and women, photographed in 50's fashions. From the book
  • Japanese youth, dressed in 50's fashion, dancing in parks. From the book
  • B&W photos of young men and women in Japan, dressed in 50's fashion. From the book
  • Photos of Japanese girls dancing in full skirts, from the book
  • Japanese youth dancing, in 50's fashions. From the book
  • Young women dressed in 50's fashions. From the book
  • Young Japanese women dressed in 1950's fashion. From the book
  • B&W photos from the 80's, of Japanese youth dressed in 50's fashions. From the book
  • Young Japanese men dressed in 1950's fashions. From the book
  • From the 80's book

TEDDY

 JAPANESE 50’s ROLLERS IN 80’S

From the Ponyboy collection of books, we feature the highly collectible Teddy: Japanese 50’s Rollers in 80’s. Originally printed in 1981, publisher Daisan Shokan showcased brilliant images of youth on the streets of Japan, hanging out and dancing in 1950’s style clothing. Everything about this publication is visually electrifying. For starters, we are mad for the pop art photo cut-outs on the front and back book covers. Inside, we flipped out over images of extremely stylish adolescents, dressed in leather jackets and full skirts, dancing in various parks across Japan. The cities where the photographs were taken include Tokyo, as well as Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe. Unfortunately, the photographers appear to be uncredited in this publication.

LEVI DEXTER
ROCKAT

  • Opening spread of Rockabilly legend Levi Dexter for Ponyboy Magazine in New York City.
  • Old b&w photos of Rockabilly band Levi & The Rockats for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • First flyer for Rockabilly band Levi & The Rockats US show at Max's Kansas City in New York City, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Album cover of Rockabilly band Levi Dexter & The Ripchords for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Vintage posters for Levi & The Rockats performing at CBGB's in New York City, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Photos of Neo-Rockabilly legends Levi Dexter, Smutty Smiff and Danny B. Harvey, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • B&W collage of Rockabilly singer Levi Dexter for Ponyboy Magazine in New York City.
  • Old b&w photo of Rockabilly singer Levi Dexter with his then manager Lee Childers in London, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Vintage posters for Rockabilly band Levi & The Rockats at Max's Kansas City In NYC, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Levi & Bernie Dexter, Tim Polecat and Levi and The Rockats, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Pomp album cover, Levi Dexter for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Various photos of Levi Dexter, Levi & The Rockats for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Levi & The Rockats, photo by photographer/manager Lee Childers, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • The amazing Levi Dexter performing onstage in Los Angeles at The Whisky A-Gogo, circa 1978, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Photos of Levi Dexter, with wife Bernie Dexter, Wanda Jackson and Ray Campi, Ponyboy Magazine in New York City.
  • Vintage80's posters for Levi Dexter show in Los Angeles, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Various old b&w photos of Levi and The Rockats, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Rockabilly performer Levi Dexter in a gold jumpsuit, performing in Los Angeles in 2009. Photo Jim Knell, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Rockabilly flyers for singer Levi Dexter, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • B&W band photo of Levi & The Rockats by Lee Childers, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Photos of Rockabilly singer/performer Levi Dexter, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Posters for the first US appearance of Levi & The Rockats, opening for The Cramps at Max's Kansas City in 1978, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Various flyers for Rockabilly performer Levi Dexter, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • 80's Rockabilly legends Levi Dexter and Slim Jim Phantom, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • L.A. Eyeworks ad from the 80's with Rockabilly legend Levi Dexter, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Artwork for Rockabilly singer Levi Dexter, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Publicity photo from the 80's of Rockabilly musician Levi Dexter, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Levi Dexter & The Gretsch Brothers in Japan, circa 2011, photo Junko Yamada, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Double image of Rockabilly singer Levi Dexter performing, photo Paul Kaban, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Levi Dexter with wife/model Bernie Dexter, as well as Tim Polecat, Ponyboy Magazine.
  • A collage of Rockabilly performer Levi Dexter in the 1980's UK, Ponyboy Magazine.

LEVI DEXTER

NEO-ROCKABILLY LEGEND

LEVI DEXTER: Modern Day Rockabilly Phenomenon. A British born teddy boy, Levi became the founding frontman for the late 1970’s band Levi and the Rockats, when he was discovered by clever music visionary Leee Childers. Though he has changed bands throughout the years, he always stayed true to the musical influences of 50’s rock’n’roll. Living the good life in Portland with wife Bernie Dexter, we reached out to Levi and asked him about his upbringing as a British ted, coming to America, leaving The Rockats and his musical evolution. All photos courtesy of Levi Dexter.

PONYBOY:  Levi, please tell us about your early years in the UK?

LEVI DEXTER:  I was raised in Chelsea in London by my mother. My father was a drummer from Venezuela who left us when I was 5 years old. I really had no interest in the music of the 1960’s when I was a boy. I always gravitated toward music of the 40’s and 50’s that was still being played on the radio. By 1972 I was very into 50’s rock ‘n’ roll. Malcolm Mclaren had opened a teddy boy shop on Kings Road in Chelsea called LET IT ROCK. And it was just around the corner from my home, so I spent a lot of time there. This was years before he managed the Sex Pistols and the punk rock movement. When I was 15 we moved to Southend-On-Sea in Essex on the south east coast of England. There was a huge teddy boy movement there. That’s where my rock ‘n’ roll roots really began.

PONYBOY:  That must have been such an exhilarating experience being a ted back in 1970’s England. Tell us a bit about that.

LEVI DEXTER:  Yes, by 1974 I had found The Pier Bar in Southend. We called it the Long Bar.  It was strictly for teddy boys and teddy girls. You couldn’t get in if you were a square as there was a strict code. You had to wear the right clothes, have greasy hair, listen to nothing after 1959 and show respect for all other teddy boys and defend them when there were fights with outsiders. I used to see Crazy Cavan and the Rhythm Rockers and also Flying Saucers play there quite often. Then one day I was singing along as the band played and Cavan asked if I’d like to come up and sing a song with the band. This was the start of it all for me. Pretty soon every time Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers and Flying Saucers played I would be asked to jam. I owe so much to Cavan Grogan and Sandy Ford for giving me the opportunity to learn to have faith in myself at such an early age.

PONYBOY:  The feud between the teds and the punks must have been very chaotic looking back now?

LEVI DEXTER:  Basically, the teddy boy style had always struck fear into people on the street, with a reputation of violence and a commitment of defending 50’s rock ‘n’ roll music and lifestyle. Once the punks were on the street the increased shock value made teddy boys seem less scary. Added to this, some punks were disrespecting our places and fighting teds when we were in small numbers. This escalated pretty fast. Malcom Mclaren had closed LET IT ROCK and had opened his shop called SEX at the same location selling bondage gear and punk rock fashion. The punks there mocked the teddy boys and the final straw was when a photo of Elvis Presley that was on the wall had a dagger drawn in his back. The punks also had a show at the Queens Hotel in Essex, another bastion of the teddy boy scene, and burned the confederate flag that hung on the wall. They took it as racist, but to us it represented rockabilly music as the rock ‘n’ roll of the south. It stood for rockabilly rebel. Dozens of teddy boys would gather at Sloan Square (at one end of the King’s Road in Chelsea) and then march together down to Malcolm’s store and fight with any punks that cared to show up. The newspapers had a field day exaggerating the trouble that was going on and printing extreme headlines and stories. For a while if you were a teddy boy, rockabilly or punk you had to watch yourself on the street or move around in numbers. It was exhilarating but it was also quite stupid and became a drag. In 1977 I jammed with Shakin’ Stevens band the Sunsets at a show in London. There were teds and punks there and the atmosphere was tense. I did my couple of songs and everyone came together to the front of the stage, both teds and punks enjoying the good energy. It was at this show that I met Leee Black Childers. He had been involved in the music scene for many years and was a famous photographer. He had worked with Mott the Hoople (“All The Way To Memphis” is dedicated to him on their LP). He also had done the image for the “after the apocalypse” inside centerfold on David Bowie’s “Diamond Dogs” album. At the time I met him he was managing the Heartbreakers (ex-New York Dolls)featuring Johnny Thunders. He approached me and asked me if I’d ever thought of fronting my own band. I told him it wasn’t possible as none of my friends could play music. He told me it could be done. Within weeks, myself, Smutty Smith on double bass, Dibbs Preston on guitar (known as Eddie Dibbles back then), Mick Barry also on guitar and English Don on drums became Levi and the Rockats. We practiced as much as we could but knew we could never play the teddy boy scene as they were so strict about bands sounding exactly like the 1950’s recordings. Leee made plans for us to play at punk rock shows which was a very daring concept in 1977.

PONYBOY:  And how did you actually start performing?

LEVI DEXTER:  Leee had booked us to play the end of term Christmas party at the Royal College Of London on November 10th 1977. We had made friends with many of the punks and had been accepted by them and even borrowed amps from Marco of Siouxsie and the Banshees. We went on stage and struggled through our show, and came off feeling very defeated. It was not the show we had always imagined. As we came off stage Johnny Thunders told us to go back out for an encore even if it wasn’t called for. We went back on stage and Johnny did a 3 song Chuck Berry medley with us and everyone there went wild! We came off stage saying, “We’re awesome! We rocked it!” Of course, it was Johnny who was awesome and rocked it! Our third show was at the Music Machine in London on December 26th, 1977 with Siouxsie and the Banshees, Adam and the Ants and many other punk bands. We had to go on last and it was our first really good show. It was a real party and everyone really accepted us and enjoyed the show.

PONYBOY:  Leee Childers discovered you and was the visionary for Levi and the Rockats. He brought the band over to the USA and knew all the “right” people, like Andy Warhol and all those fabulous types in the back room at Max’s Kansas City. It seems like you owe him a lot. Are you still in touch with him?

LEVI DEXTER:  Yes, Lee was the reason for all of our success! He is a man with vision and faith. He is fearless and never gives in. He’s the epitome of rock ‘n’ roll spirit. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for him. I learned so much from him and I will always be extremely grateful. He worked with Andy Warhol in the stage play “Pork” in New York and was very “in” with the Warhol crowd. He got us into Andy’s INTERVIEW magazine and also the Andy Warhol cable TV show where Debbie Harry from Blondie interviewed us. He also got us on the first ted/punk tour with Wayne County and the Electric Chairs in 1977. This would mark the end of the ted/punk wars. Lee brought us over to the U.S. in July 1978. Our first show was November 10th, 1978 (our 1st year anniversary) at Max’s Kansas City in New York City opening for the Cramps. We were selling out clubs in New York like Max’s and C.B.G.B’s, and then clubs in Los Angeles like the Whiskey-A-Gogo, the Starwood and the Troubadour. We performed live nationally on the Merv Griffin T.V. show and also played live on the Wolfman Jack Midnight Special. One of the other acts on the show was the Jackson’s without Michael. Leee and his long time friend Tom Ayres got us on the Louisiana Hayride (the first rockabilly band to play there since Elvis in the 50’s). I could go on endlessly listing the great things Lee did for me. We chat now and then on FaceBook and email. Sometimes he will send me photos of Levi and the Rockats. He is still active and creative and still working in rock ‘n’ roll and art.

PONYBOY:  Shortly after living in the US you departed from the Rockats to stay loyal to your manager Lee, which was very honorable of you. It seemed at that moment that Levi & The Rockats may have perhaps been on the brink of “pop” stardom. Looking back, are you fine with your decision to leave the Rockats? And are you still in touch with Smutty, Dibbs and the others?

LEVI DEXTER:  It was a hard time. We had gone as far as we could but still had been unable to get a recording contract. Most record labels didn’t see rockabilly music as a form of music to be respected. Many times I was told “if only you didn’t play THAT kind of music” and “Haven’t you heard of Duran Duran? Couldn’t you sound more like them?” My answer was “Would you say this to B.B. King or George Jones?” I have always been a devoted defender of real rock ‘n’ roll and rockabilly music and demanded that it be given the same respect as so many of the other original American music styles like country western, blues, jazz, etc. All had been handled respectfully. And I would demand the same respect. For my stubbornness, I would be rejected for not “playing the game”. Eventually the guys in the band looked for who to blame for not getting a record deal and going further. They wanted to have a new manager. I wouldn’t sell Leee out. Leee and I insisted on being West Coast based in Los Angeles. The Rockats wanted to be based in New York. Of course, once we broke up in December 1979, they moved to New York, signed to R.C.A. records and recorded the very poppy “Make That Move”. They were willing to compromise to get ahead, and the record went nowhere. They did well, but not as well as Levi and the Rockats. Whenever there’s a Rockats reunion they only go back to 1980, therefore, excluding me. We have only ever done one reunion show and that was at the Green Bay Rockin’ Fest III in 2007. One show together in 35 years! Smutty and I are like brothers and will always be close. The others I just say “hi” to once in a while on FaceBook.

PONYBOY:  After leaving the Rockats, you went on to form Levi Dexter and the Ripchords, Levi Dexter and Magic, and Levi Dexter and the Gretsch Brothers. It’s all an amazing evolution and was probably fun to reincarnate yourself in different bands and musical projects. Looking back, what period or album would you say has been your favorite part of your musical career so far?

LEVI DEXTER:  The time spent with Levi and the Rockats was the most exciting of all. I was young and wanted to turn the world on to rockabilly music. It was my first time in the U.S. and we were breaking ground and reaching new nights every month. It was the biggest thrill-ride ever. There was no Stray Cats yet. There was nothing in the way except the stubborn suits at the record companies. We turned the world on to rockabilly music and the scene has gotten bigger every year since then. I’m very proud of what we did for rockabilly music.

I am most proud of my new album Levi Dexter – Roots Man that I have produced myself and has just been released on my own Dextone Records label. It is distributed by Rhythm Bomb Records in Europe . I recorded it at Moletrax West / Danalog recording studios in California and mixed it at Roseleaf Recording in Portland with mixing engineer Jimi Bott (drummer for the Fabulous Thunderbirds). I’ve had total control over this album and consider it to be a great rockabilly album.

PONYBOY:  Being inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame is such an amazing achievement as an artist. Congratulations. The high must have been incredible.

LEVI DEXTER:  It really means so much to me! I am in there with all my peers and friends. For years to come new young people discovering rockabilly music will see my name and check me out. I’m far from done, but after so many years devoted to rockabilly music, it feels really good to be honored in this way. I will always consider it a special achievement in my career.

PONYBOY: You’re now in Portland, Oregon with your wife Bernie Dexter, the legendary pin-up model and clothing designer whom you shoot constantly. We love the images that you take of her. Tell us what daily life is like with your glamourous wife.

LEVI DEXTER:  Bernie and I live a very normal life in Oregon. We work together every day and live in a lovely English manor house, spending every moment together. I am so proud of her! She’s such a hard working woman who always has a positive attitude, and friendly and good spirited to everyone she meets. She works tirelessly on her clothing company and photo shoots. I’m always happy to shoot the photos as it’s some of the most fun we have, it’s always a party. When we’re not working we just spend time together and enjoy every moment we have. We’re still both madly in love with each other and are never tired of each other’s company.

PONYBOY: We read that your favorite thing to do is perform at rockabilly weekenders/festivals. We love weekenders as well. Tell us your favorite festivals in the past. And also, do you have any performances scheduled at any upcoming festivals?

LEVI DEXTER:  My favorite festivals that I’ve played at are the Green Bay Rockin’ Fest in the U.S., the Hemsby Rock ‘n’ Roll Weekender, the Americana Festival, the Ace Cafe in England, the Good Rockin’ Tonight festival in France, the Valencia Hall Party, and the Screamin’ Festival in Spain. Strangely, I’ve never been asked to play the Viva Las Vegas weekender?

I’ll be playing the Good Rockin’ Tonight festival in France in March, as well as playing in Milan and Italy in April. Bernie will be at the Atomic Festival in England in April. And May 31st – June 1st, I’ll be playing at the Kustom Kulture Festival in Washington State. I’ll also be attending the Rockabilly Rave with Bernie in England in June. Bernie has a fashion show there. And I’ll be touring Japan with the Gretsch Brothers (one of my favorite bands to play with) for most of September.

The Levi Dexter -Roots Man album will be out this year on CD and vinyl. Later in the year, the Levi Dexter & the Gretsch Brothers album will also be out on CD and vinyl. It’s out now on CD in Japan. It’s going to be a busy year!

PONYBOY:  Lastly, we know you’ve been asked this before, but please refresh our memory. Tell us your favorite musicians, past and present.

LEVI DEXTER:  There are so, so many great rockabilly artists. My advice is to dig as deep as you can and give a listen to everything! My favorites from the 50’s (in no particular order):

Elvis Presley
Gene Vincent &  his Blue Caps
Eddie Cochran
Bill Haley and his Comets
Joe Clay
Carl Perkins
Charlie Feathers
The Collins Kids
Janis Martin
Johnny Kidd & the Pirates

My favorites from the present:

The Blue Cats
The Polecats
Crazy Cavan & the Rhythm Rockers
Mario Bradley
Charlie Hightone
Cherry Casino & the Gamblers
Marc & the Wild Ones
Ruby Ann
Big Sandy & his Fly-Rite Boys
JD McPherson

PONYBOY:  Do you have any last comments or thoughts?

I’d just like to thank everyone who has supported my music and rockabilly music in general. It’s been underground for over half a century now and is bigger and the scene is stronger than it has ever been. It’s strange that many music styles have come and gone over the years, but rockabilly music has always been there and has always been an alternative to other styles of music. I love seeing the new young generation coming up and getting into the scene. It makes me feel good to know new people are discovering rockabilly music and living the rockabilly lifestyle. For me, singing rockabilly music is like dancing. It’s a celebration and I do it because I can. Apart from Bernie, it’s the most important thing in my life! I truly feel that the best days are yet to come and it will only get bigger and stronger as time passes. Thank you everyone for taking the time to read this and thank you Ponyboy for including me! Levi Dexter

FURIOUS
ROCK-N-ROLL

  • Opener for Ponyboy Magazine spread on teddy boy UK band Furious. Photographs by Alexander Thompson.
  • UK teddy boy band Furious logo. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • UK teddy boy band Furious, photographed in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Andy Halligan and Jimmy Lee, photographed by Elisa Gierasch. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • UK band Furious, photographed in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Furious rock''roll band photograhped while touring by Elisa Gierasch. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Old publicity shots for UK band teddy boy band Furious. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Elisa Gierasch photographs teddy boy band Furious while on West Coast tour. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Photographer Alexander Thompson captures teddy boy band Furious on stage in New York City, for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Furiuos photographed by Elisa Gierasch. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Lead singer Andy Halligan from Furious teddy boy band, photographed on stage by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Teddy boy band guitarist Andy Halligan, photographed on stage in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Furiuos band members clowning around, photographed by Elisa Gierasch. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Creepers worn by teddy boy band guitarist Andy Halligan from Furious. Photographed in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Elisa Gierasch photographed teddy boy band Furious in New York City. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Andy Halligan, guitarist for UK teddy boy band Furious, exiting stage in New York City. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Photos by Elisa Gierasch of teddy boy band Furious, while touring in California. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Alexander Thompson photographs of teddy boy band Furious, on stage in New York City. Photographed for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Furious, UK teddy boy band, photographed by Elisa Gierasch. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Teddy boy drummer Jimmy Lee, from UK band Furious, photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine in New York City.
  • UK teddy boy singer Mark Halligan, from band Furious, photographe on stage in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Drummer Jimmy Lee, from teddy boy band Furious, photographed by Elisa Gierasch. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Teddy boy guitarist Andy Halligan, from UK band Furious, photographed by Alexander Thompson in New York City for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Jimmy Lee and Mark Halligan, from teddy boy band Furious, photographed backstage by Alexander Thompson in New York City for Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Grestsh guitar close-up from Furious band, photograhped by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy Magazine in New York City.
  • Furious band CD artwork on Wild Records, photographed by Alexander Thompson. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Various flyers for Teddy boy band Furious. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Assorted flyers for UK teddy boy band Furious. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • A collage of logos for UK teddy boy band Furious. Ponyboy Magazine.
  • Photo of teddy boy band Furious by Elisa Gierasch. Ponyboy Magazine.

FURIOUS

TEDDY BOY RIOT!

This trio hail from the streets of Liverpool and are being tipped as the UK’s break-out band. With a relentless touring schedule, Furious have been cemented as one of the hardest working and wildest live acts around. Their appeal crosses so many borders and with their self penned songs about teenage life today, they are turning the world’s kids onto a wild rock ‘n’ roll beat.

Even from their early days playing in youth clubs around Liverpool, they caused a big stir. They have starred on MTV as ambassadors for the Liverpool music scene. Their debut album reached number 10 in the UK vinyl charts (above Elton John & Thin Lizzy). They have been featured on the computer game ‘Rock Band’ with one of their songs ‘All Night Long’. And more recently, they’ve just joined Wild Records label with a new album From the Cavern to California destined to cause a stir.

They have played countless gigs abroad, all over Europe. And following two successful tours of Russia and America, it looks like Furious are about to take Viva Las Vegas by storm. The critics are already comparing it to the arrival of The Beatles. So, prepare yourself. This isn’t for the faint of heart. This is the real roots of rock ‘n’ roll!

Editor’s note: Ponyboy was pleased to have Mike Lewi, co-creator from New York City’s infamous “Midnite Monster Hop” as our guest interviewer, as well as photo contributions by the very talented Elisa Gierasch.

MIKE LEWI:  You’re on the eve of performing at the 2014 Viva Las Vegas festival to thousands of people, a primarily American audience. How do you anticipate a teddy boy band being accepted by that audience?

FURIOUS:  If it’s anything like our shows around New York or California, it’s going to be crazy! We haven’t been let down by American audiences yet, so we’re expecting “crazy” on a big scale!

MIKE LEWI:   What do you bring that may be considered new to American audiences?

FURIOUS:  Ugly, out of control rock ‘n’ roll! We’re the anti-pretentious, anti-poser rock ‘n’ roll that seems to be everywhere these days.

MIKE LEWI:  Can you explain for Ponyboy readers the history of Edwardian culture?

FURIOUS:  Teddy boys were working-class teenagers who bought expensive threads on layaway to better themselves when they had nothing, and to show the upper classes they wouldn’t bow down and be quiet – to then go and drink and brawl in them. Basically, they were the scallies of the 50’s and it’s been going right through the years since then as an underground sub-culture.

MIKE LEWI:  You’ve met and been inspired by many men and women that grew up in the bombed out rubble of post WWII England, at the birth of the original teddy boy movement. How did those originators of the first teenage rebellion wave define themselves at a time that actually even preceded rock’n’roll?

FURIOUS:  It was the clothes and the attitude, to look smart and answer to no one. They had no blueprint or predecessors to base themselves on. These were the first “teenagers” to leave bomb-raids and rationing behind and they were going to make the most of it.

MIKE LEWI:  You started your band at a very young age. Please tell us how that came about.

FURIOUS:  We were just kids in school dying to hear some rock ‘n’ roll, but there was none about so we started a band. There was never a plan, we were just lads having a bit of fun. And that’s what it still is. We’d play the dives and dirty clubs around Liverpool, anywhere that would pay an underage band in beer. And then the word spread.

MIKE LEWI:  I have heard that your parents grew up within the ted culture, so is it safe to assume you’ve lost touch with the world outside of rock’n’roll?

FURIOUS:  That’s not really the case. Rock ‘n’ roll was the soundtrack to our childhood, but we were just scallies growing up. We looked like skin heads as well, because there wasn’t much money back then and our grandad would “style” our hair with his old army clippers. It was a skinhead every time!

MIKE LEWI:  Are your parents proud of you?

FURIOUS:  We hope so, but they party every time we leave the country. Don’t know what they’re trying to tell us!

MIKE LEWI:  Considering the amount of original teds still regularly supporting rock’n’roll events, and many of the original rock’n’roll revival bands consistently still playing live, what has been the reaction towards Furious by UK and European audiences?

FURIOUS:  It’s been great! Better than we could have ever expected. Right from day one, the original teds took us under their wing. And  wherever we go, there will be a good crowd of them going crazy til’ the early hours.

MIKE LEWI:  I know over the years you’ve had some various line-up changes. Tell us about Jimmy.

FURIOUS:  We met Jimmy at a gig in an old ted pub in London where he was playing with another band. We were going through drummers like bog roll at the time.  So after a few pints, he foolishly agreed to play some shows with us in Sweden and that was him trapped! He slotted in like an old mate we’d known for years.

MIKE LEWI:  Is it strange to bring what, in some respects, is American music back to America?

FURIOUS:  There’s so much talent stateside, we were surprised there was room for us. The music we go mad for happens to be rock’n’roll and that just happens to be American. So as strange as it is, we enjoy the challenge and look forward to dodging the old tomatoes and beer cans!

MIKE LEWI:  You’ve just recorded your second album. How was that process different from recording with Nervous Records?

FURIOUS:  Well, this was a strange thing for us! Normally, we record locally or wherever Roy Williams can book us into a studio in between our live shows.  So, every time it’s been a different process. But we gained some attention from the gigs we played up and down California last summer, which lead to an exciting invitation by Reb Kennedy from Wild Records to join his label! The entire experience was mental! One day we were in Liverpool, and then all of a sudden, we were in his studio recording new tracks at a lightning pace (16 songs in 10 hours). Hours later, we were flying out of Hollywood back home! We haven’t heard the mixes yet, but Reb is really excited and we hope you’re all going to love it.

MIKE LEWI: You’ve recorded a cover on your first LP, Punk Bashin Boogie, originally recorded by Don E. Sibley, who wrote the song at the height of the teds versus punks war in the 1970’s. Have you ever met Don? Are there teds that still hold these views?

FURIOUS:  Yeah, we met Don. He came to a show we played in Southampton years ago. The drummer out of the Dixie Phoenix was a punk as well, so the song was just a bit of fun back then, like it is today. And I can’t say we know of teds who still get wound up by punks. A lot of the anger towards punks came from them wearing signature ted clothing (creepers, drapes), and covering Eddie Cochran songs and claiming them as their own. Today teds, punks, mods and skins have got a lot more in common with each other, than not.

MIKE LEWI:  Are we living through the rock ‘n’ roll revival revival?

FURIOUS:  We’re not sure if anything is being revived, but we’re living through some amazing times. We’re playing shows right across the world with the music and people we love! We can’t get any more lucky than that, can we?

MIKE LEWI:  How do you feel sharing the bill with Crazy Cavan at this upcoming Viva Las Vegas?

FURIOUS:  We’ve been lucky enough over the years to share the stage with these ted legends on loads of occasions. But this feels a little more special. Not only were these rockers a massive weapon in orchestrating the 70’s revival, they have played a big part in what we are and the music we play too! So, seeing our name on the same bill in Las Vegas is a huge honor!

MIKE LEWI:  Do you have any future plans for Furious?

FURIOUS:  We just want to make that perfect rock ‘n’ roll record. We might never do it, but we’ll keep on trying until it kills us!