Kids. L-R; Steve New, Midge Ure, Rusty Egan, Glen Matlock)
Glen Matlock departed
the Sex Pistols in February 1977, (read 'I Was A
Teenage Sex Pistol' -Virgin Books for Glen's personal account).
was rife as to what the future held for Glen. EMI had no doubts as to what they
should do to cash in on the only ex-Pistol they ever looked like working with
again. While the Pistols and Malcolm McLaren were being shown the door by EMI,
the hierarchy were busily working on a scheme to 'woo' back the ex-Pistol.
been short of options. First had been an offer from Bernie Rhodes to put Glen
into The Clash at the expense of Paul Simonon. That was followed by a press story
about a group with his old art college mate Jimmy Norton. "Jimmy Norton" was actually
Glen Matlock adopting an old and unused idea for a stage name. He did however
later record a John Peel Session in 1979 along with Danny Kustow and Budgie under
the name 'The Jimmy Norton Explosion'.
came the basis of a band with Mick Jones on guitar, which never amounted to anything
more than small gigs. Mick hadn't left The Clash and Glen had his own thing planned.
During March, Glen auditioned for band members and acquired Rusty Egan on drums
and guitarist Steve New. Glen handled both vocal and bass duties before asking
Midge Ure to join as vocalist.
the early days of the Rich Kids its ranks were swelled, albeit briefly, by
Mick Jones on loan from The Clash. They played some low key London gigs, the most
famous of which was The Vortex. It was alleged that Glen tried to get Paul Weller
into the group but nothing came of this. Most of the summer of '77 was spent writing
August 1977 the second European punk festival was held in Paris at which the
band played alongside The Damned, The Police, Wayne County and The Boys. On returning
to the UK, Sounds ran the first feature on the group, 'Back with a Bullet', by
Pete Silverton (who years later co-wrote 'I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol'). In the
article, Steve New claimed that the group did a better version of 'Pretty Vacant'
than the Pistols (featured in the film 'DOA').
Rich Kids signed to EMI records on November 5th 1977. John Darnley (then of
EMI's A&R department) later confirmed the secrecy surrounding the signing of Glen
the record company banner, yet without an official first vinyl release, the group
went out on a UK tour calling in at; Coventry- Mr Georges, Dec 15th; Birmingham-Barbarellas,
Dec 16th; Liverpool-Erics, Dec 17th; Manchester-Electric Circus, Dec 18th; Dewsbury-Mr
Pickwicks, Dec 19th; and Huddersfield-Ivanhoes Club, Dec 20th. This was followed
by a Christmas break, during which the Pistols played at Huddersfield Ivanhoes
on Christmas day. John Rotten wore a one-off T-shirt with the slogan 'Never Mind
The Rich Kids, Here's The Sex Pistols'. The tour continued into January 1978 via
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Manchester, and two nights in Birmingham.
Rich Kids debut single 'Rich Kids' (Matlock), backed with 'Empty Words' (Matlock/New)
was issued in the UK on January 13 1978. The first 15,000 copies of the single
were pressed on red vinyl in a plain red sleeve. It became the group's biggest
seller. The band waited three months before issuing a follow up single 'Marching
Men' (Ure) in April 1978, backed with a live rehash of an old Faces number 'Here
Comes The Nice' recorded on December 16 at Barbarellas, Birmingham. Around the
time of the second single, Glen and Steve New teamed up with Rat Scabies and Sid
Vicious as 'The Vicious White Kids' for a one-off concert at the Electric Ballroom
in Camden, London. The gig marked Sid's departure for New York and was entitled
'Sid Sods Off'.
Rich Kids album, 'Ghosts of Princes in Towers', was released in the
UK during August 1978. It was produced by Mick Ronson and recorded at John Kongo's
home studio. All original copies came with a picture inner sleeve containing the
lyrics and various group photographs. The week following the release of the album,
EMI issued the group's last single with the album's song title being backed by
a new Glen song 'Only Arsenic'. The band played a few more gigs, including an
appearance on the TV show 'Rock Goes To College'. Ian McGlagan (ex-Small Faces)
was brought in on synthesiser . However, despite having demoed another album worth
of material, the band split up.
went on to play with Iggy Pop, The Spectres and Hot Club. Midge joined Thin Lizzy
temporarily, and then Ultravox after original vocalist John Foxx left. Rusty became
involved with Steve Strange and the group Visage and later became Steve's partner
in the night club business. Steve New continued to play guitar with various bands,
most notably Iggy Pop, PIL and Generation X. He returned to the music scene in
1996 playing on Glen's solo album and is still part of his present live band.
More recently Steve formed Lude, who released a one-off
single for Creation Records in 1998 .He is presently working on a solo album for
RevOla/Creation, due mid 2000.
'Ghosts' album, having long since been deleted on vinyl, was first reissued
on CD by DOJO in 1993. It was reissued again with improved sound quality by Cherry
Red records in 1999.
their time, the Rich Kids recorded two John Peel sessions, the first in November
1977, and the second in April '78 (which featured a version of 'Here Comes The
Nice'). While rumours of a planned 'Peel Sessions' CD (due summer '91) came to
nothing, 'Rich Kids' from the November 1977 session appeared on the 1991 Strange
Fruit compilation CD 'Winters of Discontent'.
by ALAN PARKER
- Rich Kid
Music Machine, London
October 28, 1978)
the Rich Kids get a few things into perspective the rather misbegotten
and amusing attitude, for instance, that their music goes above the heads of their
audience, I fear that they will miss the boat and become also-rans before even
getting into their stride.
history has been well-documented: Glen Matlock leaves Sex Pistols, gets together
with guitarist Steve New and drummer Rusty Egan, coaxes Midge Ure away from Slick
and forms Rich Kids. With such a pedigree (Matlock did make some brash claims
about responsibility for Pistols songs), it wasnt surprising that
the Rich Kids were launched in a flurry of hype and the grandness of that was
matched by the teeny bop flashiness that the band itself exuded. They gave the
impression of having spent many days and many pounds in the Kings Road.
Along came the album, Ghosts of Princes in Towers, and the Rich Kids
never lived up to the Press.
so we found ourselves at the Music Machine last Thursday night, with Glen Matlock
bitterly muttering something rude about the audience as the Rich Kids came on
for their encore. Well, Glen, if you didnt think we deserved an encore
is much thats right about the Rich Kids. Each member is more than competent
and conversant with his instrument, not least Steve New who stretches some incredibly
biting solos out of his axe. The front line of Matlock, Ure and New (pretty boys,
every one) throws shapes like theyre going out of fashion while Rusty Egan
is certainly one of the better new wave drummers. Some of the material is classic,
notably Ghosts of Princes in Towers and the fascinating curves of
Ures Marching Men which fully exploits the bands ability to
there is much thats wrong with the Rich Kids too. Over and a above the gloss
image, they lack a solid identity, a voice that is unmistakably the Rich Kids
(as Geldof is Boomtown Rats, as Partridge is XTC, as Rotten is Public Image).
Their sound at the moment lacks soul and often pours out of the speakers as unattractive
heavy metal. Too often they tend to be clever when a simple approach would be
the rich kids sort themselves out and live up to expectations? The potential is
there. But is the spirit?
by Harry Doherty