London were one of many bands who formed at the end of 1976 from the ranks of eager young musicians, their disillusion with a stagnant music scene all but shattered by a certain notorious quartet wich had made the tabloids' front pages courtesy of hapless TV interviewer Bill Grundy. A couple of ads placed in the music press by vocalist Riff Regan (real name Miles Tredinnick), a former assistant to Robert Stigwood, recruited drummer Jon Moss, who had briefly been with the CLASH until he could stomach Joe Strummer's humourless no longer, plus guitarist Dave Wight and bassist Steve Voice.

Several weeks of writing and rehearsing led to their debut at the rochester Castle, stoke Newington, where they spotted by an enthusiastic Danny Morgan, assistant to formerYarbirds manager Simon Napier-Bell. To Simon they were the most charismactic band to former seen since the early days of the Rolling Stones. Within days he had become their manager, secured them prestigious gigs at Dingwalls and the roxy, and a three-month tour supporting the STRANGLERS.

In spring 1977 they signed to MCA Records, who narrowly beat Virgin to the dotted line. The first single, Riff's raucous rabble-rousing "Everyone's a winner", with a vocal that hovered menacingly between the styles of Messrs BOWIE, Ian HUNTER and Johnny ROTTEN, attracted good reviews, and a video directed by Mike Mansfield of 'Supersonic' fame was shot at the ITN Studios in Wells Street near Oxford Circus. Regular dates at the Nashville and the Hope & Anchor that summer were followed by a national headlining tour in September and the release of an E.P., containing "Summer Of Love", "No Time", "Siouxsie Sue", and their only recorded cover version, the EASYBEATS' "Friday On My Mind". it charted at N°52 and put them on standby for 'Top of the Pops' one week, though the programme management were worried about the possible F-word content on one of the tracks. To allay their fears Riff and Steve had to write out the lyrics to "Summer Of Love" on longhand while an impatient BBC motorbike rider kept his finger on the doorbell, waiting to take the result back to the Beeb bosses. After all that - well, no naughty words, but no room on 'TOTP' either.

Nevertheless with support bands including XTC, 999, The ONLY ONES, The VIBRATORS, The LOOK, BETHNAL and SECRET AFFAIR the gigs generally sold out, and a certain 14-year-old Heather McCartney named London as one of her favourite bands alongside the SEX PISTOLS , the CLASH and the DAMNED. In the autumn another single, "Animal Games", was released. It was featured on TV's 'So It Goes', where presenter Tony wilson copped the T-Zers smart-arse-one-liner award in 'NME' that week for his introduction of the band: "If Sadat can get into Jerusalem, you can get into london".

An album of the same name followed, recorded at the IBC Studios, where the KINKS and the WHO had cut so many of their classic, but by the time of release early in 1978 the end was nigh. The Damned asked Jon Moss to join them, and LONDON played what truned out to be their last gig at the Marquee just before Christmas 1977, with riff appearing in a Santa Claus outfit for the first few numbers and throwing goodies into the audience at one stage.

The next few weeks found Riff, Steve and dave auditioning new drummers before deciding to call it a day.

Riff was retained by MCA as a solo artist and made further four solo singles. One last single on Epic in 1981 marked his farewell to the music biz after he embarked on a career as a comedy writer.
Steve voice formed two subsequent bands, the Original Vampires and Blind Yeo.
Simon Napier-Bell struck platinum as manager of George Michael and Wham!, while Jon Moss, shortly to form the EDGE with Lu from the Damned.

 

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