Before the advent of punk, Knox(Ian Carnochan) had been around the bloke a few time. Throughout the 60s and early 70s, he played in a variety of mainly R&B bands. The first rumblings of what was to come happened when Knox formed DESPAIR, with two of his cousins. Their repertoire inclued self-penned compositions such as "Whips and furs" and "She's bringing you down" which become VIBRATORS standarts. But by Christmas 1975, Knox was disillusioned:
"I'd been talking to my friend Eddie, then I met Pat Collier and John Ellis and they were saying, 'Let's get together and start a band'. I was going, 'Oh Alright', but I had total misgivings about it. It's hard to work other people's songs, and you end up playing all these awfull standarts, like 'Johnny B.Goode', which is brilliant, but has been flogged to death."
Despite Knox's reservations, THE VIBRATORS played their first gig supoorting The STRANGLERS in March '76 with Eddie on drums, Pat on bass, John on guitar and Knox as singer/guitarist. Thanks to the enthusiastic efforts of Pat and John, more gigs started coming in. We'd been pulled into this umbrella of punk and suddenly there was press interest.

Then came the timely event that thrust punk and the Vibrators firmly into the public eye: the 100 Club Punk Festival, in October '76. "It was over two days", says Knox, "and Ron Watts, who'd organised it, had got Chris Spedding playing on the second day. I think he phoned us the day before and asked us if we could backCris because he didn't have a band. Of course we said 'yes', because to us he was a major star. We couldn't go to the first night when the CLASH and the PISTOLS played because we wereplaying at the Nelson, but we were there on the second night, with the DAMNED. The 100 Club Festival put punk on the map. As a result of the violence at it, though, a lot of work disappeared, and what work there was, there was a terrible feeling of violence in the audience. A lot of these guys'd turn up and throw things at bands - they weren't fans."

Yet despite the sucess and interest generated by the festival, the VIBRATORS found themselves exluded from the style-obsessed punk poliburo. "We weren't part of the CLASH/PISTOLS crowd", says Knox. "I think they used to go out clubbing together and they had Bernie Rhodes and Malcom McLaren working out schemes. We weren't like that. When all these people were in clubs, we were out playing gigs. People always said we jumped on the bandwagaon, but a lot of songs for the first album were written two or three years before the VIBRATORS. We didn't have a particular good image - I had long hair, and Eddie had very long hair. We were just ordinary people playing away".

Leaving the self-conscious London scene behind, the VIBRATORS blazed a trail across Britain, often the first punk band to play in many places. However, getting signed was more problematic on a practical and ideological level, as Knox explains.
"Chris Spedding got Mickie Most interested and asked us if we wanted to do a single with him, so we said 'yes'. But it was very difficult because he was a pop person and punk was very anti all that stuff, so we thought that maybe it wasn't the right thing to sign for him. In a way, it didn't matter, but we had quite a few arguments about it. In the end, no other company was interested, so we thought we'd just do it. So we went in and did two singles, "Pogo Dancing", with Chris Spedding, and "We Vibrate", a song that Pat had written for us. They came out within a few weeks of each other, and I think we were 'Record of the Week" in NME, Christmas '76."
"In the new year (1977) we had interest from Epic/CBS", says Knox. "Even though we had records out with Mickie Most", Knox relates, "we'd managed not to sign anything with him. We recorded a second single, 'Bad Time', but in the end it didn't get released, and we switched over to Epic."

The first fruit of this union was the decidedly non-punk love ballad single "Baby, Baby", closely followed by their debut album, "Pure Mania" (a title Knox pinched from a fanzine review of an Iggy Pop gig), recorded with Robin Mayhew. "Pure Mania" remains a classic punk album, due in no small degree to Mayhew's production, which gave the album a very dry sound - 'punk' rather than 'normal' production (though it was remixed for the States), The VIBRATORS capitalised on their new-sound popularity by touring the continent, and with a UK tour, sopporting Ian Hunter. However, after all this activity, in June 1977, Pat Collier left to form power popsters, the Boyfriends, and was replaced by Gary Tibbs. This was not the only upheaval the Vibrators had to negociate, as Knox relates.
"Our manager suggested that we make some kind of 'statement'," he laughs. "The whole idea was that London was boring, let's move to berlin, where everything is happening. We were supposed to be writing a new album, and one of our friends, Dave Fudger, who was a journalist with Sounds, talked to me a lot about the sort of stuff we should be writing. So I wrote songs like "Troops Of Tomorrow" and Destroy" as a result of him sugggesting 'you should make it harder, there's going to be a war in Europe!"

The band returned home to record this material for "V2", their second labum, which was produced by the late Vic Maile. The single, "Automatic Lover", reached N°35 in the charts, while the album hit N°33. It was the Vibrators' finest moment, yet trouble was brewing. John was disenchanted with touring and left the band, as did Gary. John went on to form Rapid Eye Movement and then work with Peter Gabriel. Gary joined Roxy Music in November 1978 and, later, Adam & The Ants. The Vibrators entered a phase of instability.
"After John left, we had Don Show on keyboards and saxophone, and Dave Birch on guitar. That band felt too 'safe'; it didn't have a danger kinda feel, so Eddie and I sacked them and got Ben Brierly (husband of Marianne Faithfull) on bass, and Greg Van Cook, from Electric Chairs, on guitar. They were actually very dangerous - good players but too out of control! We played Dingwalls one night and the manager was going on about what a terrible gig it was. I think they were a bit drunk..."

The brown stuff was about to hit the fan. But, when it did, the source was completely unexpected- Knox himself.
"There was a big tour coming up for us, problably an album too", he remembers. "But I thought it was going to be very hard work. I was writing loads of stuff, so I thought, well, I can do a tour, then I can do a solo album after it, that can keep me going during the tour. I talked to a girl at CBS and she immediatly told the main guy. I tought it was confidential, but, of course, I'm stupid and it wasn't - the main guy at CBS pulled all the money out of the tour. We tried to keep the tour on, but failed, and everyone was horrified bymy behaviour. That was the end of the VIBRATORS."
Well, not quite, Eddie and Greg carried on with a new vocalist, Kip and Ian Woodcock, from Eater, on bass. A later line-up featuring Adrian Wyntt and Phil Ram had more succes, when the pair wrote "Disco In Mosco", in 1980, which remains a Vibrators favourite and was covered by German funsters Die Toten Hosen. Despite the sucess of this and another single, "Gimme some lovin'", the band finally dissolved at the end of 1980.
In the meantime,true to his nature, Knox kept playing. In 1982, he recorded a solo album, "Plutonium Express", for Razor, and later formed the Fallen Angels, with members of Hanoi Rocks, eventually recording three LPs.

The original line up reformed in mid 1982 and signed to Anagram Records, releasing a new version of "Baby Baby". This was followed by a single and album both called "Guilty" before the band moved to Ram Rds, releasing the singles "MX America" and "Flying home" and the LP "Alaska 127" (named after Pat Collier's studio). By mid 1985 the band had signed to Carrere Records for whom they recorded the "Baby blue eyes" single before moving back to Ram for the "Fifth Amendment" LP and "Blown away by love" single. By the time the band signed to FM Revolver in mid 1986, Pat had left to pursue a successful career producing bands, and was replaced by Noel Thompson for the "Vibrators Live" LP. John Ellis then left (to become a full-time member of the STRANGLERS) and was replaced by Mickie Owen, and Noel left and was replaced by Mark Duncan. The new line up released the "Recharged" album, the "String him along" single and also the 1988's "Meltdown" album. Mickie Owen left and was replaced by NIGEL BENNETT (ex-MEMBERS) for the 1990's "Vicious Circle" LP. This line up of the VIBRATORS toured regularly, and released a string of albums: "Volume Ten" (1990), "The power of the money" (a re-make compilation, 1993), "Hunting for you" (1994), and "Uunpunked" (an acoustic compilation album, 1996).

In 1996, in their twentieth year, they started with a new line-up: KNOX - guitar/vocals, EDDIE - drums, with newcomers Darrell Bath (ex- UK SUBS) - guitar, and Nick Peckham - bass, but by June that year they had become a three-piece (KNOX, NICK, and EDDIE). The band recorded the albums "French Lessons With Correction!" (1997) and "Buzzin" (1999). with the band doing extensive touring, (almost 100 gigs in 1999 - including the USA and Canada), plus the release of many albums. Nick (bass) left in Sepatember 1999 and was replaced by Robbie Tart ). In 2002 the band released a new compilation of the first two albums the band recorded, closely followed by a new studio album "Energize", both on Ian Grant's TRACK RECORDS.

In September 2003 Robbieleft and was replaced by PETE from Finnish band No Direction, and the band toured the UK and Europe with the UK Subs, doing really good business. .

 

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