LUNEDI' 7 LUGLIO
The band allegedly derived their name from a piece of graffiti that founder Jimmy Pursey saw on a wall. It originally said Walton and Hersham '69 but had partly faded away, and made reference to when Walton & Hersham F.C. secured the Athenian League title in 1969.
The 12 November 1976 issue of NME notes that Sham 69 was rehearsing in 1976, although only Pursey would remain from this early line-up twelve months later. Sham 69 did not have the art school background of many English punk bands of the time, and brought in football chant backup vocals and a sort of inarticulate political populism. The band attracted a large skinhead following (left wing, right wing and non-political). Their concerts were plagued by violence, and the band ceased live performances after a 1979 concert at Middlesex Polytechnic was broken up by National Front-supporting white power skinheads fighting and rushing the stage.
Sham 69 released their first single, "I Don't Wanna", on Step Forward Records in August 1977, produced by John Cale (formerly of the Velvet Underground), and its success in the independent charts prompted Polydor Records to sign the band. Their major label debut was "Borstal Breakout" in January 1978, followed by UK Singles Chart success with "Angels With Dirty Faces" (reaching number 19 in May 1978) and "If the Kids Are United" (number 9 in July 1978). They weren't taken from the group's debut album, Tell Us the Truth, a mixture of live and studio recordings. The group had further chart success with "Hurry Up Harry" (number 10 in October 1978), which came from their second LP and first full studio album, That's Life. The band's popularity was enhanced by their performances on Top Of The Pops, and the band performed in the 1980 film, D.O.A..
The band eventually started to move away from punk rock, to embrace a sound heavily influenced by classic British rock bands such as Mott the Hoople, The Who, The Rolling Stones and The Faces. This was demonstrated by their third album, The Adventures of the Hersham Boys.
The band broke up in 1979 following Jimmy Pursey's departure to the Sex Pistols. This was after their fourth album, and Pursey moved in a heavy metal direction after working with the remaining members of the Sex Pistols for a short time, under the name Sham Pistols. Rick Goldstein, Dave Parsons, and Dave Tregunna joined the 1980s glam punk/gothic rock band The Wanderers with Stiv Bators of The Dead Boys before he formed The Lords of the New Church. Stiv Bators and Dave Tregunna recruited Nick Turner of The Barracudas and Brian James of The Damned to become Lords of the New Church. In 1981, Pursey collaborated with Peter Gabriel on the single "Animals Have More Fun" which was commercially unsuccessful.
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