Interview with Tony Drayton of Kill Your Pet Puppy!

kyppcov1

The first Kill Your Pet Puppy, released in the borderland between 1979-1980.

Kill Your Pet Puppy is a zine from London, England. It’s got a lot of history to be backed up with, and might actually be called legendary. One of the men behind it all, or should we call him the ‘main man’, Tony Drayton – left his former zine Ripped & Torn to create this one. As the first issue emerged in 1979, it featured; Bauhaus, Crass, The Mob, Sex Gang Children, Southern Deathcult, The Associates, The Ants and Alien Sex Fiend. Including articles, in a range of topics from “Magick and Anarchy”, “In Praise of Stupid Songs”, “Gay Punks”, “Sid Vicious Memorial Day”, joined by “issues” such as feminism, squatting and the occult. Well, this was the first number of KYPP, and more were to come. It got distributed by Joly MacFie from Better Badges, and came out in six numbers from the years of 1979 to 1983. Even though countless things can be said about this zine, and its continual twelve writers from the joint group called ‘The Puppy Collective‘, whereas some of the members were; Alastair Livingstone, Kilty McGuire, Cory Spondence, Jeremy Gluck and Val Not-A-Puppy – nothing can be said better than by the man himself; Tony Drayton. Therefore, I sent a couple of questions to him, which turned out to give a lot of answers, as each answer tells a story in itself. So, I hereby welcome you to read the pretty long interview with Tony Drayton, about the Kill Your Pet Puppy-zine and things along the line of 1979-1983.

When did Kill Your Pet Puppy first emerge?

In the autumn of 1979 I was still making trips from our squat in West Hampstead to Rough Trade in Ladbroke Grove to collect mail for Ripped & Torn fanzine. I was always being asked about when I was going to get Ripped & Torn going again. The people down Ladbroke Grove had no idea of my reduced circumstances, and I let them believe I was biding my time, irons in the fire etc but cash flow meant I couldn’t get going.

On one of my trips to Rough Trade Joly from Better Badges was in there and took me for a meal at the Mountain Grill cafe on Portobello Road. Good man, Joly, he could see I needed a hot meal. Whilst I stuffed my face Joly offered me a deal that he would pay for the print coasts of any magazine I wanted to put out, so long as he could distribute as many as he wanted through his mail-order business.

Brett Puppy did the distinctive logo, girl with scissors and hair lettering, – he did that the same day we decided on the name.

Any copies of the mag I wanted to sell myself I could buy off him at a trade price (I think it was 10p per copy). Basically this meant I could publish for free.

On the way home I bought a typewriter in a second hand shop for £6 (a days wages at the leafleting job we did!) and back in the room I told the other people the news. “We’re going to write a new fanzine from this very room”, I declaimed, “and it’s going to be called ‘Fuck Your Mother’!” The people in that room would be the first FYM collective. So I guess they came first.

KYPP1page3introduction

“It may be just a magazine to you but it’s life and death”, from Kill Your Pet Puppy issue 1, page 3.

Though some didn’t participate in the writing of the magazine. They were in bands called The Last Words and Urban Guerrillas, and there was also Dave later to become a Sex Gang Child.

By the time I got back to Joly and agreed to his business proposal the title had changed to Kill Your Pet Puppy. I’ve always thought the title came from Val Puppy but she denies it.

KYPP1 was written very quickly. We were in the process of moving into another part of the building, and had some floor space to work on. Brett Puppy did the distinctive logo, girl with scissors and hair lettering, – he did that the same day we decided on the name.

After we saw Brett’s work we knew we had to go some to make something worthy of his effort. Jeremy Gluck of the Barracudas wrote his piece on glam and Abba after a Barracudas gig at the Moonlight club. He had no idea what the rest of the zine was going to be. He had of course written about the Vile Tones for Ripped & Torn.

The zine was coming together, and then Joly suggested we get it done in time for the Ants’ New Years Eve gig at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, the most anticipated and hottest punk gig of the time. Adam was to supply a picture for the cover, DO IT Records were to supply exclusive photos for the inside and there was meant to be a pro-Ants piece prominent in the issue.

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Adam and The Ants picture from Kill Your Pet Puppy issue 1, page 4.

However whilst waiting for Adam to come up with his front cover photo – he’s promised something “special” – news was coming through about dissent in the Ant band ranks. The article that was written was from stories hot off the street (and inside the Screen on the Green).

Life being as it is, Adam was so late in getting his picture to us he had to take it direct to Joly’s printing presses on Portobello Road. Adam had to arrive just as the presses were churning out the Ant piece, slagging Adam off!

Joly remembers it was touch and go if Adam would or would not give up his picture. This is the picture on the cover of KYPP 1, the Polaroid. Luckily Brett had done the cover with that Black and Red anarchy flag style because we had no idea what Adam was bringing to the table. Lucky we did, eh?

One or two days after that Joly had set up his stall at the back of the Electric Ballroom and amongst the badges and other fanzines was issue one of KYPP.

The cry was out, “Ants, Tunial, Crass, new issue”. That may as well have been the name! 500 copies were printed up in time for that gig and the lot were sold that night. Joly told me his stall had sold every copy as the Ants came back on stage for yet another encore, a parody of Y.M.C.A. called A.N.T.S. All I remember is dancing to this song with a great big grin on my face then waking up in a strange house in Islington with a bunch of new friends.

Since the first number of Kill Your Pet Puppy was a success, how would the process of fanzine-making continue after you had delivered the first number to the streets?

– After awhile of KYPP1 being released/published/onsale/whatever people started to ask about the next one. The reply given was that the next one would come when there was something relevant to say. I wanted to avoid the production-line conveyor-belt problem of producing issues at regular intervals because it was expected. I’d been through all that with Ripped & Torn. When the time was right it would happen, that was the Puppy party line.

Except there was a constant personal worry that I wouldn’t be able to match the first one, and this procrastination wasn’t helping the paranoia. Then a few things happened at once; Leigh and myself went to see Crass at Dial House to discuss our views about their pacifist stance, which was printed in the first issue (pro-Crass-tination). A few days later we received a letter from Penny Rimbaud, a long review of their philosophy. This has to go into the fanzine I thought.

Then there was the Sid Vicious memorial march; which brought together a lot of people and strands of though: and also brought a lot of things to a head. I wrote about those things, and then I wrote about why I thought those things – and the two pieces became the mainstay of KYPP2: appearing as the pieces ‘Apocalypse Now, Part 1’ and ‘Pet Puppies In Theory and Practice, Part 2’.

By the time of the final pieces the ribbon was worn out, but so was I and I didn’t realize how faded the words would look after going through the printing process.

AL Puppy then wrote one of his best and most sustained pieces of work, a six-page essay. This was also too important to not put in, and a sign that an issue had to be put out.

So all of those things went into the pot, and what emerged was an issue with no interviews or reviews or much about music at all. And the cover was mainly black with a punk couple kissing. When I went to Joly of Better Badges with this idea he was not impressed. To cap it all I went mad on the idea of printing coloured images then overprinting them with black text, which meant basically, as every page was being printed twice the costs would be of printing two fanzines for the price of one.

Luckily Joly went with the flow. The issue was written, laid out and finished between the 4th and 7th of February 1980: and by the next week it was in the shops. A few years later Joly told me that issue was one of the things he’s worked on over the years that he’s most proud of; though at the time and immediately after publication he loathed it as being hard to sell.

My lasting regret with KYPP2 is that I didn’t get a new typewriter ribbon for the final drafts of my writings. I’d bought a new ribbon and written like a madman, doing draft after draft of the articles and basically everything that is in that issue. By the time of the final pieces the ribbon was worn out, but so was I and I didn’t realize how faded the words would look after going through the printing process.

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Kill Your Pet Puppy issue 2!

Another regret is that I got Virgin to place an advert for the much reviled ‘Flogging A Dead Horse’ ‘best of’ Sex Pistols album; they thought it was great to be in this fanzine and I thought it was a great counterpart to my thoughts about the Sid Vicious memorial march. My regret is I only charged them £30: they would have paid hundreds, if only I’d realized it at the time.

Interestingly the back page is an oblique review of Bau Haus written by AL, but influenced by Brett; who we all went to see play probably a few days before doing the issue and thought we were seeing the future of punk.

Rachel @ Wapping Anarchy Centre

Rachel at Wapping Anarchy Centre in 1981!

At the end of the last page there is the line ‘WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?’ An heartfelt question. It finished up with me going to hitchhike around Europe for six months, the next issue thereby stalled for all that time despite everything set up for it to continue in my absence, and by my return in the autumn/winter of 1980 the first Anarchy Centre in Wapping was beginning to have punk gigs – and we got involved with that BIG TIME.

What kind of role did Anarchy Centre play in your transgression from doing KYPP to getting more involved with punk gigs?

– When Andy Martin started putting on gigs on Sunday evenings at the Autonomy Centre (as it was called then) we started going as spectators. We soon got involved in bringing food and organizing a lot of drink to be sold at the events. Brett used to cook vast amounts of veggie curry and we carried on the tube from Kilburn to Wapping. The drink was driven in by a punk named Gary and his girlfriend, after a couple of weeks of trying to carry it on the tube as well.

We never got involved in running the music side of things but did the catering. There’s a recording on the puppy site a gig at the time, with me talking about the bar.

I’d also brought back a lot of Anarchy posters and flyers from across Europe and we stuck those all over the walls as well.

This was the Winter of 1981.

On the Puppy site is this:

centroibericoflyerfront

Flyer by Tony D. in March of 1982!

As we said in our last Sunday Supplement “A kick up the arse”, if you don’ t put energy into the centre well all get pissed off and put none in ourselves and then where will you be?

Which shows the transition from Wapping to West London. It says ‘written by Tony D.’ and I remember writing it, but those Facts and figure (and the bit about our last Sunday Supplement ‘A Kick Up The Arse’) has the feel of Andy Martin. Maybe he wrote a flyer and I copied that bit.

The fact that the Apostles are lined up for the first gig shows they were there. I think we alternated weeks with Andy Martin and they started it off.

TonyandGreenHaironHarrowRoadMickspi

Tony D. in green hair, and “Green Hair” carrying equipment to Centro Iberico!

A scan of the original of this is in the Photo Gallery section. It was written by Tony D. in March 1982.

National tragedy 23 million people still employed! The Autonomy Centre in Wapping has now officially closed after being largely unused in its year long existence- apart from the gigs there every Sunday from November to Feb 21st (till the landlord found out). As the gigs were the Centre’s only form of income it was inevitable it had to close -£680 rent every three months, next payment would have been made on March 22nd.

Around £700 was paid into the bank from concerts, another £50 used to repair the drum kit that was used almost every week and to buy materials and keep the Centre running.

As this is written there is £89 in the Centro Iberico kitty, but there is also a list of things that are needed quickly:

Microphones, chemical toilets (what people in caravans and things use), tape recorders, a plug board (not enough sockets in hall), paint/brushes to paint banners to decorate the place, food/tea/coffee that you eat and drink free each week (or pay a little for the food)…

This isn’t just a gig venue run by an elite clique of people. As we said in our last Sunday Supplement “A kick up the arse”, if you don’ t put energy into the centre well all get pissed off and put none in ourselves and then where will you be? The Lyceum? The Clarendon? the 100 club? Twice the cost, half the bands and bouncers = no fun. Thieves, no-one paying, no participation = no A centre. Its your centre, use it, don’t abuse it …etc.

When a new, permanent place is found that we can use during the daytime for more than just gigs, then these gigs now should have raised enough to pay for facilities and things that can be used by and for all. If you have any ideas about what should be there, come along early and discuss it. Crass have shown interest in helping out but they don’t want to be used as a money source (the way Iris Mills and crew did in the setting up of the last place) – this place has to be financially independent…£1 entry, doors open 4.30pm, first band on at 7pm, finish at 10.30pm

21st March 12 Cubic feet/ The Apostles/ Lack Of Knowledge/ Replaceable Heads

28th March Rubella Ballet/ Action Pact/ Dead Man’s Shadow

4th April Subhumans / Organised Chaos/ Locusts/ Hagar The Womb

11th April EASTER – no trains? no bands? probably a free mind boggling weird and wonderful day

18th April Flux/ Cold War/ Screaming Babies

25th April The Mob/ Bikini Mutants/ D-Notice

Dotted around the text are little Situ quotes:

Authority is the Negation of Creativity

Disobey your Jailors – Smash the Spectacle

All power to the imagination / imagine no power

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act

There had been gigs there before, in a first floor room, and initially that was where the relocated Anarchy Centre was to be.

I remember it was my idea to move the stage to the ground floor and have it facing sideways so both the whole space downstairs could be used. It was one of our friends who wired up the room (it had no power in it previously) and set up the multi-plug board by the stage.

There was a long gap between issues of KYPP at this point – September 1981 and June 1982. AL wrote a piece in KYPP5 (June 82) about the closure of Wapping in February and how two weeks later we were in Centro Iberico. He mentions that at one gig, in May, 400 people attended the weekly event.

centropl1

Part 1 of “Punk Lives – In The Strangest Places”, by AL

As he is writing when the place is still going there is a sense of optimism in his words, which is key to what you’re asking really. Writing about these things after the event there’s always a sense of comedown and of disappointment that we failed in someway.

In the same issue I say, “that centre is the reason for Pet Puppy not appearing for so long – too much was happening to capture the mood. The mood was “Do It” not “Write About People Doing It” so we were doing it.”

centropl2

Part 2 of “Punk Lives – In The Strangest Places”, by AL

To answer the question, the transition from writer/publisher to event organizer revolved around the Anarchy Centre completely. With that project myself and the other puppies would never have done it.

It was a chance to put theory into practice. About making a change rather than writing about the need for change. And it was the chance to make a positive change – putting on cheap gigs for likeminded people, offering food and sometimes somewhere warm and comfortable to be for a few hours (some of those squats were grim places).

I’d been having some debate with Andy Martin about how things should progress, he was talking about badges and fanzine distribution whilst I thought more about offering food and places to live. So from these debates came the puppies bringing food and drink to the otherwise barren Wapping Centre; and were instrumental in developing the Centro Iberico opportunity into more than just gigs.

By then of course other puppies had been instrumental in setting up the Black Sheep Housing Co-op and getting houses from Islington Council, which happened in November 1982.

There wasn’t to be another KYPP till June 1983.

This begs for the question of what happened with the involvement of the puppies in these different venues between the year of 1982 and 1983?

– We carried on putting on and promoting gigs at the Centro Iberico and had wild, wild times but also desperate times. This is really another story – there’s a book length amount of words covering this time; if I had the time to find them. I’ve sent you two links from AL Puppy’s blog Green Galloway to scans of his article in Punk Lives about this era, including the last ever gig at the Iberico. The Mob, which is interesting, headlined it – I think Andee Martin had stopped promoting gigs here, or participating by this time.

What began to happen after this so called “era” of punk where many things changed into something else?

I’m not sure which ‘era’ you mean? Looking back through musical eyes, 1981 was the beginning of a sea change with the released of Duran Duran’s single ‘Planet Earth’. Brett Puppy brought this into our home, he loved it and all it seemed to represent whilst I was not so sure.

Had Bauhaus begot a baby and called it New Romantic? Or was the New Romantic movement stealing our images and stripping them of the punk, anarchist and occult meanings?

Boy George had been to Puppy Mansions as a wild punk rocker – now he was on the television singing weak but catchy songs. Was this progress? Were we winning?

And Adam’s ship-jumping but brilliant ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ just stoked the fire. In between wondering about the New Romantics we of course carried on organizing the Centro Iberico Anarcho Centre; putting on gigs by Blood and Roses, Sex Gang Children and UK Decay who really were a new movement from the streets.

On September 26th 1981 a few Puppies went to Leeds to a festival called Days Of Future Past and between us sold around 1,000 copies of KYPP4 – which had been printed a few days before at Big A Little A printers.

This is a link to the flyer for the event:

flyer2

The “Days Of Future Past” festival flyer from 1981!

What happened with the New Romantics from Duran Duran onward was the music industry regaining control of music.

On the bill at this event were ‘our’ bands such as The Cramps, Bauhaus and Theatre of Hate. Altered Images were a grey area then there were a new breed of band and fan in the form of Echo and The Bunnymen.

I never fathomed out the Bunnymen at the time but many decades later, Bill Drummond’s books have enlightened me to the fact we were singing from the same songsheet – but no one told us at the time.

But we sold 1,000 copies of a fanzine in one day. Back to the ‘fever’ of the original launch at the Ants new years eve gig 1979/80. And this was ‘up north’ and opening up a readerbase in a new geographical area. A smart publisher would have spotted this.

I think instead most of the puppies and I just went back to London and back to the anarcho/Iberico world (interestingly having no interest in either two bands that could be considered part of ‘our’ scene: Killing Joke and Alternative TV on the next day of the two day festival – let alone the other strangers on the bill).

Other stuff started coming out of Bill Drummond such as Teardrop Explodes and coming at us from the tv set rather than small gigs in London as was the usual way. So we couldn’t approach them and book them for the Centro Iberico but they sounded like they’d fit right in.

I remember a friend coming down from Glasgow and forcing us all to go and see a band called Pink Industry at the ICA; and we were all knocked out of our socks. Our Scottish friend spent the evening identifying all the major Merseysiders down with the band, such as Holly Johnston and Bill himself. This was as close as we got to merging with Bill’s anarcho visions.

I’ve not even mentioned The Face magazine launched by Nick Logan in May 1980 – which created it’s own version of New Romantic with a band set up for that purpose – Spandau Ballet (Brett Puppy also loved this band): for very illuminating background to Ballet/Face reward Peter York’s book Style Wars.

As I read Peter York’s book I realized the Face magazine was based on KYPP1. Maybe that’s just me. I’d quote directly from the book but I cannot find it anywhere in the house.

What happened with the New Romantics from Duran Duran onward was the music industry regaining control of music. After this they kept control by separating all rebellious/revolutionary music into factions, or as their friends in the press caged it ‘tribes’.

This ‘tribes’ partitioning was especially apparent in the sudden media urge to add the suffix ‘billy’ to things to emphasis their separateness, and also to trivialize them as ‘faddish.  From rockabilly there became a million ‘–billy’ movements. Each one dividing and separating it from the next so very soon The Cramps were a million ‘billy’s’ from ‘anarcho-punk’ yet a few months before they were the same underground movement.

So that was one era of particularly interesting weirdness when punk began to change into something else.

There was the Batcave era of 1982 which I can go into if you want.

Puppy at Stonehenge

Puppies at the Stonehenge Festival in 1983!

But another seachange for me personally was mine and punks experience of the Stonehenge Festival. Now that was a change. I missed the first year, 1980, when The Epileptics played on the main stage and it was horrendous carnage as punks were beaten up by hells angels all night long.

But in 1983 it was less horrific. From this 1983 experience there evolved an idea of a traveling punk rock & circus show that could travel the world. From that idea I became a fire-eating juggler who did travel the world – only the punk circus idea dropped off along the way. Do you want more on this?

Tony performing at Covent Garden 1986

Tony performing at Covent Garden dated inbetween circa 1985-1987!

Yes, please tell us more about the Batcave era in 1982?

– The Batcave grew out of Billys in Soho; a club which Brett, Bob Short and myself frequented when we lived in a St James Street squat in Covent Garden in the spring of 1979: we were allowed in for free as we were ‘characters’ and regulars. Covent Garden and Soho were pretty run down places at this time, which histories of ‘punk’ often fail to register.

As outlined previously in this interview, I had moved away from the central London lifestyle of the St James St squat – thieving bread-rolls and buns from outside shops at dawn, free lunch with the Hare Krishnas then on to Billys to ponce drinks and drugs all night – speeding awake till dawns comes and another trawl round the vacant streets of Holborn, full of shuttered bakeries beckons – one step behind the delivery vans.

At this time, 1979, Billys was playing Bowie and funk. Psychedelic Furs were a buzzing name to drop at this point but I don’t think they had any records out at this point.  If they had Billys would have played them to death. I remember Brett shoplifting a book called ‘Imitation Of Christ’ purely as it was a Furs song title.

In that summer we were busy with the Anarchy Centre but went to the Bat Cave as it was supposed to be ‘New Romantic without the frills’.

I remember seeing a girl with ‘Psychedelic Furs’ painted on the back of her leather jacket, and the name being so long it went across the back and down the right hand side. “They’ve made a mistake with that name,” I laughed, it’s too long. And too hard to spell – the amount of mistakes in people writing that name are legion. The Ants had that problem under control – but they had nothing released at this time neither.

I suppose all the above is saying is that there was a Batcave punk/eclectic crowd hanging around Billys before the Batcave opened its’ wings.

Of course in between the Billys I knew and the Batcave it had been a New Romantic club called ‘Blitz’. And then when the Batcave first opened it was in Meard Street, round the corner and entrance via a two-person lift. Most annoying to stand around in the London drizzle waiting for that lift to make it’s way up and down.

The Batcave opened in July 1982; KYPP issue 5 had been published in June 1982. We had a male make-up guide, Southern Death Cult and a piece on ‘sexuality, politics and menstruation’; Batcave had men wearing make-up and people who had not heard of SDC but within months be their biggest fans but not a whiff of menstruation or politics.

page14

Southern Death Cult on ‘sexuality, politics and menstruation’ in Kill Your Pet Puppy issue 5, page 14.

In that summer we were busy with the Anarchy Centre (KYPP had AL’s piece linked to above about the Centre, and progression in general) but went to the Bat Cave as it was supposed to be ‘New Romantic without the frills’. There’s been a couple of other clubs set up in Soho trying to find a post-New Romantic crowd which were of fleeting interest – I think one was set up by Paul Morley of the NME. We went to them once.

Nothing we found in the ‘new’ Soho was a patch on what was happening clubwise at the Anarchy/Iberico Centre; or musically with the likes of Blood & Roses and Sex Gang Children who we went to see in all manner of venues.

However friends assured us that the Batcave was ‘different’ and more ‘intune’ with the ‘Anarcho’ lot: so I remember trying it again and being told I wasn’t allowed to sell my fanzines at the venue. I always went everywhere with a plastic bag full of fanzines. This was the first time I’d been prohibited by a venue meant to be ‘friendly’.

TonyandValBrocklehurstPV

Tony and Val at Jo Brocklehurst’s exhibition!

A shocker. The bouncers at the bottom of the lift were creating their own rules independently of the ‘creative’ flow that Oly Wisdom was upstairs publicly encouraging. Or were they?

By then, publishing wise, things had changed a great deal; and here the key player is Kris Needs and key incident is his slagging off of Blood & Roses in the magazine Flexi Pop.

Kris Needs had risen to editorship of the magazine Zigzag on the back of punk rock, and repositioned this publication to the forefront of the music fans’ mind. Kris had managed to threaten the stranglehold of the major music weeklies by his editorial skill and connections within the punk milieu – and some great writing.

Then Zigzag had a change of ownership and Needs was sacked, being replaced by fanzine writer Mick Mercer. That cuts a long story short, and to cut another one even shorter I began writing for Zigzag; and soon Blood & Roses and other KYPP bands were in the new look Zigzag.

At this point I was also writing small pieces for the major weeklies, first Record Mirror then Sounds and NME – all under different names. Zigzag’s Mick Mercer didn’t care, he was also writing for the ‘biggies’. So occasionally a good anarcho-punk review would appear in them big boys.

Myself, AL and other fanzine writers were also writing for a monthly magazine called ‘Punk Lives’: where I wrote about Alien Sex Fiend in glowing terms, they became Batcave regulars. It was loose times for bands and terms working under the major weeklies’ ‘billy’ factionalism. We were trying to write the wrongs by saying all of us were ‘silly billies’.

Back to the Batcave: Kris Needs is now the resident DJ at the club (how?!?) and also writing for a new magazine called  Flexipop. We all loved Flexipop issue 4, published in February 1981, for the Antz flexi single ‘A.N.T.Z.’ but by now the format of a free flexi single on the cover had been ripped off by all and sundry.

R-389899-1313282490

Adam and the Ants flexisingle “A.N.T.S”, released in 1981 with Flexipop magazine issue 4.

In a big decision Flexipop change editors and now Kris Needs is in charge from issue 27, whilst still Djing at the Batcave. His first move is to banish the free flexi-singles (negating the name in a flash) and his second move is upping the Batcave band content of the magazine to 99%: it is good reading.

So now the man who saved Zigzag, the hippest man in town as the Batcave DJ now has a chance to unite all under his charge, those split asunder by the major weeklies into ‘silly-billy’ factions – to really show his mettle and bring in the bands really making a change on top of producing good music.

So sadly Kris Needs spends a page of Flexipop ridiculing Blood & Roses: thus ending my personal interest in the Batcave and showing the divide between what we were doing and commercial enterprise.

Unfortunately such a betrayal by Needs left us anarchic dresser-uppers cut adrift from all sides; and we reversed sadly back into the Anarcho-punk corner where things got darker and darker.

One of the things Needs mocked about Blood & Roses, their connection with Aleister Crowley, ironically closed down his magazine a few issues later. Flexipop put Crowley on the cover, WH Smiths refused to stock it and the publication folded right there and then.

What’s the expression? ‘Last laugh’? Fitting.

It should be noted that everytime I’ve run into Kris Needs in the last thirty years none of this has been mentioned and we get on like a house on fire. Maybe till this ‘interview’ is published, hey? Bring it on.

As you were, once again, adrift between things – where would you settle down this time around?

– From Stonehenge Festival Mark Mob had got into his head the idea of being like a punkier version of the Tibetan Ukrainian Mountain Troupe, who travelled around Europe in hippy buses (old buses converted into liveable quarters, mobile homes), performing a blend of music and circus acts as they went.

The idea took hold at Grosvenor Avenue and we set about learning to fire-breathe and juggle. In 1984 learning circus skills became my passion; despite the original idea losing momentum amongst the Black Sheep crowd I carried on. I did my first paid performance in July 1985, the same day as Live Aid.

I performed a fire-eating/breathing act onstage and some clowning/juggling as a meet and greet; this was at a Victorian evening somewhere in middle England. I had got the job via the teacher at a clown course called ‘School For Fools’; a sign how seriously I was taking this new adventure. It was a long way from punk rock and my  journey from here diverges away from the purposes of this interview. Though I helped shape the face of what became known as ‘New Circus’ with my punk past.

Thanks for your time and patience, and making me think about these things again.

Tony Puppy.

Kill Your Pet Puppy nowadays exists as an online-zine, where they document things that didn’t get put out there, along with mp3’s and other delights. You can find them over here, their photo-archive over here – and make sure you follow them closely, so you can indulge in everything related. It’s worth it. Also, a huge ‘thank you’ to Tony Drayton of Kill Your Pet Puppy for answering these questions. You can also “read” the zine digitally, if you go to their photo-archives, which host the issues 1-6. There, you can also view pictures from this era.

C90

/ Invisible Guy

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2 thoughts on “Interview with Tony Drayton of Kill Your Pet Puppy!

  1. Pingback: Eric Hysteric & The Esoterics – The Stiff Demos | Wasted Vinyl

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