Deaf School St Albans shield, small

       

       I first heard about Deaf School when I was a T.REX/David Bowie obsessed teenager.

 

As an avid reader of Melody Maker, they appeared suddenly on the front cover.  They won a sort of battle of the bands competition. The photograph of the group was very intriguing, leading to a sort of Crush on Bette Bright and Enrico Cadillac Junior, both of whom wore eyeshadow in equal measure. The pseudonyms the band adopted added an air of mystique and glamour and the Art School connection gave a touch of Roxy Music romanticism.

 

The music was unheard by me at this time as the only way to see them was at a venue that served alcohol and I must have been just fourteen or fifteen at the time. The cover was a sign that something was going on in this bustling Northern Town that had once been alive with Merseybeat and The Beatles, who now lived in some far off dimension in a Yellow Submarine or a Magical Mystery Tour Bus of the mind.  Deaf School were real and here in my hometown, Doing It.  This very fact was a revelation  and when I finally heard What A Way To End It All  from their first album with it's Odd lyrical bent and Colourful Cabaret aspect I was both transfixed and transformed. This was the benchmark that had to be transcended. A Bigger Splash had to be made by something or someone.

 

I finally got to meet the large cast of characters in ERIC'S the legendary music venue/Nightclub and rehearsed there as an apprentice musician/member of Big In Japan using some of Deaf School's equipment. They were the absent leaders of this scene, off on tour or making another record. It was Anne (Bette Bright) who advised me to join the Performing Rights Society as a song writer, always looking fabulous in a Swanky Modes dress or swanning down Bold Street in a pink and blue Seditionaries mohair sweater.  

 

Aside from their creative Chutzpah, these practical considerations were invaluable to a struggling musician intent on creating a Musical Universe of his own. The first two albums were amazingly arty and artful.  The third produced by Mutt Lange somehow changed their true essence with a new straight ahead rock direction, not the Deaf School that I knew and loved - the Deaf School that was a unique inspirational  touchstone for a whole generation of creative rebellion and musical ambition that revived Liverpool's music scene after the Big Bang of the 1960's.

Holly Johnson tells us his Deaf School story!

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Holly

Warmest Deaf School thanks to Holly for offering to write these words for us!  Holly made this kind gesture after attending the 70th birthday private party for former Deaf School sax-man Mike Evans, at which DS was honoured to be asked to play a set!  Mike, who didn't know DS were going to be there, even sat in on two or three numbers when his wife produced his sax!