Billy Childish, Vocals
Will Power, Guitar
Big Russ, Bass
Little Russ on Drums
The Pop Rivets (AKA TV 21) played their first show in 1977 at Detling Village Hall, Kent. Famous for their renditions of “Stingray” and “Hippy Hippy Shake”, The Pop Rivets recorded the first truly independent punk LP in 1978/9, pipping Swell Maps to the post (who’s LP was actually funded by Rough Trade). The Pop Rivets, on the other hand, borrowed £300 from AKA, a friend, who had just received a year’s Social Security back pay. AKA was a type of fan who hated Childish and dismissed the Pop Rivets as a bunch of art school wafters. The mystified Pop Rivets took the money anyway and set about recording the “Greatest Hits” LP in the front room of a bungalow in Herne Bay. (They had to stop recording for the engineers mother to watch the 6 o’clock news). The resulting LP was described in the NME as “The youngsters as the future of rock ‘n’ roll” and then nothing happened.
In 1979 The Pop Rivets embarked on two self-promoted tours of Switzerland and Germany and recorded their 2nd LP – Empty Sounds From Anarchy Ranch.
Two further EP’s appeared in 1980 before The Pop Rivets recorded a lost John Peel session and split up. For The Pop Rivets, punk rock had gone horribly wrong. Thatcher – Milk Snatcher was in and New Romanticism was rearing its poesy old head. Far from being dead and buried it seamed that Bowie and co we’re on the ascendant. But there where still many questions the boys need answers for: Why did modern studios insist on making drum kits sound like the recording of a wet cardboard box with a dead fish in it? Why could no group keep its integrity beyond one LP, or even a single 45? Why were Link Wrays 2 track recordings more vital and exciting than anything a modern 8 track studio, or 16 track studio could knock out? Did spiders really see out of all eight eyes at once? Could it be that sophistication far from enhancing creativity, destroyed it?
It was time for the Pop Rivets to stifle their intellects and devolve. There were plans to record a final double LP consisting entirely of rock n roll covers recorded live on half track to be titled – The Pop Rivets Meet the Whirling Dervish and survive! They didn’t.