Gary Crowley

DJ — London

Name
Gary Crowley

What do you do?
A DJ of no fixed hairstyle. Two shows on a Saturday on BBC Radio London and 'GC's Punk and New Wave Show' every Tuesday on Soho Radio

Where are you from?
North West London. I was brought up on the Lisson Green Estate and now live 10 minutes away in Maida Vale...so the apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree.

Describe your style in three words?
Punky Moddy Fan

Which sub-cultures have had an enduring effect on you?
Punk and Mod for me. Prior to Punk exploding in '77, I was fascinated by all things Mod through my Aunt and Uncle who were original Mods from North West London. In fact, my ‘60s obsession got to the point where I would gear every school project around it so I could write about and all things Mod and youth culture! The book Generation X also had an enormous effect on me. So when I started reading about this new wave of bands coming through in late '76/early '77, I instantly knew that this was my time, my movement. And the band that encapsulated the energy of Punk (closely followed by The Clash) combined with the style of the 60s mods was the Jam as exemplified on their classic debut 'In The City'.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
JFK has always fascinated me. In fact the Kennedys as a whole I can absorb myself in until the cows come home. The youth, the intelligence and the wit that JFK brought to the White House begs the question just what could've been had he not been assassinated in Dallas. The track has got to be Frank Sinatra's Kennedy campaign version of the classic 'High Hopes'. Love a bit of Ol Blue Eyes too.

Another you? Any other career that would have appealed?
Maybe an actor. Up until I was fired by Punk, acting was something I was seriously thinking about as a kid and even wrote off to RADA et al. Not that I think Idris Elba and co would've had anything to worry about.

Best Gig you have ever been to? 
That very first one is always going to be hard to beat, and for me, it was The Jam and The Boys at Battersea Town Hall, early summer in 1977. Both bands possessed an infectious, high-octane adrenaline which literally sent me home reeling that night thinking I want to be a part of this. 'The First Time' by The Boys still sounds as vital as it did that night. Nirvana at Belfast Kings Hall in the early 90's was a magical night too.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Bogarts was such a special club and time in my life. The summer of 1983. The Sound Of The Suburbs. Well, South Harrow actually. The music... the clothes... the hair! I was 19 years old back then and I'd just been given my own radio show 'The Tuesday Club' on Capital Radio, and the end of the summer would see me hitch a ride on Wham's Club Fantastic tour as their warm-up DJ, but that's another story for another day.

It was somewhere where a large part of London's teenage cognoscenti would come on a weekly basis and hear and dance to the music we were playing on the radio show.

And with the occasional personal appearance from our current fave raves. Boy did that idea snowball. The Style Council (Paul Weller doing a PA?! Unheard of at the time!), Paul Young, I Level, Bananarama, The Haines Gang, Jo Boxers, Jimmy The Hoover, Animal Nightlife, Rock Steady Crew, The Main T Posse... just some of the artists who would rock up and do a turn. Those Bad Boys from Bushey, George Michael and Andrew Ridgely would hold court on the dance floor and occasionally the bar.

It was that kind of club. Where the music came first, and everybody danced. Chic's ' Good Times'... Gilberto Gil's 'Toda Menina Baiana'...Wham's 'Young Guns'... The Smiths 'This Charming Man (New York Vocal mix)' and Grandmaster & Melle Mel's 'White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)' were just some of our ANTHEMS over that summer. Not that anybody was doing drugs mind. It really was all about the dance and perhaps a drink or two. The Harrow girls. The Hackney Boys, Trendies from Soho making the journey out to the burbs cos the vibe was that good.

My defining memory of Bogarts would be me behind the turntables and three hundred teens from across the capital splitting into groups of boys and girls and acting out the words of 'Summer Nights' from Grease! Innocent times. Almost like a youth club really looking back. And to top it off I fell in love with a local girl that summer. Beautiful Paula Skinner. Be still my beating heart! As the song said... 'Good Times' indeed.


Gary Crowley's career in music began in the late 1970s when he founded the new-wave fanzine 'The Modern World' despite still being a schoolboy at the time. Interviewing many of the most significant bands of the day including The Sex Pistols, The Jam and The Clash, he famously persuaded Joe Strummer to give him an exclusive while The Clash rehearsed at London's Chalk Farm studios.

Out now, ‘Gary Crowley’s Punk and New Wave’ compilation is a must for any fan of the British Punk/New Wave movement. The three CD album includes tracks from bands such as Generation X, John Cooper Clarke, The Saints and The Skids alongside songs from many of the less obvious, sometimes forgotten, bands inspired by the likes of Buzzcocks and their self-released 'Spiral Scratch' EP. 

Compiled by Gary Crowley and Jim Lahat the set includes extensive sleevenotes explaining what inspired the selections and Crowley’s first-hand memories of the time. Find out more here.

First track you played on repeat?
It would've been Slade's 'Coz I Love You', which I absolutely devoured when it first came out in 1971. It was so simple and effective. It blew my head off at the time. Me and my sis adored Slade and would watch every TV show we knew they were going to appear on. They were such a breath of fresh air at the time. My fave in the band was Noddy whilst Soo fancied Jim Lea. Happy days.

Song that defines the teenage you?
'Gangsters' by The Specials was another important record from another very important band in my life who provided and influenced a large part of my teenage soundtrack. I can remember hearing it for the very first time on John Peel's late night show and immediately rushing over to the Rough Trade Shop on Kensington Church Street and legging it back home to play it again and again and again. It sounded so different whilst that marriage of the energy of punk and the dance sensibilities of Ska was exactly what was needed at that time. I loved 2 Tone. The music and spirit of it I totally adored.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
I've literally just ordered online an old NME cassette (that's how retro I am folks!) called 'Pogo A Go Go!' for the car. It features gems from the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The Stranglers, The Nipple Erectors, Johnny Moped and other assorted treats. The Undertones classic album cut 'True Confessions' is on there, and I cannot wait to blast it out in the car to the point of irritation for other drivers.

One record you would keep forever?
Jeez, that's got to be the hardest question in the world to answer! And my answer would change literally from day to day. But just for you good folk, I'm going to go for George Harrison's sublime instrumental 'Marwa Blues' which has the ability to bring a tear to my eye. He was so special as all the Fabs were/are. Tomorrow it would be a different answer.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"Every little thing gonna be alright!", a lyric from 'Three Little Birds' of course by the great Bob Marley and the Wailers. And in these scary times, let's frickin' hope it's going to be.

A song that people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Starland Vocal Band's 'Afternoon Delight'! Who needs painkillers with tunes like this around to ease the pain?

A song you wished you had written?
King's 'Hey' is a song that I go back to again and again. It was an old girlfriend who first turned me onto it, and it is quite simply a chunk of pop-soul perfection. Apparently, Prince was a massive fan of this Cali R&B/ Soul trio. It's lovely. Just lovely.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
I do a weekly show on BBC Radio London on a Saturday evening at 6 pm, and we feature new bands on our BBC Music Introducing slot at 8 pm which I love doing. New releases from Samson Ashe, Abjects, Nia Wyn, Superorganism, Shrimp Eyes and BLANc have all made me feel like a fan and give me that tingle I first got as a kid listening to music all those years ago.

Name
Gary Crowley

What do you do?
A DJ of no fixed hairstyle. Two shows on a Saturday on BBC Radio London and 'GC's Punk and New Wave Show' every Tuesday on Soho Radio

Where are you from?
North West London. I was brought up on the Lisson Green Estate and now live 10 minutes away in Maida Vale...so the apple hasn't fallen too far from the tree.

Describe your style in three words?
Punky Moddy Fan

Which sub-cultures have had an enduring effect on you?
Punk and Mod for me. Prior to Punk exploding in '77, I was fascinated by all things Mod through my Aunt and Uncle who were original Mods from North West London. In fact, my ‘60s obsession got to the point where I would gear every school project around it so I could write about and all things Mod and youth culture! The book Generation X also had an enormous effect on me. So when I started reading about this new wave of bands coming through in late '76/early '77, I instantly knew that this was my time, my movement. And the band that encapsulated the energy of Punk (closely followed by The Clash) combined with the style of the 60s mods was the Jam as exemplified on their classic debut 'In The City'.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
JFK has always fascinated me. In fact the Kennedys as a whole I can absorb myself in until the cows come home. The youth, the intelligence and the wit that JFK brought to the White House begs the question just what could've been had he not been assassinated in Dallas. The track has got to be Frank Sinatra's Kennedy campaign version of the classic 'High Hopes'. Love a bit of Ol Blue Eyes too.

Another you? Any other career that would have appealed?
Maybe an actor. Up until I was fired by Punk, acting was something I was seriously thinking about as a kid and even wrote off to RADA et al. Not that I think Idris Elba and co would've had anything to worry about.

Best Gig you have ever been to? 
That very first one is always going to be hard to beat, and for me, it was The Jam and The Boys at Battersea Town Hall, early summer in 1977. Both bands possessed an infectious, high-octane adrenaline which literally sent me home reeling that night thinking I want to be a part of this. 'The First Time' by The Boys still sounds as vital as it did that night. Nirvana at Belfast Kings Hall in the early 90's was a magical night too.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
Bogarts was such a special club and time in my life. The summer of 1983. The Sound Of The Suburbs. Well, South Harrow actually. The music... the clothes... the hair! I was 19 years old back then and I'd just been given my own radio show 'The Tuesday Club' on Capital Radio, and the end of the summer would see me hitch a ride on Wham's Club Fantastic tour as their warm-up DJ, but that's another story for another day.

It was somewhere where a large part of London's teenage cognoscenti would come on a weekly basis and hear and dance to the music we were playing on the radio show.

And with the occasional personal appearance from our current fave raves. Boy did that idea snowball. The Style Council (Paul Weller doing a PA?! Unheard of at the time!), Paul Young, I Level, Bananarama, The Haines Gang, Jo Boxers, Jimmy The Hoover, Animal Nightlife, Rock Steady Crew, The Main T Posse... just some of the artists who would rock up and do a turn. Those Bad Boys from Bushey, George Michael and Andrew Ridgely would hold court on the dance floor and occasionally the bar.

It was that kind of club. Where the music came first, and everybody danced. Chic's ' Good Times'... Gilberto Gil's 'Toda Menina Baiana'...Wham's 'Young Guns'... The Smiths 'This Charming Man (New York Vocal mix)' and Grandmaster & Melle Mel's 'White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)' were just some of our ANTHEMS over that summer. Not that anybody was doing drugs mind. It really was all about the dance and perhaps a drink or two. The Harrow girls. The Hackney Boys, Trendies from Soho making the journey out to the burbs cos the vibe was that good.

My defining memory of Bogarts would be me behind the turntables and three hundred teens from across the capital splitting into groups of boys and girls and acting out the words of 'Summer Nights' from Grease! Innocent times. Almost like a youth club really looking back. And to top it off I fell in love with a local girl that summer. Beautiful Paula Skinner. Be still my beating heart! As the song said... 'Good Times' indeed.


Gary Crowley's career in music began in the late 1970s when he founded the new-wave fanzine 'The Modern World' despite still being a schoolboy at the time. Interviewing many of the most significant bands of the day including The Sex Pistols, The Jam and The Clash, he famously persuaded Joe Strummer to give him an exclusive while The Clash rehearsed at London's Chalk Farm studios.

Out now, ‘Gary Crowley’s Punk and New Wave’ compilation is a must for any fan of the British Punk/New Wave movement. The three CD album includes tracks from bands such as Generation X, John Cooper Clarke, The Saints and The Skids alongside songs from many of the less obvious, sometimes forgotten, bands inspired by the likes of Buzzcocks and their self-released 'Spiral Scratch' EP. 

Compiled by Gary Crowley and Jim Lahat the set includes extensive sleevenotes explaining what inspired the selections and Crowley’s first-hand memories of the time. Find out more here.

First track you played on repeat?
It would've been Slade's 'Coz I Love You', which I absolutely devoured when it first came out in 1971. It was so simple and effective. It blew my head off at the time. Me and my sis adored Slade and would watch every TV show we knew they were going to appear on. They were such a breath of fresh air at the time. My fave in the band was Noddy whilst Soo fancied Jim Lea. Happy days.

Song that defines the teenage you?
'Gangsters' by The Specials was another important record from another very important band in my life who provided and influenced a large part of my teenage soundtrack. I can remember hearing it for the very first time on John Peel's late night show and immediately rushing over to the Rough Trade Shop on Kensington Church Street and legging it back home to play it again and again and again. It sounded so different whilst that marriage of the energy of punk and the dance sensibilities of Ska was exactly what was needed at that time. I loved 2 Tone. The music and spirit of it I totally adored.

What was the last piece of music you bought?
I've literally just ordered online an old NME cassette (that's how retro I am folks!) called 'Pogo A Go Go!' for the car. It features gems from the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The Stranglers, The Nipple Erectors, Johnny Moped and other assorted treats. The Undertones classic album cut 'True Confessions' is on there, and I cannot wait to blast it out in the car to the point of irritation for other drivers.

One record you would keep forever?
Jeez, that's got to be the hardest question in the world to answer! And my answer would change literally from day to day. But just for you good folk, I'm going to go for George Harrison's sublime instrumental 'Marwa Blues' which has the ability to bring a tear to my eye. He was so special as all the Fabs were/are. Tomorrow it would be a different answer.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
"Every little thing gonna be alright!", a lyric from 'Three Little Birds' of course by the great Bob Marley and the Wailers. And in these scary times, let's frickin' hope it's going to be.

A song that people wouldn’t expect you to like?
Starland Vocal Band's 'Afternoon Delight'! Who needs painkillers with tunes like this around to ease the pain?

A song you wished you had written?
King's 'Hey' is a song that I go back to again and again. It was an old girlfriend who first turned me onto it, and it is quite simply a chunk of pop-soul perfection. Apparently, Prince was a massive fan of this Cali R&B/ Soul trio. It's lovely. Just lovely.

Any new bands you are listening to right now?
I do a weekly show on BBC Radio London on a Saturday evening at 6 pm, and we feature new bands on our BBC Music Introducing slot at 8 pm which I love doing. New releases from Samson Ashe, Abjects, Nia Wyn, Superorganism, Shrimp Eyes and BLANc have all made me feel like a fan and give me that tingle I first got as a kid listening to music all those years ago.

Gary Crowley’s Punk and New Wave

Gary Crowley & Jim Lahat talk about 'Gary Crowley's Punk & New Wave' 3CD

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