Built around the nucleus of Barry and Ollie, "Dresden" became notorious throughout South London during 1978 and 79. They may have played the audition night at the Roxy Club on 22.02.78 (with the 'Soho Jets') and supposedly a few Croydon area dives, but "Dresden" will remain famous for their non-stop graffiti blitz. From buses to buildings, pavements to people, if it stood still long enough it would soon have the word "Dresden" added to it. A prime example being the newly opened entrance to the 'Whitgift Centre' in Croydon, as soon as the the streamers and bunting been cleared away the words "Dresden" painted in dayglo pink and ten foot high welcomed Croydonians to their new shopping mall.

So, what about the prime movers??

Barry Dresden, a local legend in Streatham, South London, could easily be spotted in a crowd by his leopard skin dyed cropped hair, his green tonic suit (this is before the mod revival) and the fact he was always carrying a small suitcase, the contents of which would always remain unknown. Rumour was that he kept Ollie in there (like a ventriloquist keeps his dummy) as the pair would never be seen to enter a pub together.

Ollie, on the other hand, was a skinhead from the short "n" stocky school. Originally a '77 punk, he had spent most of that year passing himself off as "Tory Crimes", the original lost Clash drummer, as many of the desks in Selhurst High Schools Art wing  bore witness to.

The band hit the big time in 1979 when they appeared in the film "Breaking Glass". During the first pub gig by the band "Breaking Glass" they are seen sitting at a table, Ollie is on the left, Barry the right, when an unknown member (they had a daily rotating line up) of the band shouts abuse at a group of skinheads. Outtakes from this scene were used as advance publicity shots for the film, giving credence that the film was to star 'Dresden'.

At the second pub show "Breaking Glass" do, Barry is seen in close up at the back shouting "Off the stage", before wading into the fight that breaks out. As Phil Daniels shouts "Come on, lets get out of here" Ollie is the skinhead in the foreground being pushed out of the way.

The mod standing behind him in this scene is non-other than ex-Streatham punk, and future Radio One DJ, Club promoter and dance scene ace face, Danny Rampling.

 The "Breaking Glass" film did as much for Dresdens career as Hazel O"Connor did for punk and as the eighties kicked in Dresden disappeared............

 Ollie was last seen cleaning windows in Croydon, whereas Barry ? no clues, but I bet he's still carrying that bloody suitcase !!


The above "We Don't Have Woodworm' LP advert appeared in Sounds on 18th November 1978.



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