Ed Butler Jez Hartley
George Webley Ruth Carr

The above photo was taken when the band were about to sign to the 'Red Bus' label in 1978. They recorded two tracks for their debut release, they were 'Strange Boy' and 'Sod You' at the 'Borough Studios'.


The numerous tales of English Punk Rock are riddled with revisionist history, art school tosh and Svengali lies. Punk Rock from 1976 to 1978 had nothing to do with overpriced T-shirts from a Chelsea boutique, it was a tinder box sparking around the country with an arsonists desire to burn down the pomped and preened prog rockers who landed on stage in spaceships to bore the world with 20 minute guitar wanks and truckloads of keyboards, which strangely all sounded like a badger being strangled.

Across the nation, council estate kids were rebelling (all be it unknowingly) against the death of socialist rule (oh how the landscape was about to change, from fireman on strike and boarded up mortuaries to the dismantling of industry and the ripping apart of society).

In the mist of all of the madness, the spitting, Mr Grundy, the unacknowledged divine punk blessing of Her Majesty celebrating a quarter of a century sitting on the throne, the violent public outrage which saw city gents and the WI attacking anyone in safety pins and a bin bag, there was a focal point. A place to call home, a meeting place for the dispossessed, the unworthy, those who didn’t accept the status quo (not the band, who back then weren’t the amusement they are today, they were one of the symptoms).

It also a place that attracted the poseurs, the tourists, the Umm and Ahh idiots who didn’t know what they were listening to, but, cheque books in hand, were prepared to spend the money that Saturday Night Fever was making their companies on signing the first thing they saw (so they could get the hell out of what must have seemed like Hell to someone who’d spent their career massaging the ego of Jethro Tull’s Tibetan finger cymbalist).

This temple of Punk was The Roxy Club in Neal St, Covent Garden. Once a glorious gregarious gay bar (when the average night out was ten pints of Watneys Red Barrel and a Pork Pie) turned into a shit hole for every meaningful band of the time to cut their teeth (and lose a few too). The Pistols, The Jam, Sham and a million others so bad they probably heralded in the new wave of alternative comedy half a decade later.

Night after night anger and violence in the form of the same old chords exploded to an audience who couldn’t care less, about anything, anything that is except the dub reggae pumped out between acts by Don Letts and Jerry Floyd.

The history books can say what they like, but at the start of the 21st century there are enough middle aged home owners slumped in front of the TV who remember just what it meant to let go. To scream FUCK YOU to everything, mainly their own meaningless life. To jump up and down with their hands around a strangers throat, giving and receiving bodily fluids.

The chroniclers of the Roxy club will write their tales of tuneless torment and torture in their own image, and good luck to them. But whatever they write, the cold hard fact is, The Blitz were the final chapter.

Managed by the last owner, Kevin St John (the definition of “Managed” = serving drinks, collecting glasses, cleaning the filthy stinking toilets, chauffeuring Mr St John anywhere he wanted to go anytime of day or night, hanging around after 2am when the club closed and the underworld faces of the day arrived to play poker and discuss who they’d taken care of in any number of horrendous ways whilst dealing contraband and comparing weapons).

Formed in a dodgy flat in Greenford by four teenagers

Jez: Guitar, Ed: Drums, Big George: Bass/Keyboards and probably the sexiest singer punk ever saw, Ruth. After turning up as punters for months, they braved an audition night (playing the Roxy was the Iraq of the day) and went down so well they were offered a management contract there and then. They accepted (oh the ignorance of youth). The next ten months gave new meaning to the words scared (guns and machetes), poor (never paid), hungry (see poor), disappointed (courted by CBS but made to sign to Red Bus “who?” only to see their single pulped to never see the light of day) and ground down so low that one day they legged it, never turned back and never to see each other again.

But in their time The Blitz played the Roxy more times than any other band in history, headlined the Farewell tour of Scotland, opened the second album (nothing to boast about) and witnessed the final destruction of the last night.

It’s a Speedo swimwear shop these days and The Blitz are all but forgotten. Only the Bass player Big George has put his head above the parapet, being the composer of the theme to Have I Got News For You and arranger of the theme to The Office. He met his wife of 28 years on the back stairs in the Autumn of 77, so it wasn’t all bad.

George Webley
5th July 2006


Jez rehearsing at Greenford

George rehearsing at Greenford


George & Ed


George & Jez


George sporting his leopard skin haircut.


George sporting his pre gig stubble


George outside the Roxy Club on 26th October 1977.


George at the 'Roxy'


George in the 'Roxy'


Ed rehearsing in Greenford


George, Ed & Ruth rehearsing in Greenford


George, Jez & Ed
 at the rehearsal room in Greenford




Live at the 'Vortex' on 28th November 1977


Paul Carpenter

Ed Ruth Jez


Gig Memorabilia

Page Two


Thanks to 'Big George Webley' & 'Mark Woodley'.



©Detour Records