What makes me qualified to tell the story of rebels and mavericks?
Over the years, I’ve been a DJ, author, nightclub host, pop star, painter, style commentator, entrepreneur and fashion designer. In fact, I’ve always been proud of never having a ‘real job’.
As a teenager in Merthyr Tydfil in the early seventies, I was a ska-loving, moon-stomping suedehead, listening to David Bowie and Lou Reed or bowling up the motorway to catch the Northern soul sessions at the the Wigan Casino.
Then came the move to London and funk clubs, the punk explosion, studying art and fashion at St Martin’s. In the early 80s I was a regular at Billy’s and the Blitz and ran the club, Hell with Steve Strange and Rusty Egan. In 1981, I fronted the Latin funk band, Blue Rondo A La Turk. We were signed to Virgin and got a no 1 in Brazil.
I’m probably best known for opening The Wag Club in Wardour Street in 1983. I was founder, host, director and DJ for 18 years – a true home for outsiders and rebels – everyone from Prince to Lee Perry played live there. From the mid eighties onwards I’ve DJ’d in the best clubs and parties in London, Tokyo, New York, LA, Paris, Barcelona, Milan and Ibiza.
I’m also a journalist: first at The Face, then a columnist and stylist for Loaded and for four years from 2000, I was GQ’s style editor. Since then I’ve freelanced for The Times, Esquire, Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, and L’Uomo Vogue. I’ve written two books, the international best-seller, Punk (with Stephen Colegrave) and the definitive chronicle of club culture of the 80s, We Can Be Heroes (with Graham Smith), and a 9-part TV documentary series Gangs of Britain presented by my old chums Martin and Gary Kemp. My first film, Anarchy in the UK (a punk road movie) is in production with Hacienda films.
I still DJ weekly in London and pop up at parties and openings all over the world. When not gallivanting, I live in Maida Vale with my long suffering spouse Leah, ten year-old son Finbar and a cat called Tuesday.