Having witnessed the 1976 ‘Anarchy In The UK’ tour, five teenagers from West Yorkshire met in an a dilapidated garage and plugged in to create their own blend of noise, attitude and disturbance. This garage produced Yorkshire’s most successful punk rock band who outsold Abba in that part of the world and entered the top 100 with their debut single ‘Get Your Woofing Dog Off Me’, (definitely one of punk’s best debut records). To this day it remains one of the fastest records ever recorded.
The success of the single ensured gigs were plentiful and tours followed with Sham 69, Penetration, Generation X, The Adverts and XTC.
Their increasing profile bought them to the attention of Lightning Records who promptly signed them while the major labels deliberated, this deal saw the release of their second single ‘Cool’ in 1978, produced by ex-Rolling Stones producers Bill Farley and Dave Hunt.
Lightning developed into Laser under the wing of Warner Brothers. The band relocated to London and recorded their third and final single ‘Come Back Bogart’ in January 1980. Despite good reviews and Radio 1 play the single failed to sell, so in the Spring of 1980 the band decided to call it a day.
The Jerks exemplified British punk rock: raw, urgent, fast and provocative. A strong visual image and no shortage of potential hit songs. With more vigorous marketing and a larger slice of luck, the ending could have been a lot different