The Get
The Get - Live -1981: Stevie D + Jon
The Get 1981 L-R: Bruce, Jon (Drums), Stevie D & Gary
The Get - Live -1981: Stevie D + Jon
The Get 1981 L-R: Bruce, Jon (Drums), Stevie D & Gary
 
...The Story...
 

Bruce and GaryThe Get's history spanned 1977 to 1983, but during the period up to 1980 they existed as just a bedroom band writing and recording material purely for their own pleasure. But from January 1981 to January 1983, they threw themselves upon an unsuspecting Southend public to the delight of some and to the horror of many.

The Get started in August 1977 (originally calling themselves The Bloodsuckers) one Sunday afternoon. When feeling bored and hearing that punk bands couldn't play, Bruce Gordon and Gary Smith, decided that music was just the things liven their lives. This was originally just another creative diversion after producing their own comics and writing and performing their own comedy plays and was never intended for public consumption but, after recording around 5 cassette albums, they decided that it was time to seek a wider audience.

"Horrors of Horrors and back-slapping honours, All in the course of one day, Back Tracking Pastimes people with nothing else to do but say, We like to rearrange, We like to chop and change, We like to alter you." 'The Leaders'.

The Get - Live at Focus 1981Even though they had been playing for 3 years neither Bruce or Gary had bothered to learn any instruments. They took turns to play guitar and, through experience produced rhythms and sounds to back the vocal melody. This would probably have bothered most people, but in the true spirit of punk rock Bruce and Gary didn't care. The line-up was expanded, however, to play live and a proper musician, Steve Whittock a work friend of Bruce's, was recruited to play bass and Jon Smith, an old school friend, was told to play drums. The Get's first gig was at the Monday night musician's workshop at the Zero 6 on 26 January 1981. This was the first time Jon and been anywhere near a drum kit. Although Bruce and Gary had shared vocal and guitar duties in the bedroom, for live performances Bruce took vocal duties and Gary played guitar, although they occasionally swapped for odd song.

Anyone familiar with the musicians workshop nights of the time will recall that they were populated by r'n'b and heavy metal fans and The Get almost caused a riot. However, from the stage, high on adrenalin, the noise from the audience sounded like a roar of approval and the idea of gigging regularly became irresistible.

"She's got my money, got my soul, I think this woman's got my role, She takes my living, she takes my life, She thinks she's clever - she's my wife! She goes in for masculine roles, I go in for masculines whole, I wish I was like her, she wishes she was like me, Before long I think I'll get a sex change!" 'Sex Change'.

The Get - Live at Focus - 13.07.81 - PosterThe line up was soon augmented by Steve Dobson, late of the Stripey Zebras, on bass and Steve Whittock moved up to second guitar, although his part in The Get was quite irratic as he left and rejoined a number of times. Towards the end, Steve Dobson left and was replaced by Pete Cox. Guest musicians included Paul Brown (Stripey Zebras/Autumn Poison), Julian Ware-Lane (86 Mix) and Sheena Fulton (Autumn Poison). For some gigs they were also backed by their very own backing singers The Getettes, Alison and Jane! The Get played at various locations locally including Focus, the Grand Hotel, Thorpedene Community Centre and the Spread Eagle. The final gig was on 3 January 1983 at the Zero 6.

Perhaps the most memorable gig, apart from the first, was at the Focus when there was a huge crowd of German and French students in. Pam, who ran the centre warned them not play "Belsen was a Gas" (a popular cover for punk bands at the time) or anything that might upset the visitors. Despite this warning, they decided to go ahead and play "Nuremburg Rally Jive". This was actually quite a silly song inspired by a photo of a Get audience raising their arms singing along to a cover of Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch", the chorus being "Nuremburg Rally jive, Come on V2s and take a dive, Nuremburg rally Jive, I sure love your beehive". The French and German students obviously got into the spirit of the song as, when it slowed down, they started mock sieg-heiling. Surreal!

"Roast it, toast it - voodoo chow mein, Boil, broil it - again and again, Dice it, Spice it - a la carte, Rinse it, mince it - now you can start." '(How to Cook a) Voodoo Doll'.

The Get - Vampire Dread - AdvertThe Get went into the studio three times, recording 19 songs including favourites such as "Waiting for your Grandma to Die", "Sex Change" and "Living in a Tent". "Vampire Dread" was released as flexi disc, getting radio plays in America and Belgium. Three cassettes were also released, "A Retrospective 1977-1981" on New Crimes Tapes, "Live at the Grand Hotel" and "Greatest Hits" (compiling all the studio sessions) both on Get Record and Tapes. They also appeared on numerous compilation cassettes.

After the Get split, Bruce and Gary formed the short-lived Infant Tango with Bruce on vocals, Paul Brown on guitar, Gary on bass and Jon on drums. They recorded one studio session but never played live. Gary went on to join the latter era of The Kronstadt Uprising as vocalist.

A Get T shirt can be seen in the book "Vintage T Shirts' by Lisa Kidner and Sam Knee published by Carlton Publishers in February 2006.

Profile by Gary Smith

Special Southend Punk Feature - Click Here to see a special Get Gallery!

Discography

The Get - 'Vampire Dread' - 7" Flexi-Disc Single (Get 001 - 1982)

'Vampire Dread' - 7" Flexi-Disc Single (Get 001 - 1982)

'Messthetics Greatest Hiss (#110) - An introduction to the DIY Cassette Scene 1979 - 1982' - 25 Track Enhanced CD - Features the Song 'The Leaders' by The Get

'Messthetics Greatest Hiss (#110) - An introduction to the DIY Cassette Scene 1979 - 1982' - Features The Get song 'The Leaders' - CD (Hyped To Death H2D - 2008)

Miscellaneous

'Vintage T Shirts' - Book, featuring a Get T Shirt (Vintage T Shirts by Lisa Kidner and Sam Knee, Published by Carlton Books Ltd, February 6th, 2006, ISBN 1844424049)

'Vintage T Shirts' - Book, featuring a Get T Shirt (Vintage T Shirts by Lisa Kidner and Sam Knee, Published by Carlton Books Ltd, February 6th, 2006, ISBN 1844424049)

 

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