Article by Sarah Williams.
Last year, I was lucky enough to share a pizza and a pint with Simon Wells. In Part One of this interview he gave us the full, colourful history of Southport, going on to explain how his experiences in that band shaped his more mellow solo album Crime Of The Scene.
Many things could be said about Simon, but no one can deny that he’s an exceptionally captivating storyteller. He had an endless heap of anecdotes and entertaining namedrops for us.
I remember meeting Fat Mike and telling him, “The Longest Line is my favourite song.” Mike said, “We were pretending to be Snuff in the studio when we wrote that song!” We both stepped back and I said, “This conversation has gone really weird – I kinda liked it when you were pretending to be me. This is quite bizarre.”
Simon is well known as a founding member of legendary British punks Snuff. Early on in our conversation, Simon realised that when I was born (in 1989) he was already well into his punk career. Snuff Said had just been released and he was touring Europe with the original incarnation of the band: Duncan Redmonds and Andrew Crighton. Here he tells us some genuinely fascinating tales about his experiences of touring the Soviet Union before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
So, Simon… while I was being born, you were in Germany watching the Berlin Wall coming down?
Simon: Actually the story peters out quite badly after that initial ‘you were in Berlin when the wall was coming down’ part! We didn’t actually leave the bar we were in. We were just drinking all night with the US band Victim’s Family.
Were you aware that it was happening?
Yeah, the guy at the bar kept telling us people were going crazy outside. We went out when it was dawn, I believe, and just laid around in the road because we were so drunk.
I do remember touring the Eastern Bloc before the wall was torn down. It was before the EU – tours in those days were 3 months with 3-5 days off. If you were going out on those tours you’d make lots of money in Germany, France, Holland, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden. The penance for making all that money was that the tour operator would make you go to the Eastern Bloc as a cultural thing. That was the biggest eye opener. Continue reading “Simon Wells Interview #2: Touring The Soviet Union with Snuff in the 1980s”