5/9/14 – John’s Children – Desdemona – 1967

Song Of The Day

Johns Children pic With band nameAlthough Marc Bolan didn’t appear on John’s Children’s “legendary” Orgasm album released in 1967 (he joined after the album was completed) he did write, play guitar and sing the backing vocals (with his unmistakable warble) on Desdemona. The band was actually fronted by Andy Ellison who after the band split in 1968, made solo singles before resurfacing in Glam rock band Jet for one album and then Radio Stars in the Punk era releasing Songs For Swinging Lovers in 1977 and Holiday Album in 1978. Chris Townson who started the band with Ellison followed him into Jet and briefly Radio Stars. Original guitarist Geoff McClelland was replaced by Bolan. Bass player John Hewlett seems to have retired into history. (Townson died in 2008). John’s Children’s Orgasm album wasn’t released in America until 4 years after it was recorded due to objections from a patriotic American women’s organisation called Daughter’s Of The American Revolution.

Although John’s Children might have been one of the worst bands of the era they were signed by Simon Napier-Bell who managed The Yardbirds and later Marc Bolan, Ultravox and other diverse artists. Napier-Bell suggested that they all wore white and although they were mainly off the public radar they were controversial in that they destroyed instruments, posed naked, had fights on stage and generally courted controversy as much as possible encouraged by their manager. Consequently they are something of a heroic precursor to both Glam and Punk. Bolan wasn’t with them long and he left to form Tyrannosaurus Rex. Desdemona was banned by the BBC for the line “Lift up your skirt and fly”. Much later Ellison reformed John’s Children, follow the links for the whole story and the interesting collaborators, including Martin Gordon ex Sparks, Davy O’List ex The Nice and Boz Boorer from Morrisseys’s band. John’s Children were nothing if not a concept that refused to die.







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