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|The story begins in late 1976 when Lord Herbert first fell in love with a fantastic new record released in the autumn called New Rose by the Damned. Herbie picks up the story...|
"I remember ordering it from Whomes Ltd (which was a piano/music shop come record store in Bexleyheath, South East London) and getting blank looks from the girls behind the counter. When I collected it, they asked if they could play it on the shop?s system to see what all the fuss was about, and I will never forget the faces of the girls and customers as ?Is she really going out with him?? and the loud drums and that amazing guitar riff kicked in. Suffice to say, it only lasted a few bars and I was on my way.
So what has this got to do with Rochee and the Sarnos I hear you ask? Well, it was shortly after this that I decided I wanted to start a band called "The Rats" (At school I was already a member of a fictitious band called the Kahz, with the stage name of Jacob Kah, but that was all it ever remained, pure fiction.) I was also very influenced by a very talented friend at school called Deke, who had written such mega tunes as "Albino Girl", and he still remains a huge friend (literally).
Shortly after that, the Boomtown Rats hit the scene, and I never had the guts to start a punk band with a similar name (or even be a punk for that matter), as I was a good boy doing O levels at a Grammar school - so the Rats died before they were born. The only time I ever tried to dress like a punk was when I went to a party and had grade 2 cropped hair, put on a pair of creepers, with drainpipe jeans, a T shirt with a map of Rhodesia on it, and my dad?s brown leather jacket from the 1970s, and wrap around shades - what a burke I must have looked. Shorlty after that, after looking at some pictures of my dad in the 1950's that I thought the whole look was sooo cool, cars, clothes, even furniture. I spoke to one of my mates at school, Bud (or Barry) as he was already into some wierd thing called "Rockabilly". I can remember going round his house (in 1977/78) and he played me "Flying Saucer Rock 'n' Roll" by Billy Lee Riley, and "Red Headed Woman" by Sonny Burgess and they completely blew my mind, I can remember the feeling to this day, a mixture of teenage confusion, raw emotion and a sort of animal lust. I guess it was love! So I inveigled my way onto the Rock 'n' Roll/Rockabilly scene and for about 3 or so years I just got more and more into it, where it became a way of life. I met some of my nearest and dearest friends then and we still see each other to this day.
Around 1982 or so, we started going to a club in New Cross, Sarf East Landan - called the Goldsmith's Tavern, and it was in the back room that Rochee and the Sarnos were really born. Rob Glazebrook used to be in various bands, and he allowed me to get up one night to do two numbers - one was a song called Oooh Ah Oooh, and the other was Dead Dog Blues. Myself, Bud and the Phantom faniced ourselves as Skiffle afficionados, so we decided to put on duffle coats and cravats (de rigeur, don't you know). Me on guitar and vocals - both of which I was shit at, Bud on washboard or bongos, and the Phantom on Tea Chest bass. Rob then decided that he rather liked what was going on on stage and suggested that we got together for a rehearsal, and wanted us to listen to some stuff he was working on - one of those songs was Sarno Fever... At this point, the Phantom and I found the "Hot Rod" in a junk shop in Penge, the guy said he had a skiffle bass out back, and would we like to see it. We did, parted with around ?9.00 (as that was all we had on us at the time), and the beast was ours.
We decided that we should start a band, and we then decided we needed a name. I had the hankering to call us "The Rats" - but it didn't seem very rockabilly. One day, after hearing "Sufrin USA" by the Beach Boys, I mistook one of the lines in the song:
"You'd seem 'em wearing their baggies
Huarachi sandals too"
I thought I heard "Rocheesarnos" for Huarachi sandals, and thought that would be a cool name - The Rocheesarnos, but it didn't really seem to mean anything. Then I had the brainwave of echoing the name of the Rats RatS (Rochee and the Sarnos) and the rest is history. Why all the tunes around Sarno or Rochee? - it was after one of my all time heroes - Bo Diddley, where he used his name in many songs. Don't forget, there are no true original ideas anywhere, everything is plagiarism.
Anyway, we then started to get gigs at the Goldsmiths, and elsewhere in London, and for some inexplicable reason ended up playing at the Marquee, The Venue and (my own personal favourite) The Klub Foot in Hammersmith. I loved this venue, it used to hold Rock n Roll gigs and the all time smash was the Starboard Flange club, run by Barney and Rik - the best ever! It isn't there anymore, which is a shame as I would love to play there again for old times' sake. Around 1984 we played at a Rock n Roll weekender at the Isle of Wight, and this was completely wild, we had two of the worst spots of the weekend and for some obscure reason just went over really well. I have fond memories of this gig and there is a great photo of me and Rob going crazy on stage. We played a couple of gigs abroad too, in Rotterdam, Hamburg, Paris and it all seemed to be going well - and we even managed to get an album out on Nervous records - Understanding Sarno.
Here is a bit of interesting news, everyone thinks we split up - but this is not true, we just went underground and continued songwriting, and that is why we played a few gigs here and there, Berlin 1997, Speyer 2004,and it took us until 2007 to decide that we might play a bit more often. This was due to an excerpt of one of our songs being used by T Mobile in an advert in Germany, there seemed to be a lot of interest and it was at this point that we also decided that we would get the 2nd album recorded and released on our own Sarno Sound label. We played in Antwerp in late 2007 and it was a really great gig, we even bumped into our old buddies Batmobile from the early days and JJ popped on stage for a guitar duet with Mr G, on "Gay Cowboy" - dedicated to our old nemesis from the Sarno Fever EP days!
The band line up contains 3 original Sarnos from the early days, with one superb addition in the shape of Mr Nick Simonon (The man with a brain) on drums. His contribution to the new material is undeniably fabulous, and we are all pleased to have him aboard hopefully for a long while to come.
The new album contains some material that was intended to be on the follow up back in the late 1980s, and we now feel that it completes that particular part of the story - it is the Golden Dawn of a new era, one that we are very pleased to be part of again".
The future is bright... the future is Sarno.
Website: Rochee and the Sarnos
Rochee and the Sarnos - Secret sarno
Rochee and the Sarnos - Sarno Fever (MP3)