Wednesday, July 16, 2008


left to right: brian chevette; ian woodcock; phil rowland; andy blade.

Eater were one of my faves 'back in the day', as the cliché goes. This probably had more to do with their considerable youth - drummer Dee Generate (né Phil Rowland) was purportedly only fourteen years old when the band signed to Dave Goodman's 'The Label' - than their inspired mix of glam and proto-punk, a wicked blend of Alice Cooper; T.Rex; The Velvet Underground; and Bowie. They looked and sounded ridiculously young on record and I was too.

According to Mark Perry's Sniffin' Glue fanzine, issue #8, with regard to their first single:

"...this single is crap. It's not even good crap, it's just a waste of time."

The above condemnation really is
a shame. Mark P. formed the inimitable Alternative TV in Deptford, south-east London in 1976 alongside Glaswegian, Alex Fergusson on guitar, later of Psychic TV. This group in turn - owing more to Zappa and krautrockers, Can - also produced one of the best albums of 1977, "The Image Has Cracked" on Deptford Fun City Records. An invocation of slow motion riot.

And this was a year which produced more great records than you could shake a stick at.

Mark Perry did not often get it so wrong.

From Punk 77:

"Eater produced 5 singles and 1 album in their career spanning from December 1976 to January 1979 and all on Dave Goodman's The Label. They originally had a one year contract that was due to end November '77 but this was extended."

Eater should have been huge; a perfect teenage hybrid of the Ramones and Bay City Rollers. I'm still at a loss why this wasn't the case.

"Walter Lure comes from the USA ; Lou Reed comes from the USA ; Richard Nixon comes from the USA...
Gary Gilmore came from the USA !!"

EATER: OUTSIDE VIEW from "Outside View b/w You" 45 (The Label) 1977 (UK)
EATER: THINKING OF THE USA from "Thinking Of The U.S.A." 45 (The Label) 1977 (UK)
EATER: MICHAEL'S MONETARY SYSTEM from "Thinking Of The U.S.A." 45 (The Label) 1977 (UK)



Your driver said...

Oh shit! I used to have an Eater 45 back in the day. I forgot all about it. All those records, gone, gone forever. I keep seeing records that I sold for beer and cigarette money. Now they're worth hundreds. I had a copy of the legendary French 12 inch Anarchy. I got $60 for it in 1982. Paid the rent. I saw one recently for something like $900. That's the current rent. Who knows what incredibly valuable thing I just threw out. If I only knew, I could have hung on to it, and left it in my will that someone else would have to hang on to it and in another hundred years it might have become incredibly valuable. Or not.

ib said...

Damn! I've still got the French 12" of "Anarchy"; I'd probably sell it for $900 if I could find a buyer willing to pay that much! I'll need to have a look around. Mind you, the pressing is great. The last time I had a turntable hooked up to an amp it still sounded great.

I too have either sold or been ripped off or lost a whole lot of shit over the years. Usually to pay the rent. I sold off a Stratocaster, pedals and amp one particularly memorable time. Lost my acoustic too. It rankles sometimes, even though I long ago gave up on setting alight the music buying public.