ON THURSDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER LONDON VENUE KOKO HOSTS THE PREMIERE OF NEW DOCUMENTARY BASICALLY JOHNNY MOPED. THE EVENING ALSO FEATURES A LIVE PERFORMANCE FROM THE BAND, WITH CAPTAIN SENSIBLE.
In Fred Burns’ film, his first full-length documentary, fans and former members tell the story of the south London punk band.
Formed in 1974 by a group of schoolfriends from Croydon the group was fronted by, and named after, the enigmatic Johnny Moped (aka Paul Halford). By 1977 the band found itself at the heart of the punk scene in the capital, issued a single (NO ONE) and, for a brief moment, even looked like contenders. Despite being able to count both Chrissie Hynde and Captain Sensible as amongst the ranks, wider success did not arrive and, until now, Johnny Moped was largely forgotten. “But when I first met Johnny himself,” says Sensible, the band’s original guitarist, “I just thought he was a megastar waiting to happen; a bundle of frenetic energy”.
By 1978, after a year of intense activity, the band were on the verge of completing their first record with Chiswick Records (the album CYCLEDELIC) and things looked promising. But whilst adding the final touches to the record Moped – who had recently married – started to become evasive, as his mother-in-law exerted pressure on him to leave the group and concentrate on domesticity. “In the end we basically had to kidnap him every time we had a gig or needed to record,” reveals drummer Dave Berk.
Burns’ entertaining film is a warm, funny and often moving account of one of UK music’s great lost treasures. View the trailer below, or buy tickets for the premier screening here (please note this is an age 16+ only show). Pre-order the film as a download or on DVD, here.
Courtesy of the team behind BASICALLY, JOHNNY MOPED we have a pair of tickets to give away for the premiere. To win, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org