Thursday, 21 March 2013


"Squat City Rocks" is a book I hope to have out very soon, first as an ebook edition in English, followed by a version translated in to Spanish. The paper-printed editions in both languages won't be too long in coming..... I hope!!

                                                                                             Walterton Road, W 9,  1974

 It seems reasonable that  I should give a few clues as to what the book is about, and how the idea of writing it originated. For that I must take you back to the summer of 1974........... 

I had just finished a degree course in Zoology at London University, and was living in a squat in Maida Hill, west London. 
My brother Pat and our friend Woody, came to see me one afternoon and suggested I sat in on the drums at a rehearsal they had organized for that evening in the basement of their squat, around the corner from mine, at 101 Walterton Road. 
It was a bit of an odd suggestion. I had never before played drums with anyone, though they had probably heard me bashing around on my own a couple of times in their band room. 
The "band" was a rudimentary notion at that time. Occupants of the squat they inhabited had been playing together for a few weeks.... a couple of saxes, bass, drums and guitar. The drummer had just left for a  temporary visit to Germany.....inopportunely as it happened , because the "band" were suddenly offered their first gig at a Chilean benefit down in Brixton.....   

With more than a little surprize on my behalf, I was offered the drum stool!! I had just a week to sort out my chops. We did the gig, and that was to be the start of my musical journey, at first with this proto-punk/garage/squat rock band "The 101'ers". The group would later be chiefly remembered in the annals of Rock History as the band that Woody, later to become Joe Strummer, honed his trade before bursting on to the consciousness of British youth as punk warlord leader of the Clash. There is a story to be told here, however, and half of this book is devoted to that Tale..... at least my vision of it!!

                                                                                                Mole, Joe & Richard, 1975

My original aim, back in 2001, was to create a "101'ers" web page, as Joe and I were looking in to the possibilities of re-editing the deleted 101'ers L.P. "Elgin Avenue Breakdown". This led me to start writing an introduction to the site, which then developed in to the idea of writing the whole story. Having started the project, I mentioned the fact to Joe and his immediate reaction was typical and encouraging:
    "Yea... go for it Snakes.... you've got to do it!!

I was still with the 101'ers period at the time of Joe's sudden death in 2002. This knocked me of course for some years, but when I came back to it and subsequently finished the chapters on the 101'ers, it seemed only natural to continue the story with my other bands.... Tymon Dogg & The Fools, Bank of Dresden, Pil, Basement Five, The Raincoats, The Decomposers, El Doghouse,  etc....

The unfinished draft was still knocking about the recesses of my hard disc, when in January of 2013 I received the brilliantly written travel diaries from our daughter, Luna,  studying in Colombia (here's  a link to her blog... ) 
This was the impetus I needed!!.... and this is nearly the result!!!

I must mention that all the illustrations  I am including, unless otherwise stated, are the work of my partner Esperanza Romero ( ) some of them drawn back in the 70's & 80's. For their use (and much, much besides), muchisimas gracias, Esperanza!

1 comment:

  1. Really looking forward to this read Not only from a musical perspective Richard Dudanski Nother is a drummer with a true passion as a drummer percussionist but also as a character who some how lived life on his own terms . Historically interesting in a time of social change this book will stand out on it's own. It will give you an insight to the many characters That Richard new and played with but also became great friends with . having played with the two major rock icons Joe Strummer and John lydon aka Rotten Richard was at the very middle of the punk movement who managed to take the best elements and yet leave the nonsense out of his life . This is a must read for anyone interested in the music , and social movement at the time.