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The 101'ers

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London, United Kingdom (1974 – 1976)

The 101’ers were a pub rock band from the 1970s, notable as being the band that gave Joe Strummer (later of The Clash) his initial start as a musician. Formed in London in May 1974, the 101’ers made their performing debut on 6 September at the Telegraph pub in Brixton under the name El Huaso and the 101 All Stars. The name would later be shortened to the 101 All Stars and finally just the 101’ers. The group established itself on the London pub rock circuit prior to the advent of punk.

The group was named for the squat where they lived together: 101 Walterton Road, Maida Vale, although it was for a time rumoured that they were named for “Room 101”, the infamous torture room in George Orwell’s novel 1984. The novel was later to become something of a manifesto for the political element of the punk rock movement.

The 101’ers were supported by the Sex Pistols at the Nashville Room on 3 April 1976, and this is when Strummer claimed he saw the light and got involved in the punk scene.

Joe Strummer commented on this event in the Don Letts documentary Westway to the World on the end of the 101’ers by saying “5 seconds into their (the Pistols’) first song, I knew we were like yesterday’s paper, we were over.”

By the time their debut single was released in 1976, Joe Strummer was in The Clash and the band were no more. Clive Timperley later joined The Passions, Dan Kelleher went to The Derelicts and Richard Dudanski went on to work with The Raincoats and Public Image Limited. Tymon Dogg worked with Strummer briefly in The Clash (playing on one track on Sandinista!) and later, in The Mescaleros.

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