Motor Boys Motor were a London band named after one of Joe Strummer’s 101ers songs. In 1980 they recorded a 7″ for Silent Records: Drive Friendly on the ‘A’ side, with a Captain Beefheart cover on the ‘B’ side: Fast N’ Bulbous / Grow Fins. This was followed by a generally unheard, self titled, classic album released by Albion, and a John Peel radio session. They are one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. They lost their singer – Tony Moon – mutated into Screaming Blue Messiahs and therein became part of rock history. The following questions were answered by Tony Moon in 1981.
NC: Are there any other 101ers connections beyond the name?
TM: The 101ers were a great band: lots of real energy and power. I like Joe Strummer, I like his 101ers songs as I do his Clash songs.
NC: Have you released any records?
TM: Yes, a single Drive Friendly and Grow Fins, issued on Silent Records last November, catalogue number SSH4. More will follow on another label soon.
NC: Would you sign to a large record company?
TM: Natural instincts say no, but you should keep an open mind about these things. Search and destroy, investigate. I mean, define ‘Big’. What is that? Compared to how they were in 1976 Rough Trade are big, Stiff are big.
NC: Any opinions on people bootlegging your gigs?
TM: Bootlegging? No thanks. Do you like people in the street taking your photo without asking?
NC: Who writes the lyrics and who writes the music?
TM: Generally, I write the lyrics and Bill Carter writes the music. However, the whole thing comes together collectively in the studio.
NC: What other bands have you been in?
TM: Other bands are not really relevant. Nothing of any note OK?
NC: Do you want success, money, etc?
TM: First off, I like how you put money and success together. Veeery interesting.
NC: Would you go poppy, just for a hit?
TM: Aha, a hidden drug reference in this one. Caught you out, you bastard. Are you kidding?
NC: Do you aim to further R’n’B’s limits?
TM: We have been described as an R’n’B group but not in the sense that you think; we are not a typical pub rock outfit playing standards and a few hackneyed originals. You’d have to see us to see what I mean. Maybe we’re the only real R’n’B group. Check out Howlin’ Wolf. The Magic Band?
NC: In NME you were compared with Pere Ubu: what did you think of that?
TM: I like Pere Ubu, so if we are compared, that’s OK.
NC: Is Wilko Johnson an influence?
TM: Wilko is the original R’n’B headcase: “I’m walking sideways and my mind’s in neutral”. He is one of the few – very few – people in this country who can write real R’n’B beat tunes. We like him, we don’t do any of his tunes.
NC: What do you think of fanzines?
TM: I like fanzines. I used to edit one myself. Some of them are still knocking around in 1977 somewhere. There is a lot that can be done: layouts should change, articles should be broader.
NC: Do you mind being ignored by the press?