A biography about The Get
This article was taken primarily from www.southendpunk.com - an excellent resource and well worth a visit
The history of The Get spanned between 1977 to 1983, but during the period up to 1980 they existed as just a bedroom band
writing and recording material purely for their own pleasure. But from January 1981 to January 1983, they threw themselves upon an
unsuspecting Southend public to the delight of some and to the horror of many.
The band were:
The Get started in August 1977 (originally calling themselves The Bloodsuckers) one Sunday afternoon.
When feeling bored and hearing that punk bands couldn't play, Bruce Gordon and Gary Smith, decided that music was just the things liven
their lives. This was originally just another creative diversion after producing their own comics and writing and performing their own
comedy plays and was never intended for public consumption but, after recording around 5 cassette albums, they decided that it was time
to seek a wider audience.
- Gary Smith : Guitar
- Bruce Gordon : Vocals & Kazoo
- Steve Dobson (aka Stevie D.) : Bass (later replaced by Pete Cox)
- Jon Smith : Drums
- Steve Whittock : Guitar
- Allison & Jane : The Getettes backing vocals extraordinaire
Even though they had been playing for 3½ years neither Bruce or Gary had bothered to learn any instruments. They took turns to play
guitar and, through experience produced rhythms and sounds to back the vocal melody. This would probably have bothered most people,
but in the true spirit of punk rock Bruce and Gary didn't care. The line-up was expanded, however, to play live and a proper musician,
Steve Whittock a work friend of Bruce's, was recruited to play bass and Jon Smith, an old school friend, was told to play drums.
The Get's first gig was at the Monday night musician's workshop at the Zero 6 on 26 January 1981.
This was the first time Jon and been anywhere near a drum kit. Although Bruce and Gary had shared vocal and guitar duties in the bedroom,
for live performances Bruce took vocal duties and Gary played guitar, although they occasionally swapped for odd song.
Anyone familiar with the musicians workshop nights of the time will recall that they were populated by r'n'b and heavy metal fans and
The Get almost caused a riot. However, from the stage, high on adrenalin, the noise from the audience sounded like a roar of
approval and the idea of gigging regularly became irresistible.
The line up was soon augmented by Steve Dobson, late of the Stripey Zebras, on bass and Steve Whittock moved up to second guitar,
although his part in The Get was quite irratic as he left and rejoined a number of times. Towards the end, Steve Dobson left and
was replaced by Pete Cox. Guest musicians included Paul Brown (Stripey Zebras/Autumn Poison), Julian Ware-Lane (86 Mix) and
Sheena Fulton (Autumn Poison). For some gigs they were also backed by their very own backing singers The Getettes: Alison and Jane!
The Get played at various locations locally including Focus, the Grand Hotel, Thorpedene Community Centre and the Spread Eagle.
The final gig was on 3 January 1983 at The Zero 6, Airport Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex (UK).
Perhaps the most memorable gig, apart from the first, was at the Focus when there was a huge crowd of German and French students in.
Pam, who ran the centre warned them not play "Belsen was a Gas" (a popular cover for punk bands at the time) or anything that might upset
the visitors. Despite this warning, they decided to go ahead and play "Nuremburg Rally Jive". This was actually quite a silly song
inspired by a photo of a Get audience raising their arms singing along to a cover of Gary Glitter's "Do You Wanna Touch",
the chorus being "Nuremburg Rally jive, Come on V2s and take a dive, Nuremburg rally Jive, I sure love your beehive".
The French and German students obviously got into the spirit of the song as, when it slowed down, they started mock sieg-heiling. Surreal!
The Get went into the studio three times, recording 19 songs including favourites such
as "Waiting for your Grandma to Die", "Sex Change" and "Living in a Tent". "Vampire Dread" was released as flexi disc, getting radio
plays in America and Belgium. Three cassettes were also released, "A Retrospective 1977-1981" on New Crimes Tapes, "Live at the Grand Hotel"
and "Greatest Hits" (compiling all the studio sessions) both on Get Record and Tapes. They also appeared on numerous compilation cassettes.
After The Get split, Bruce and Gary formed the short-lived Infant Tango with Bruce on vocals, Paul Brown on guitar, Gary on bass
and Jon on drums. They recorded one studio session but never played live.
Gary went on to join the latter era of The Kronstadt Uprising as vocalist.
A T shirt by The Get can be seen in the book "Vintage T Shirts' by Lisa Kidner and Sam Knee published by Carlton Publishers in February 2006.