Never Mind the Zoomdicks

Nevermind the Buzzcocks, kettingzaag, blog


“POPIDIOTEN!” (English translation below)

Sharing info posted on the Dutch blog ‘Kettingzaag‘ [Chainsaw]. In the midst of all the Dutch lingo, I spied a couple of name checks. Curiosity getting the better of me, I ran the page through an online translator.  No doubt some of the subtleties and nuances of the original post have been mangled in translation but it looks good to me: ‘Buzzcocks’ become the ‘Zoom Dicks’ and yours truly discovers he’s not a ‘Pop Idiot’, despite a recent temporary infraction. My CV has been updated accordingly 😉

The text that follows has been translated from Dutch blog Kettingzaag. Includes pics and video clips featured in the original article. Apologies to the original author for any inaccuaracies but also a big thankyou for writing such a passionate and entertaining piece. Bit of an ego boost too!

Pop Idiots and Buzzcocks

The phrase buzzes for years around in my brain, it pops up whenever there are POP IDIOTS in the newspaper, on TV or I do not know what. I’m talking about those foolish dressed posers, with silly stage acts and their silly behaviour. They drag pop music’s good name through the mud! For me it is something invariably accompanied by a feeling of deep shame, because I see things I do not want to see, my beloved hobby is undermined. Wait, I’m looking at it a suitable photo [cue Red Hot Chilli Peppers]:

Typical example of a bunch of POPIDIOTEN

No, John Maher, the ex-drummer of the Buzzcocks, the ultimate example of someone who is NOT a POP IDIOT!

Just imagine: you are 21 years old, you’ve already played three successful albums and a dozen classic singles. Then you hear some popping in the corridor: the postman has just forced a letter through the door. What turns out? It is a letter from a lawyer. Half sleepy pull open the envelope. What turns out? The singer of your band has decided to cut it and quit the group. That he lets you know it officially. Career day, too-da-loo!

Normally this kind of bad news hit like a bomb. Inflated egos of quasi-child stars almost succumb. Then they go to the heroin or suicide. Was not it Oscar Wilde who said: “To have fame and youth at once is too much for a mortal?” Not for John Maher. He was quite simply something quite different, see:

In one way or another, I find this a particularly intriguing interview. While his buddies from the past still tour around the world with a golden oldies punk show, he has already said goodbye to showbiz. Somewhere on an industrial estate near Manchester, he found a new passion. Delicious sober this man, so that even sober perspective superfluous. Great anyway, pop music is not meant to eternally lounging around.

Manchester 1978, second from left John Maher

I’ve always been a bit of a John Maher follower. After the break-up of the Zoom Dicks [‘Buzzcocks’ = ‘Zoom Dicks’ according to Google Translate] in 1981 (he played the drums in 1976 as a 16-year-old would join the fucking legendary Spiral Scratch ep) he drummed a little after the break-up with Pauline Murray’s Invisible Girls, Wah! and Flag of Convenience (remember those names), before he hung up the drum sticks permanently. Then to that Beetle-business. Still much later he would finally say good-bye to Manchester with garage and all move to Scotland, to the Outer Hebrides, further north, still anonymous …. With its racing team JMR (John Maher Racing) he apparently has success back in the hands, but also one of the dullest websites ever … in the context of this piece, I feel obliged there anyway to link to it.

Because of the above, I was violently disappointed that John Maher a few months ago consented to have two reunion performances with the Buzzcocks to do. This is from the Apollo Hall in Manchester last May. Wait, decide for yourself but look at how it unpacked:

Next Sunday the Buzzcocks play at Incubate in Tilburg in their familiar renewed composition. John Maher therefore no longer plays the drums with them anymore. Beautiful, that are already two good reasons not to go! If I can resist the temptation at least …

One thought on “Never Mind the Zoomdicks”

  1. I was one of the many packed into the Apollo in Manchester on May 25th last year.

    Fantastic to see again the old line up of the finest band ever to grace the stage..

    Best of the 40 odd Buzzcocks concerts I’ve been to.

    Mind you, I don’t blame you for moving to the Outer Hebrides – Beautiful place. We often take the motorhome there.

    Great photos too.

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