Our trip has been inspired by a recently discovered archive of unseen Squire photos from the early days, dating from April 1979 and taken at the first major Squire gig in London, upstairs at Ronnie Scotts on 24th April.
Like finding photos of the early Beatles at the Indra club in Hamburg from 1961, it shows an embryonic band before their recording years, and before connecting to a fan base.
And like our more famous forefathers, we would also go through similar line up changes, swapping drummers and losing members before the recording ensemble emerged, with the recognisable three piece silhouette.
A look at the list of gigs played at that time reveals a sudden move from a few disparate venues in February, March and April, to a regular appearance on London stages, which accelerated through May and June as our reputation spread. The Ronnie Scotts date can be seen as pivotal, and there is a definite before and after change in momentum.
The Ronnie Scotts 24rd April gig was also significant because we had already secured the date, by sending in the 'Get Ready To Go' demo tape months earlier, and arranged for coach loads of local fans to come up from Woking and support us, a strategy previously used by The Jam.
So we were already assured a sell out performance which we hoped would impress invited press and promoters. We had also made contact with The Purple Hearts and offered them a support slot if they could return the favour some other time, indeed they were stunned we had so many fans! So the date became a mod happening. Finally, we invited Fred Pipes, the editor and photographer of local Guildford fanzine Barbed Wire, to cover the date for his magazine!
Fred had already written an extensive interview with Squire, which makes a fascinating document of the pre history, with the Bridge House Mods Mayday and future releases still unknown to us. The interview mentions Walking Down The Kings Road as a potential single, but also including an abandoned middle eight, which became the instrumental bridge section. The photo used for the interview, seen here in its uncropped version, became the iconic image for early Squire.
The image in the fanzine presents the mod look, the Rickenbacker guitar, and hand drawn illustration (by Fred) of the Squire maximum mod music with arrow logo, and also noted the colours of sta prest blue and park green! Until now, it was assumed that it was the only surviving photo from the era, but Fred has recently digitised his archive and many shots from the gig can now be found!
It provides an extraordinary document of the band in its first incarnation. A band of brothers with no idea of what next week was going to bring us!
The familiar outline of white socks, loafers, sta press and button downs is already evident!
Here is a really rare shot of Steve Baker (RIP) on the far side of the stage. You can see a Squire sticker on the P.A speaker on the edge of the stage. We used to bring our own P.A to every gig for vocals, and achieved a very 60's sound of back line and vocals, perfectly mixed by ourselves! The old school Shure Unidyne B microphones are classic 1970s style, later replaced by the Shure SM58.
Here's an even rarer shot of Ross on the drums!
Don't forget the special FREEPOST offer for Christmas. Buy any two or more items and type squire in the discount box!
And - we have also put together a special price Christmas Black and White Squire package which includes a tee shirt, black & white vinyl single and four badge set! - you can look at it by clicking on the photo below!
All the best from Squire.