This classic picture of Kevin, Anthony and Enzo was taken at the top of Carnaby Street, just adjacent to the Shakespeare's Head pub, in August 1979. The band was there to conduct an interview with Sounds journalist Robbi Millar, and the photo shoot produced this image which was later used by I Spy / Arista Records as the official Squire photo.
Squire were signed to Secret Affair’s label I-Spy following their performance at The Bridge House on Monday 7th May, which was recorded for the legendary Mods Mayday album. Squire opened the days events with a blistering six song set that kicked off with It’s a Mod Mod World, and included The Face Of Youth Today, Live Without Her Love, I’ve Got You On My Mind, B-A-B-Y Baby Love and Walking Down The Kings Road. The album was actually recorded and mixed on the Ronnie Lane Mobile studio, the same studio that The Who had used to record ‘Quadrophenia’ and 'Who By Numbers'. This was more a coincidence than creative choice, but kept the mod connection intact! Though the LP was on the Bridge House label, it was picked up by Arista and rush released on June 29th to coincide with the March Of The Mods Tour, that took Secret Affair, The Purple Hearts and Back To Zero around the UK. It even managed to chart at 75! This poster is Robert S Lee's (on the scooter) actual copy!
During this time, Squire had also undergone a dramatic line up change that saw the 4-piece Mods Mayday line up morph into the familiar 3-piece of Anthony, Kevin and Enzo in the top photo. The recording of Squire’s first I-Spy single took place at Basing Street Studios (later Sarm West - the location of the Band Aid single recording, amongst other famous records), in Notting Hill on Sunday 12th August from 10-6pm. It was produced by Ian Page & Dave Cairns of Secret Affair, who were also performing at the nearby Notting Hill Acklam Hall later that night, so perhaps this prompted their choice of studio. The engineer on the session, Simon Humphrey, recorded Time For Action & Glory Boys, and worked with Squire up to Get Smart! Walking Down The Kings Road was the choice for A side and the recording went quickly, but interestingly, The Face Of Youth Today was then recorded as the B side, and turned out better than expected which prompted the decision to hold it as the second single A side and find a ‘throwaway’ for the B side. It’s A Mod Mod World was played through as a potential substitute as the title was perhaps too gimmicky for an A side, although after recording it was considered too good too! But we were running out of time to complete yet another song so that made the single. Squire were on fire!
Two weeks later we went to Air Studio 3 in Oxford Street for the evening mixing session. This is where the ‘Kings Road’ track gained its pre planned iconic ending, the collage of street sounds and neo psychedelic imagery that was assembled from sound effects, hand claps, shouts and the sound of feet stomping in the adjacent reverberant hallway, over the long outro we had performed. By coincidence, The Who’s Pete Townshend was recording his solo album ‘Empty Glass’ in Air Studio 1; the room was full of his guitars and guitar cases, lyrics strewn around (we all enjoyed snooping around at his stuff!). While we were recording the footsteps, he happened to visit the studio and walked past looking totally surprised at seeing a hallway full of mods jumping up and down and shouting while we recorded the street ‘crowd sound’ So he inadvertently ended up on the recording as he walked on by!
The single made BBC Radio One Single of the week, and was an unexpected runaway success, so much so that it ran out of stock during that crucial time and so we just missed hitting the Top 40. Nevertheless, ‘Kings Road’ and ‘It’s A Mod Mod World’ have become anthemic songs that evoke not only the imagery of the time, Kings Road was a famous street for mods, punks and skins in ’79, but both reflected the speed of change that the mod scene in London was experiencing, that mirrored the fast changing fashions and sounds of the mid 60s.
We have assembled a ‘mod’ playlist that echoes the set list we played at the time, and will be updating and adding new playlists to support the newsletters, so please follow Squire on Spotify, if you don't do so already, so you can listen to everything - and also be automatically informed of new releases as they appear!