Cockney Rejects: “We wrote a song which went on to inspire a whole generation of bands”


The last year i did a interview with Cockney Rejects, i published it in Spanish for a web page named El Alebrije. Link of the interview:

-The frontman of the band he’s the responsible of the name ¨Oi!¨ for this kind of music. It’s a privilege for him these story?

“‘Oi!’ is a Cockney greeting and Jeff used to say it to the audiences in the earliest days of the band. Later on, we wrote a song around it, called ‘Oi! Oi! Oi!’ which went on to inspire a whole generation of bands.”

– In the East London borned oi! bands. Why?

“¡There were no ‘Oi!’ bands before the Cockney Rejects came along! After the Rejects, bands began to spring up all over the country and subsequently the world.”

-How feel be a skinhead icon?

“It’s nice to be appreciated by anyone and everyone and we are thankful to our great audiences from whatever walk of life they happen to be from.”
-It’s interesting your signed with the biggest label EMI. Talk me about it.

“Back in the 70’s, the Sex Pistols signed to EMI and left under a cloud to join Virgin. Afterwards, EMI needed a major punk act to fill the gap and the Cockney Rejects came along at the right time.”

-And your performance in Top of the Pops?

“Yes, we were only kids when we did Top of the Pops and, on the second occasion when performing our version of West Ham’s anthem ‘Bubbles’ we were extremely drunk as we had availed ourselves of the BBC’s hospitality. As a consequence, we were banned from the programme for ever, which in hindsight, ¡was probably the best thing that could have ever happened!”

– Tell me about his passion and relationship with football club West Ham.

“The whole band have been West Ham supporters since childhood because that’s the part of East London we were from.”

– How was the skinhead and punk scene of the 70´s latest and 80’s begins in UK?

“To be honest, the Cockney Rejects were never skinheads or punk rockers. We mainly moved in our own circles in the East End of London and those circles, at the time, mainly consisted of football lads of which there were, amongst others, punks and skinheads.”

-The song “I’m not a fool” describes a sad situation. Stories like that song were a cotidian for the skinheads?

“The song is about being arrested by the police at a very young age which happened to many, many people, no doubt some skinheads included.”

– Talk me about the Cockney Rejects’s friendship with the journalist Garry Bushell. “Garry is an old friend who helped the Rejects immensely in the beginning. He is a good man and still a good friend and we stay in touch regularly.”

– The last question… The band have a lot of mexican fans. Would you like visit Mexico? “We would love to play in front of our Mexican fans. We have heard a lot about your fascinating country and we would welcome the opportunity. ¡Nos vemos pronto! (¡I see you later!).”






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