Honest John Plain

Honest John Plain met Matt Dangerfield at Art College in Leeds and moved to London with him in 1971. Dangerfield, joined London SS with Casino Steel, Mick Jones, Tony James and Brian James with Plain joining them on drums for one session. As London SS disintegrated Plain, Dangerfield and Steel formed The Boys with Duncan Kid' Reid and Jack Black. The Boys quickly built up a reputation as a white-hot live band and in January 1977 became the first punk band to sign an album deal when they signed away their recording lives to NEMS. After signing for NEMS Plain sold The Boys equipment for £500 and put it on a horse, which came second! This and other dodgy deals quickly earned him the nickname Honest'.

Widely tipped to make it big The Boys had a set of killer songs and were highly respected by both the music press and their peers. They quickly became known as The Beatles of Punk' but unfortunately through a series of poor marketing, bad decisions and appalling luck they never converted their potential to chart success. However they still managed to record four killer albums and release several sure-fire hit singles before finally calling it a day in the summer of 1981. During 1978/79 Siobhan Fahay (later of Bananarama) and Hazel O'Connor ran The Boys fan club. Plain rehearsed with O'Connor and almost appeared in the movie "Breaking Glass". In 1979 Plain had a brief spell with The Lurkers and co-wrote their hit single "New Guitar In Town" with guitarist Pete Stride whom he subsequently recorded an album, aptly titled "New Guitars In Town.

After the demise of The Boys Plain joined the Dirty Strangers and recorded an album with Keith Richards and Ronnie Woods of the Rolling Stones, although after Plain left the band they removed his guitar from the recordings! In August 1984 he replaced Brady as lead guitarist in The Mannish Boys. Managed by Denny Laine's wife Jo Jo they quickly built up a live following and interest from several record companies before agreeing a deal with Motown. Unfortunately the band were dropped as soon as Motown found out they were white! Plain went on to form Brat Boy with Brady (the Hollywood Brats).
By this time German punk band Die Toten Hosen were beginning to make an impact across Europe and their lead singer Campino made it known that his favourite band of all time were The Boys. He offered a support slot to the Tower Block Rockers on the proviso that they could persuade Plain to join the band. Plain quickly came to realise that he and Tower Block Rockers guitarist Darrell Bath formed a formidable writing/performing partnership and they formed the Crybabys who were voted Best New Band of 1991'
1n 1993 Plain recorded his first solo album "Honest John Plain & Friends", which featured guest appearances from many of his friends including Dangerfield, Bath, Robbie Rushton, Campino and Vom. Plain's second solo album "Honest John Plain & Amigos" was released on 12 May 2003 to great critical acclaim and consequently Plain formed a new band to promote it. His old mate Robbie Rushton (Crybabys, Mannish Boys, The Gunslingers) was brought in on drums with Mat Sargent (Sham 69, Chelsea, Splodge) joining on bass. They made their debut as headlining act at the Punk Is Dead Festival in Holland on 17 October 2003 followed by a European tour.
Honest John Plain & The Amigos debut album "One More And We're Staying was released on 10 April 2006 with a French tour lined up to promote it. Unfortunately Sargent was unable to make the tour because of his commitments with Sham 69, who had a Top 10 UK hit with "Hurry Up England", and they disbanded.
Plain recorded a new solo album in Spain in January 2007 with Antonio Arias (Lagartija Nick), Steven Esteban (Ovni) and numerous other well known Spanish musicians. He also laid down some guitars and vocals on Largartija Nick's forthcoming album.

At the beginning of 2007 Plain and his old friend Casino Steel agreed to form a new punk supergroup to play Ramones-influenced rock'n'roll with a hint of Dolly Parton. The result was "The Last Rock'n'Roll Band" featuring Plain's Amigos Mat Sargent & Robbie Rushton alongside Petter Baarli (Backstreet Girls) and of course Steel & Plain. Currently John is recording his first acoustic album, which will be released on Still Unbeatable Records in 2009. This new album will be promoted with some gigs together with Vom from Die Toten Hosen.

Steve Metcalfe