Wednesday, 21 December 2011

End Intro- Phil Jones. Unedited version

The Curse of The END

The End started around 1981, I’d met Peter Hooton a few times through mutual, like minded friends. The 1st time I met him was at a legendary mini bus excursion into Manchester, where a mini mob of us were attempting to geg into a Jam gig at the Manchester Apollo (A couple of us met Paul Weller a few days earlier at a Liverpool gig and he said he’d get us in through the stage door if we turned up at Manchester. So of course about 20 of us squeezed into a mini bus and set off. Weller took one look at us and shot into the stage door before we’d shouted, “oi! Well….”
I’ve never forgiven the cunt. What followed that evening was intended to be written and published in a Mod fanzine I was writing at the time with (ex deputy lord Mayor of Liverpool), Steven Rotherham. “Time for Action” However I was soon to be accosted by smooth Talking, man about town, Peter Hooton at one of his orgy like house parties. With drink, and women, he seduced this vulnerable young man and talked me into packing in my thriving Mod Fanzine adventure and to join a joint adventure… a fanzine with a new focus, a never before seen Local worldview, based around Music (good music like, no shite!) Football, gigs, local pubs and clubs, and the new scallie fashion (not “casual”) / terrace culture.

I succumbed. I shelved “Time For Action” (preventing the manuscript from the night at the Apollo shenanigans ever seeing the light of day) and THE END was born

I was more interested in the music and the footy and so combined being a co-editor, with doing Album, singles, local Demo tape reviews and Introductions, as well as contributing to various things like the In’s & Outs, fake letters, blag Poems, and personal ads etc. I also did a large proportion of the layouts by hand!. (In those days “cutting and pasting” was done with a scalpel and spray glue. It was a fuckin arduous task).

The things that made The End both unique and popular (more popular than all its then contempories like “Breakout” and “Merseysound”) were the fictitious characters like “Joe Wag”, “Dosser”, “Billy no mates” etc…. In Peter Hooton, Mick Potter and Kevin Sampson The End had stumbled upon some of the most cutting, funny cynical writers of that time.

So, getting talked out of writing my little mod fanzine and joining The End proved to be a brilliant success!
err….well, not in a business sense, like. We basically covered the cost of the printing and spent any (very minor) profits on regular staff benders. The staff grew to include John Potter, Tony McClelland and Paul Need. We also discovered a great match day ritual of selling the fanzine inside the pubs around Anfield and Goodison on a weekly basis..(Well, I say weekly basis, The End wasn’t exactly punctual. I think one time we only got round to producing one edition in the whole year). Selling The End in the pubs around Anfield and Goodison on match days paid our entry fee to the match and then the post match benders.

So to the curse of The End.well there were obvious ones right from the off. In the first edition, The lad who designed our 1st ever front cover committed suicide. We reviewed The Specials..within weeks they split….the same fate befell almost everyone we cared to big up…and always within weeks. The Undertones, Madness, The Beat, The Clash!! It got quite eerie! We Interviewed Alexei Sayle at the height of his fame…and within weeks he became SHITE and has been on obnoxious cunt ever since (“Great bus journeys of our time”? where did yer get that one Alexi’?) However, The Curse could also be sneaky…. my biggest disappointment was that, despite reviewing “U2” they stayed together and went on to rule the world and all religions.

We then became the focus of local media and police attention (our phones were tapped) after the Hysel disaster and a CS gas attack on Ron Atkinson’s then Manchester United team.

Also, I would point out that when I began writing the End, I was in a relationship, I was thin, I had a memory that actually worked, I had hair, and I was drug free. Oh, how that changed over the next decade! Damn that curse!

Of course, it wasn’t all bad news. One of the highlights of being co-editor of the End was getting to interview and meet a lot of our heroes. Meeting John Peel and developing a friendship with him was a one of the highlights of my life. I had been writing to John Peel via his Radio 1 show from my days with “Time For Action”. He’d always announce when a new edition (all two) was out. I carried on with the tradition and sent him every copy of The END from Issue one. But this time John took a real shine to the fanzine and really related to the humour and would promote The End constantly, to the point of wearing our naff tee shirts when he was hosting top of the pops.

We agreed to meet to do an interview with him (A fuckin candid and strikingly honest interview at that). At that first meeting. He got a bit merry and kept reminiscing about when he’d met me in Paris before the 1981 European Cup Final and told me tales of what we got up to and spoke about in Paris. .........problem was, I hadn’t even been in Paris!
He turned out to be such a lovely man. He More than lived up to his reputation and beyond. To me John Peel is synonymous with The End. He helped promote us and gave us national credibility.

Despite the ups and downs- I’ll always remember those times with great fondness and especially for the fact that writing the End allowed me to meet great people, like Madness, Alan Bleasdale, Simple Minds, Mick Jones, The Undertones.....(even Fish from marrillion!?) etc but most of all, John Peel.

I hope that anyone reading this collection remembers it fondly. Some of it may not have aged well, but I believe The End changed the way people wrote and spoke of things that hadn’t been spoken about before. But PLEASE don’t blame us for “chav”!

Love and peace....But no autographs

Phil Jones


This is likely to be the last print run and the book is flying out. Here is a list of shops you can get the book from and you can still order online via

Waterstones: Liverpool Bold St, Ormskirk, Chester, Birkenhead Southport and “Liverpool 1”
HMV: Liverpool South Street, London Oxford Circus
News From Nowhere, Liverpool Bold street
Pritchards, Crosby
Hat, Scarf or Badge, Liverpool
Fat Buddha, Glasgow
Ran, Bold St Liverpool
Hairy Records, Liverpool, Bold street
Jumbo Records, Leeds
Oi Polloi, Manchester
Garbstore, London
Sister Ray, London
Superdenim, York

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