It all started in Glasgow a couple of years ago.
God knows where and when it will finish.....
Norman first spread his bad jokes with the BMX Bandits (with legendary MC Duglas) before moving on to the Bay Hairdressers. The group floundered but Norman and Raymond kept jamming in Norman's bedroom in a four room cottage on the sprawling mad bastard back end of legendary East Glassky suburb. Belishill (home of Mat Musby, Sheena Easton and Ian St John).
They went on a Buckfast diet. Buckfast, also known as Singing Ginger, Electric Soup or Goof Juice became along with the happening wave of American groups in '87-'88 (led by such luminaries as Dinasour Jnr.), their main source of inspiration.
Gerry and Brendan joined the Teenage Fanclub. They played locally, supporting The Pastels, Soup Dragons and Primal Scream and recorded enough material for one LP, that Paperhouse Records picked up.
'A Catholic Education'. the LP. and Everthing Flows', the single, were released at approximately the same time. The pretty basic production enhanced the spontanaety and live feeling of the songs.
A short trip to NYC at the time of the New Music Seminar in July 1990 had a definite impact an the American scene : their gig at the legendary CBGB's was seen as one of the main events of the week. Only regret for Raymond: he couldn't find any Buckfast in the shops................
'God Knows It's True', backed by 'So Far Gone'and their own version of The Ballad Of John And Yoko - a must as an encore - was released on Paperhouse Records in November 1990 to rave reviews. It was produced by some weird guy they met at CBGB's called Don Fleming, who just happened to be an ex-Dinasour Jnr. The year finished with some gigs, and excellent features in the albums and Singles of the Year sections of the music papers.
1991 started with some more gigs, and a move from Paperhouse Records to Creation Records. Teenage Fandub. joined by Don Fleming, recorded their second LP in Liverpool. The first single from the album 'Star Sign' was released in August after a short tour of the U.K. It entered the charts at number 44. The following week they played the Reading Festival.
At the end of the same month, an instrumental album 'The King', an American product only released in the U.K. to avoid overpriced imports, entered the charts at number 53 without any promotion.
A new single 'Tbe Concept' was released on October 21st reaching the Top 50. followed by the album 'Bandwagonesque' in November, unanimously praised by the critics and a top twenty smash. The high placing of the album in all the end of year 'Best album' polls was a testament to the impact that this record had made.
'What You Do To Me' from 'Bandwagonseque' was released as a single in January 1992. Teenage Fanclub had the immense satisfaction to discover that they were the Manic Street Preachers favourite group. 'What You Do To Me' charted at number 31.
The first half of the year was spent touring including a series of European dates with Nirvana and two very succesful U.S. tours. Big Star frontman Alex Chilton, a long time hero of the band, even joined them on stage to play 'Free Again' in New Orleans.
In July Alex Chilton came to Scotland to record a radio session with the band and on the August Bank Holiday they played to 50,000 ecstatic people during a torrential downpour at The Reading Festival.