Few people can claim to have been the spearhead and true instigator of a scene. The birth of Punk is usually attriibuted to Malcom McLaren and the Sex Pistols, but there is a person who was the true underground voice of punk; Mark Perry of ATV.
The young Mark Perry was working as a bank clerk in 1976 when a Ramones gig inspired him to start a fanzine called Sniffin Glue.( One of the collaborators on the fanzine was Danny Baker, now known as a TV presenter and about as divorced from his punk roots as you could get.) Sniffin Glue became the UK punk scene’s bible and Mark Perry quit his job and did numerous TV and radio appearances acting as an articulate spokesperson for the emerging new phenomenon.
Early in 1977, Mark Perry hooked up with a young Miles Copeland to form Step Forward Records, releasing tracks by Fall, Sham 69, Chelsea and the Cortinas amongst others. Mark was also involved with Miles’ other labels, Deptford Fun City Records and Illegal Records.
The first incarnation of ATV was born shortly after, with Mark Perry on vocals and guitar. They released their first single, ‘Love Lies Limp’, as a free flexi disc given away with the last issue of Sniffin’ Glue (no.12), August 1977.
From then on, the various line-ups of ATV read like a Who’s Who of musicians who would become influential or famous during the next decade; collaborators included Joolz Holland, Genesis P Orridge, and Jammo and Dobbo (World Domination Enterprises).
Following a brief unsuccessful flirtation with EMI, ATV released their first proper single, ‘How Much Longer’/'You Bastard’, on Deptford Fun City Records. Their first album was released in May 1978.
Ever at the forefront of innovation, Mark quickly became disillusioned with the limitations of the punk scene. He can be heard on a live recording berating the audience for their thug-like behaviour and disinterest in the ideological messages that he and other intelligent punk front-men were trying to convey. This led him to mutate ATV into the Good Missionaries, a more experimental project influenced by the nascent industrial scene.
From then on, Mark sporadically made departures from, and returns to the music industry, always somehow managing to be involved with the major faces of the future, like a young Alan McGee. In 1996, Mark got back into writing by providing the text for Erica Echenberg’s photo book, ‘And God Created Punk’, which was published by Virgin. In 2000, Sanctuary Books published ‘Sniffin’ Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory’, which compiles all the issues of Mark’s fanzine along with lots of new writing and photos.
ATV has gigged as recently as 2003, but it remains to be seen whether Mark will return to the live scene again in the future. ATV cds have recently been available through http://www.markperry.freeuk.com/index.htm but check first to see if they are still available.
ATV members included:
Alex Fergusson – guitar, vocals. Went on to play in Cash Pussies and Psychic TV,
Micky Smith – bass
John Towe – drums. Was in Generation X. Went on to play in Rage and the Adverts.
Tyrone Thomas – bass, guitar. Also in Convent Nuns and other bands.
Chris Bennett – drums. Went on to play in Secret Affair.
Dennis Burns – bass. Also in the Reflections.
Kim Turner – guitar. Played drums for the Andy Fraser Band.
Mick Linehan – guitar. Went on to play in the Lines.
Dave George – guitar, other instruments. Kept the Good Missionaries name going for a few years in Hastings.
Anno Graver – vocals. Sang with Gong and Here & Now.
Henry Badowski – drums, sax. Also played bass in Chelsea, the Damned and King. And solo as ‘Henry’.
Gillian Hanna – vocals.
Alan Gruner – keyboards.
Ray Weston – drums.
Karl Blake – guitar, drums. Also in Lemon Kittens, Shocked Headed Peters and the Reflections.
Nag – bass. Also in the Door & The Window and the Reflections.
Protag – guitar. Went on to play with Blythe Power.
Steve Cannell – bass. Went on to play in Danielle Dax’s band and others.
Allison Phillips – drums. Also played in Ut and Taboo.
Clive Giblin – guitar. Also in Shocked Headed Peters and other bands.
Fish – drums.
James Kyllo – guitar, vocals. Also played in the Dropkick Me Jesus.
Dave Morgan – drums. Also in the Weather Prophets and the Rockingbirds.
Bob ???? – drums. Also played with the Cardiacs.
Luci Bocchino – guitar. Also played in the Long Decline and the Flips.
Rob Ugly – bass. Also played in the Long Decline and the Dole Claimers.
John Isaac – drums. Also played with Christian Death.
Dick Ugly – keyboards. Played in the Dole Claimers.
Lee McFadden – bass. Played in the Long Decline and loads of others.
Tony Barber – bass, guitar. Played in Boy Wonders, Buzzcocks and others.
Kevin Mann – drums.
Grahame Hullett – bass. Played in Yacca and others.
Steve Carter – bass – Played in Sad Lovers & Giants.