JoBoxers
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Dig: I can't believe it's been 20 years since I was in Joboxers. That had to be the best time of my life. Listening to this new release, especially the live disc, makes me remember just how lucky I was to sing with a group of such excellent musicians. God, they were tight! At a time when playing live was not a prerequisite for success, or even necessary, Joboxers were untouchable. The commitment to the band and it's music was something to behold. We thought nothing of rehearsing five or six hours a day, practically every day. Even when we weren't together playing, we would be working on riffs and ideas that would become songs and part of the show. We lived the whole bad boy, street urchin, concept of the band, sometimes to a fault. Leading a few of us to incarceration, and in my case, even deportation.
Dig
One of the first times we were on 'Top of the Pops' I remember being excited to be on at the same time as Dexy's Midnight Runners - a group we all loved and respected. At rehearsals, during the day of the show, I was shocked and disappointed to see them not wearing their patched dungerees. Instead, they had on Ivy League sweaters and nicely pressed trousers. I just assumed they wore the dungerees all the time. Once I got to know Kevin Roland I discovered they had moved on to another look but were performing a song that was connected to the dungerees. I struggled with that, but in the end I understood it was part of showbusiness. Everybody has a different way of going about it. All valid. The only thing I would change about Joboxers, as I remember the band, is the fact that we had big mouths. It made for great press, but we sometimes hurt people's feelings, and alienated some people we could have embraced. We were young, though, and full of ourselves. Now, twenty years later, all that really matters is the music. I'm very glad to have had the chance to be a part of something so exciting".
Dig Wayne , Los Angeles, December 2003.
Official Site     The Shack Rouser Album
Chris: THEN
There weren't that many live bands around when JoBOXERS started out. Each of us progressed from other groups and had played live since our early teens, therefore live shows were always a crucial part of our lives. The group’s live act had evolved through seemingly endless and continuous touring with previous groups, culminating in Subway Sect and in Dig’s case: Buzz and the Flyers. JoBOXERS evolved from a wealth of musical influences, past and contemporary. At times the show bordered on manic but always went down a storm with the audiences who meant
a lot to us. The ‘look’ evolved without any planning; we wore on stage what we wore day to day and its theme constantly developed. The JoBOXERS name came about when someone pointed out that lots of boxers were called Joe: Joe Bugner, Joe Frazier, Joe Louis. Frank Bruno soon featured in the promo video for Johnny Friendly and there is now a baseball and soccer team named after us.
AFTER
We are still involved with music in different ways. After JoBOXERS, I spent some time with Dave Stewart and the Spiritual Cowboys before producing albums for EMI and BMG.

Rob and Sean launched their own group called 'If?', then Rob started 'Earl Brutus' and his playing is always in great demand. Sean stepped up his creation and promotion of top London clubs and launched his own record label. Dave MD’d and played with Lisa Stansfield and 'The The' while Dig became a successful actor and now performs again at key music events. When the JoBOXERS Anthology album was released, we thought it might be good to get together for a show. Dig and Dave now live in the US and are busy with other things, so the logistics are tricky but it would still be great to do a JoBOXERS concert to recapture the magic.
NEW ALBUM
The long lost and unheard JoBOXERS third album is graduly being pieced together for eventual release and progress has been steady. This is a time capsule from 1985 – an era when ‘80s musical innovation was still reaching its peak. This album contains a wealth of tracks fully in the spirit of Just Got Lucky and Boxerbeat. We hope to release this album in the near future.

Chris Bostock, London, 2007
Interview    

 
Rob: 4th July, Independence Day, New York City (when it was still 'Taxi Driver New York)..
Watching the celebratory fireworks from the roof of the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan...cut to a `Top of the Pops' appearance (a British institution...at the time)... a chauffeur driven Bentley - helicopter - private Lear jet ...To a miniscule audience in Aberdeen (Scotland) who had watched us on live TV 90 minutes earlier!!!
Cut to New Zealand the following year...festivals with Talking Heads, Pretenders and Eurythmics...(Live, we feared no one) and on to Australia...Iron curtain Berlin (for our second album) when these places were still vaguely exotic (i.e. before a round the world trip became a students right of passage)...
Times have changed...
It was recently widely reported in the UK that, whatever song had reached No1 in the chart, had sold 16,000 copies...I'm still not sure if that was in a week or overall... but it is strange to think now that we had to sell 250,000 to reach No3 in 1983 ,with David Bowie at No1 and Duran Duran at No2..(Second single `Just got Lucky' sold the same to reach No7!)...
Times have changed...
In late 1980, Chris, Sean, Dave and myself had, by default, ended up in London (Via Bristol) playing as the great Vic Godard’s Subway Sect... doing a huge amount of rehearsing, touring, recording (with the late Alex Sadkin) and living an almost evangelical existence.beat

One night we saw a band at Camden Dingwalls by the name of Buzz and the Flyers... an amazing Rockabilly band with a kind of black punk Elvis as singer and we raved about him to our manager Bernie Rhodes, who then tracked him down in N.Y and invited him over to play with us (Minus Vic, who had succumbed to a bout of silliness).
We immediately set to work on creating JoBoxers..
In an all to brief career we put a lot of emphasis on our live show.. which was amazing for such a young group. But because the first three songs that we recorded became Hits.. we were incredibly busy and did not have the time to write the`Classic Album' which I know we were capable of (as we were all writers)....We lacked guidance..
My only regret is that we, as relative kids, signed such a poor deal at the outset (negotiated by Bernie) and that it’s repercussions followed us to our eventual split in 1986.
There you are... the songs are still appearing on 1980's Compilations... they capture some of the spirit.. but if you ever get the chance to see some live footage........................
I am immensely proud of our short career and personally, my only regret is that Bernie signed us to such a lousy initial deal at the outset that its repercussions followed us to our eventual split (If Bernie character reference needed...check out any book about The Clash)
.
Rob (Mad Dog) Marche `Hells Kitchen' Kentish Town, London Sept 2004.

Rob
   
Dave: Nobody hits 40 without looking back at their life – the highs and lows. I’ve been lucky enough to have more of the highs and JoBOXERS is right up there. Working with other top artists is exhilarating, but there’s nothing like having your own band – your own following and the energy and vibe they bring. Our fans were great and because of them so were the shows. Not once do I recall any of us complaining about getting on stage, even when we were sick or tired or just rundown from being on the road and (as they say in the U.S.A.) too much partying! I remember doing the Christmas Top of the Pops show in ’83 with really bad flu and coughing my guts up every time I saw the red light on the camera tracking me go off. But most of the time we were in good shape: it was a prerequisite for a band that gave intense and energetic performances. After all, we were boxers; not like Ali, the greatest ever, but boxers in a musical sense. We trained hard, lived and worked hard. And we packed a punch (even though a very brief one) and no one’s gonna argue with that!     
 DC Collard, Chicago 2003
Dave

 

Sean: I HEAR THERE'S A BIG ONE GOING DOWN
I was working in a DIY store in Bristol, playing with a few punk bands, just finished Art College, things were looking grim. Local kid Johnny Britton was being managed by Bernie Rhodes the Clash's manager up in London and he needed a backing band, that was it, I told the boss where to stick his pension plan, got in my 67 Humber Scepter and drove. First stop, pick up Chris Bostock the best bass player in Bristol, next stop Rob Marche the hottest guitarist in town, got on the M4, no coming back, never coming back.
Worked with Johnny Britton in London on one single, sleeping on a mattress in the Clash’s studio in Camden Town, one thing led to another and we started playing with Vic Goddard as Subway Sect (another story) recording one album and doing a few tours round the UK, Vic had other interests by then, so Bernie

hooked us up with this singer from NYC called Dig Wayne and JOBOXERS were born.
POVERTY AND LIMOS
A few months writing and rehearsing, and we had a deal with RCA. I'm living in a squat in Queens Park, first single comes out, in at number 85 front cover of NME, number 73 landlord trying to chuck me out, number 62 play live on the Tube, number 55 bailiffs remove the gas meter, number 47 on tour with Madness, number 35 car to Top of The Pops, number 25 the roof is leaking, number 19 front cover of Smash Hits, number 11 one electric socket for the whole house, number 7 nail up the front door, number 3 catch a plane to new York, and through the clouds I see the city disappear into the distance.
The next 2 years were the most perfect adventure a young man could ever want for, a beautiful blend of success, entertainment, danger, and speed, and like a car crash, when the vehicle stops the one's who are not strapped in keep moving forwards through the windscreen. If you're lucky you wake up alive in a ditch.
I loved my Rock & Roll Brothers, I wish I had talked to them more at the time but I think I was having too much fun to stop and chat. I look at our faces now in low res clips on YouTube and see determination and serious commitment manifest in solid musicianship, made more incredible as I remember the amount of good times that were had by all of us, stretching even the most youthful physiques to their limits. Most of all I am proud to have survived the 80's in a band with good haircuts.
NOW
The things I never knew I had learned from that adventure have formed my whole life, phases and fads I now know as patterns that can be ridden like waves.
I now manage bands, promote gigs, run clubs and put out other kids records on my own label.
I thank Rob, Chris, Dave and Dig for a fantastic time, and I also thank everyone who bought our records and came to our gigs, you had ####### good taste.
Love
Sean.

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