Teenage Punk Rockers

This site explores the punk culture as it was in 1977 England. We were teenage punk rockers that wrote a fanzine and formed a garage band.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bombsite Fanzine 1977; Spitfire Boys

Photo of Paul Rutherford [maggot] with Peter Griffith [Griff] in background at Eric's September 1977; Photo Bombsite Fanzine.


Liverpool's first Punk band [if you don't count Radio Blank] emerged from St. Helen's on the outskirts of the city. Dave Littler formed the band after hustling his way onto a support slot for a Heartbreakers gig at Parr Hall in Warrington on Friday May 13th 1977.  

Above; Photo description is switched & should read Griff and Dave.

Originally the band had called themselves The Blackmailers, but Dave Littler and Wayne County would re-name the band during Wayne County's first appearance at Eric's.
The clip [below] from Bombsite issue two Saturday September 20th 1977, The Spitfire Boys,  The Prefects and The Slits gig at Eric's.

Considered Liverpool's first Punk band to release a single "British Refugee" B side "Mein Kampf" on October 7th 1977. Maggots performance as front man was always energetic. He had velocity to his vocal style and thundered through song lyrics spitting out vocals.

After buying their record, Mike Iball asked Griff at Eric's to write out the word to the track on a beer coaster, because he couldn't understand what Maggot was singing! 

Later band members Budgie ( Pete Clarke), would drum for The Slits and Siouxie & the Banshees, and then married Siouxie Sue from the band. Maggot (or Paul Rutherford), would become a member of Frankie goes to Hollywood. David Littler went on to join The Photons with Steve Strange of Visage and Vince Ely of the Psychedelic Furs. Later he formed the White Brothers alongside front man Glenn Carmichael. David and Glenn still collaborate with side projects.

David and Budgie continue to stay in contact but have not seen each other for a good while.Today, David [Aug 2008] performs and produces solo art and music projects, Anyone wishing to contact David can do so at sounds@poppymusic.co.uk . Lastly, Griff notes [08:11:08] "I relocated to Ireland and still speak to Paul on a regular basis. I am now a father of 6 lovely children and a proud grandad too, creatively I spend time painting and love life to the full". Frontman Paul Rutherford lives in New Zealand. Bombsite reviewed the band a few times during 1977, and were present for their debut show at Parr Hall.  These guys put on an incredible show and were remarkably popular with the punks at Eric's, but little throughout the UK. Touring became difficult as punk bands were banned by regional authorities. Through 1977 the British media would distort stories about Punks that stoked tension between Skins and Teds. 

Above; Paul Rutherford ; Photo from Mel is part of the Soulkiss collection

They toured London supporting the Slits but found difficulties penetrating the London scene. Furthermore, toward the end of 1977 Liverpool was tiring of three chord rock and the melodic electronic style of Liverpool post punk boom was developing. Signs of a breakup started in early December, Pete Wylie joined the band for some rehearsals. Moreover, Dave Littler has indicated that the lack of management focus and direction hastened the split. The band folded on Thursday 22nd December 1977. Unfortunately, Liverpool lost something on that day, they were more than just a band they started something. 


  1. This would be "anonymous" in Canada commenting again. The "British Refugee/Mein Kampff" single was brilliant and I like the subsequent with "Funtime" et al too. It would have been interesting to see what they might have produced had they remained together.

  2. We enjoyed their shows, and as I remember they were an influence when naming our fanzine, Bombsite.

  3. I am dying to know what happened to Griff no one seems to know.
    They supported quite a few bands I saw in and around the north west and they did have 'something'. They were the first band I went to see at Eric's in the summer of 1977 as the Jam had cancelled their gig that night - I think they must of stepped in and saved with day with support from Radio Blank featuring Dave Balfe. He was an acquaintance of ours during this time as was Paul Rutherford ( Maggot).

    He was later famous for bands such as Teardrop Explodes,producing many bands and signing Blur to his record label. The Blur song 'Country house' is supposedly written about him.He apparently now writes and directs movies.


  4. Griff lives in Eire with his family.After leaving Liverpool in the late seventies he didnt have anything to do with playing music.

  5. They were all a bunch of strange dudes, they weren't an act, they were the real thing. They were the same in life as you saw them on stage (that's if you were lucky enough to see them). In the music business, "Strange" is not a bad thing, it's what makes you different from the rest of the normals. Also the talent that came forth was naturally different, which is often what "strange" produces. I had the privilege of knowing Dave Littler and Pete Griffiths before the formation of the Spitfire Boys and witnessed how they were put together. It was in all honesty, inspirational to watch how something came from absolutely nothing in one week. The organising force of Dave Littler is worthy of appraisal as he was a key part of the whole thing. I am also a professional musician of over 35 years in the music biz and for all that I may have achieved, still falls short of the impact of what they achieved then. I look back in my memories of what I have of the Spitfire Boys and mentally salute them.


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