The London Cowboys were based around Steve Dior & Barry Jones who in 1976 were
an integral part of London’s fledgling punk scene. They had loosely rehearsed
with Chrissie Hynde and Keith Levene and others until Barry started co-promoting
the first 100 days of The Roxy Club, booking the bands and designing the
flyers. His teenage pal Steve came down to see the Heartbreakers on a
pre-opening gig and fell in with the band. When Jerry Nolan left the
Heartbreakers in August ’77, he formed The Idols with Steve and Barry; they soon
moved to New York where Arthur Kane completed the line-up.
The Idols recorded demos for Track Records in London and made waves in New York,
releasing a single on Ork Records. When Sid Vicious came to NY, they were his
first choice of backup band (documented in recordings and Steve’s notes in ‘Sid
Lives’, FREUDCD095), but the planned recordings with Sid never got to happen.
The Idols folded in 1979 when Jerry had work-permit problems getting back into
the UK. Barry then got a job with Max’s Kansas City; Steve rehearsed with Jones
& Cook’s Professionals.
The London Cowboys first incarnation was in the early 80’s, Steve together with
the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock and singer Russell King, who issued a couple of
successful singles in France. But when it came to an album, Steve fell out with
King and brought back Jones and Nolan who both had returned to the UK, and took
over vocals himself. The band continued for many years with Dior & Jones as the
nucleus, with the Matlock/Nolan rhythm section substituted according to
availability – Tony James, Pete Farndon and Terry Chimes amongst others filled
Later in the 80’s, the Cowboys’ brand of rock’n’roll found favour with record
executives – Dolls-influenced bands had proved their dollar worth in the form of
Guns & Roses and Billy Idol. MCA signed the London Cowboys with big plans that
never materialised; then Chrysalis courted them. But no releases came out of
that period, until now!
In late ’86 Jerry Nolan, Barry Jones and Glen Matlock teamed up again together
with Johnny Thunders, for a tour of the world through 1987. Johnny had earlier
guested on a unreleased Cowboys session; after he died Steve teamed up with
Sylvain for a tribute song – both included here. Steve & Barry must be the only
musicians who’ve played with both four members of the New York Dolls and four
members of the Sex Pistols!
Barry now lives in LA. Steve Dior took a break from music for a while but is
back with a new band, The Delinquents.
Click here to read a few words from Barry!