Primarily known as the band Joe Strummer was in before he joined The Clash, The 101’ers were part of the last wave of British pub rock bands of the mid ’70s. The group never released any recordings while they were together, yet they were among the important transitional figures in the metamorphosis of pub rock into punk rock.
Formed in London in May 1974, The 101ers made their debut on 7 September at the Telegraph Inn in Brixton, under the name El Huaso and the 101 All Stars.
The name would later be shortened to The 101 All Stars and finally just The 101ers. The name came from the squat where the band lived together, at 101 Walterton Road, Maida Vale.
For the next year and a half, The 101’ers worked the pub rock circuit and during 1975 and early 1976, the group laid down some demos.
In the first half of 1976, The 101’ers had been opening for The Sex Pistols on selected dates but by the time their debut single, Keys to Your Heart, was released in June 1976, “Woody” Mellor was in The Clash (having renamed himself Joe Strummer) and The 101ers were no more.
Clive Timperley later joined The Passions while Dan Kelleher ended up in The Derelicts. Richard Dudanski went on to work with The Raincoats and Public Image Ltd. Tymon Dogg worked with Strummer briefly in The Clash, playing fiddle and singing his original song, Lose This Skin, on Sandinista!, and later joining Strummer in The Mescaleros.
Following Strummer’s success with The Clash, a second 101ers single and a compilation album of mostly live recordings (Elgin Avenue Breakdown) were released in 1981.
The album was reissued in May 2005 with the help of Strummer’s widow Lucinda Tait, as Elgin Avenue Breakdown Revisited.
John “Woody” Mellor (Joe Strummer)
Bass, guitar, vocals
Simon ‘Big John’ Cassell
Marwood ‘Mole’ Chesterton