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Purple Gang, The

A jug band put together by a bunch of Stockport art students and discovered by UFO Club owner Joe Boyd, their washboards, kazoos and harmonicas sound astonishingly innocent today, but in 1967 The Purple Gang evoked a BBC ban with their single Granny Takes A Trip. 

Despite the band’s protestations to the contrary, the Beeb sensed the whiff of drug culture in the song which became a great favourite at the UFO Club and lent its name to a hippie boutique on the King’s Road in London.

According to guitarist Joe Beard, the band were cursed due to singer Peter Walker’s adherence to Wicca magic.

A member of the Alderley Edge (Cheshire) Coven, Walker’s nickname was “Lucifer” – a moniker he used to record a self-financed single in 1972 called Fuck You which was sold through an advertisement in Oz magazine for 50p.

Pete ‘Lucifer’ Walker
Vocals, kazoo
Christopher ‘Joe’ Beard
Guitar
Geoff Bowyer
Organ, piano, washboard
Trevor ‘Ank’ Langley
Jug, banjo
Gerry (David) Robinson
Mandolin, harmonica