After The Pop Group broke up, Gareth Sager and Pop Group drummer Bruce Smith formed Rip Rig & Panic with bassist Sean Oliver and pianist Mark Springer. Neneh Cherry, Ari Up, and Sean Oliver's sister Andrea sang with RR&P. Neneh Cherry and Bruce Smith married and had a daughter. Gareth Sager married Jeannette Lee (PiL), and they too started a family. Sean Oliver (who was mentioned in my Keith Levene post) had a daughter with Tessa Pollitt from the Slits.
RR&P broke up after three LP's, but soon regrouped under a new name, Float Up CP, and recorded a 1984 album (Kill Me In The Morning) . The following year, Neneh Cherry, Sean Oliver, and Bruce Smith (along with RRP saxman Dave Wright) made a one-off single without Gareth Sager called "Foot On The Rock" under the band name God Mother & Country (a nod to Rip Rig & Panic?)
Sager started a new band with guitarist Nick Sheppard (ex-Cortinas), and singer Rich Beale. Beale had done the sleeve art for the Pop Group's single "We Are All Prostitutes" and the album Y. They named their new group Head, and its members adopted pseudonyms: Nick Sheppard became Candy Horsebreath (and sported a pair of assless chaps on the album cover). Sager became Hank Sinclair. Rich Beale took the name of a Bristol landmark, Clevedon Pier. On the next Head album, Clevedon Pier became Bertie Beale; Sager's new alias was Hamilton MacAdemical; and Sheppard was rechristened Chopper Harris.
The port city of Bristol and the traditional songs of its sailors and fishermen were elemental to Head's music. Head's debut album opens with a quote from "Molly Malone". Mark Stewart from the Pop Group recalled in a recent interview, "As much as my punk roots, I grew up in blues dances and stuff, where people would just get on the mike and start shouting out nursery rhymes and sea shanties." Head was a rock band, unlike Bristol's strident and abrasive Pop Group, or the wildly eclectic Rip Rig & Panic. Big guitars, rock rhythms, and shout-along choruses, which were unabashedly silly, drunken and lusty.
The first track on this compilation is a Float Up CP song that suggests where Sager was Headed. He sings,"Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum, come here baby and give me some." On the second track, "Rockin' Rich" Beale introduces each Head member by name (including bassist S.M.T. and drummer Plastic Bag). Tracks 2 through 5 are from Head's 1987 debut, A Snog On The Rocks. Tracks 6 and 7 are demos (released in 2009 on Bottled Vintage XXX). Tracks 8-14 are from 1988's Tales Of Ordinary Madness (1988).
Tracks 13-16 are from the last Head album (1989's Intoxicator), which was recorded with Michael Jonzun of the electrofunk Jonzun Crew. The songs were accessible but unspirited. Virgin Records didn't promote Intoxicator, and Head disbanded. "Head were a hard-living band, and if we hadn't split up, there would probably have been some funerals," Sager later told Melody Maker, "Towards the end of the group, one or two of us were very, er, ill."
Nick Sheppard was called up by Joe Strummer and Paul Simenon for The Clash's anticlimactic Cut The Crap. Rich Beale formed a band called Apache Dropout. The adventures of Gareth Sager will continue in our next chapter.
M.A.D. – Float Up CP
Crackers (Fer Yer Knackers)
The Captain, The Sailor & The Dirty Heartbreaker
Don't Wash Your Hair About It
I Can't Stop
Johnny Pulled On His Motorbike Boots (demo)
OK Brutus Sta-Pressed Power (demo)
Car's Outside (Joy-Ride Remix)
Cheeky Little Monkey
Jesus Ain't Got A Daddy
B'Goode or Be Gone
All The Boyz At War
Under The Influence of Books – Head
Tiger Tiger (cover version) – Paul Quinn and The Nectarine No. 9: