The Professionals (band)

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The Professionals
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Punk rock, power pop, glam punk, post-punk
Years active 1979–1982
Associated acts Sex Pistols, Subway Sect, Lightning Raiders, Chequered Past, Chiefs of Relief, Wild Crash 500, Fantasy 7, Hank Dogs, Neurotic Outsiders, Zilch, The Fallen Leaves, Man Raze
Past members Steve Jones
Paul Cook
Andy Allan
Paul Myers
Ray McVeigh

The Professionals were an English punk rock band from 1979 to early 1982. They were formed by ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook after that band's demise.[1]


The Professionals were formed in 1979 by guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook, both formerly of the Sex Pistols. In the previous year, Johnny Rotten had left the Sex Pistols, and both Cook and Jones had sung lead for the late Sex Pistols recordings "Silly Thing"[2] and "Lonely Boy". For these recordings, Lightning Raiders bassist Andy Allan was employed as a session musician. After the Sex Pistols officially split and broke ties with manager Malcolm McLaren, this line up was resurrected as The Professionals, and signed to the Sex Pistols old label Virgin Records.

In July 1980, The Professionals released their first single "Just Another Dream",[3][4][5] which also included a video promo. This was followed by a second single "1-2-3" in October,[6][7][8] which reached No. 43 in the UK Singles Charts. Shortly after the second single's release, Cook and Jones had plans to debut a self-titled LP during that same year.[9] But there were some legal problems, as Allan had no recording contract with Virgin. He sued the record company, claiming he had never been credited nor paid by them. Consequently, Virgin's compilation album Cash Cows,[10][11] which featured The Professionals' track "Kick Down the Doors", was withdrawn and the album was shelved. After Allan left the band, he was replaced by ex-Subway Sect bassist Paul Myers, with Ray McVeigh also joining the band as a second guitarist.[12] The new line-up of The Professionals would later re-recorded previous material so that Allan would not be owed any further royalties.

The Professionals were first managed by Dave Hill, who had managed Johnny Thunders and was managing The Pretenders.[13] They recorded radio sessions for John Peel's Radio 1, which aired on November 10, 1980,[14] as means to promote the release of "Join the Professionals" that same month.[15] Due to difficulties in finding a producer (Mick Glossop was eventually picked), the release of the single was repeatedly delayed up to June 1981.[16][17] Hill left afterwards to focus on The Pretenders, and John Curd was chosen as a replacement. They then recorded further sessions with BBC, this time for The Evening Show with Mike Read on December 15.[18]

The group brought in producer Nigel Gray to help record their full length album, the result was I Didn't See It Coming released in November 1981.[19] The album was supported by U.K. and U.S. tour dates, and the release of a single for the song "The Magnificent".[20][21][22] But the band's American tour was cut short when Cook, Myers, and McVeigh were injured in a car accident.[23][24] The Professionals returned to America in the Spring of 1982 after a hiatus for recovery, but Jones and Myers' drug problems further hampered the band's prospects.[25] They declined an opening spot offer on tour for The Clash, and broke up.

Later that year, "Join the Professionals" was featured in the movie Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains along with three other Cook/Jones compositions, "Conned Again", "La La La", and "Don't Blow It All the Way".[26]


A best of album was eventually released in 2005, containing material from their one album, four singles, and the albums-worth of demos recorded with Andy Allan.

Their song "Black Leather" was covered by The Runaways on their 1978 album, And Now... The Runaways;[27] and by Guns N' Roses on their 1993 album, "The Spaghetti Incident?".[28][29] Joan Jett and the Blackhearts also released a live version of "Black Leather" on their Fetish album. Their song "Join The Professionals" was covered by the Epoxies.


Studio albums[edit]


  • 1980 – "Just Another Dream" b/w "Action Man" (Virgin Records, July 1980)
  • 1980 – "1-2-3" b/w "Baby, I Don't Care" and "White Light/White Heat" (Virgin Records, October 1980) - UK No. 43[30]
  • 1981 – "Join the Professionals" b/w "Has Anybody Got an Alibi" (Virgin Records, June 1981)
  • 1981 – "Little Boys in Blue" featured on the Sounds Freebie No. 2 split single promo. (Sounds Magazine)[31][32] (b/w "I’ll Rip Your Spine Out" by Gillan)
  • 1981 – "The Magnificent" b/w "Just Another Dream" (Virgin Records, October 1981).


  • 1980 – "Kick Down the Doors" featured on the Cash Cows compilation. (Virgin Records) (Later releases omitted the song after Andy Allan's lawsuit against Virgin.)
  • 2005 – The Best of The Professionals (Captain Oi!)


See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 349
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 381
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 540
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 475
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 415
  19. ^ "The Prague Post Online: Night & Day: Still Packing Heat". Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 537
  23. ^ "Paul Cook | New Music And Songs | MTV". 1956-07-20. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Soundtracks for Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains (1982)". Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  27. ^ "This Ain't the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk - Steve Waksman - Google Books". Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  28. ^ "Black Leather - Guns N' Roses : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  29. ^ "Content With the Flip Side : Music: Record companies are already after Fantasy 7, which will perform for the first time Saturday. Players, who have already tasted success with other bands, would rather perform than sign deals. - Los Angeles Times". 1991-11-08. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  30. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 440. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  31. ^
  32. ^

External links[edit]