Rich Kids

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This article is about the band. For the 1979 film, see Rich Kids (film).
Rich Kids
L-R; Steve New, Midge Ure, Rusty Egan, Glen Matlock
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Punk rock, power pop, new wave
Years active 1977–1979, 2010
Labels EMI
Associated acts Glen Matlock, Sex Pistols, The Clash, Midge Ure, Slik, PVC2, Thin Lizzy, Skids, Visage, Ultravox, Jimmy Norton's Explosion, The Spectres, General Public, Big Audio Dynamite, Carbon/Silicon, Beastellabeast
Past members Glen Matlock
Steve New
Rusty Egan
Midge Ure
Mick Jones
Bill Smyth

Rich Kids were a short-lived new wave band from London, founded in 1977 by Glen Matlock following his departure from Sex Pistols.[1][2][3] The band also included future Ultravox member Midge Ure, and Rusty Egan, who later founded Visage. They released one album and three singles during their existence, from March 1977 to December 1978 (although the official announcement of their disbanding was not made until mid 1979) Rich Kids were amongst the foremost British exponents of the power pop style, blending influences from 1960s acts such as Small Faces and The Who with more recent punk rock sounds. With only one single making the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart,[4] Rich Kids join the list of one-hit wonders; a list that includes other UK punk or new wave acts such as John Cooper Clarke, Jilted John, 999, the Radio Stars, and The Vibrators.


Rich Kids were formed in 1977 by bass player Glen Matlock after he left Sex Pistols. An early line-up consisted of keyboardist and guitar player Bill Smyth, Rusty Egan on drums, Steve New on lead guitar, and The Clash's Mick Jones, who acted as a session live player.[5] Glaswegian Midge Ure, whose band Slik had split up and reformed as the punk sounding PVC2, moved to London and joined Rich Kids.[6][7] Smyth left the group followed by Jones, who continued with The Clash.

Rich Kids recorded their first set of radio sessions on 1 October 1977 for the November 7 broadcast of BBC Radio 1, hosted by DJ John Peel.[8] Following on January 13, 1978,[9] they were ranked at #24 on the 4 February UK Charts with their first self-titled single "Rich Kids".[10][11] This caught more attention from the BBC, who invited them to perform on Top of the Pops and several more sets for the short-lived live music TV series Revolver hosted by Peter Cook.[12][13][14][15]

On March 22, they recorded a further session for John Peel's April 3 broadcast.[16] Another single, "Marching Men"[17][18] was released on May 19 as means to promote the release of their album produced by Mick Ronson. Despite taping a video promo for Donnie Sutherland and After Dark, the song did not chart. At their Lyceum show in spring 1978, Ronson played guitar and Ian McLagan (ex-Faces) played keyboards. Several of the band's performances were featured in the 1980 film D.O.A..[19][20]

Both the single[21] and the album of Ghosts of Princes in Towers was released in August, with the latter ranking only at #51.[22][23][24] Their last TV appearance was at the University of Reading where they taped a live show for Rock Goes to College on October 27.[25][26][27] But the band ran into creative differences as they recorded demos for a second album. This resulted in the group's decision to go their separate ways.[28]

Matlock and New went on to tour with Iggy Pop, while Egan and Ure formed a band called The Misfits (not the American horror punk band Misfits) and, after short spells with Skids and Thin Lizzy, respectively, reunited in Visage.[5] In April 1979, Ure joined Ultravox.[5]

On 7 January 2010, the band played a one-off reunion concert at The O2 Academy Islington, London in aid of Steve New.[29][30] New died from cancer on 24 May 2010.[31][32]


Studio Albums
  • 1978 – "Rich Kids" b/w "Empty Words" (EMI, January 1978) No. 24[5] (also released on red vinyl.)
  • 1978 – "Marching Men" b/w "Here Comes the Nice (live)" (EMI, March 1978)
  • 1978 – "Ghosts of Princes in Towers" b/w "Only Arsenic" (EMI, August 1978)
  • 1998 – Burning Sounds compilation. (Rev-Ola, September 1998)
  • 2003 – Best of The Rich Kids compilation. (EMI, July 2003)

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 460. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C.: "The Great Alternative & Indie Discography", 1999, Canongate, ISBN 0-86241-913-1
  6. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 66
  7. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 98
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ Popular Music And Television In Britain, pg 150
  15. ^ Popular Music And Television In Britain, pg 157
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 153
  25. ^
  26. ^
  27. ^
  28. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 215
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^ "2010 ➤ Rich Kid Steve New (aka Stella Nova) dies at 50". 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  32. ^

External links[edit]