Bob Andrews (guitarist)

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Bob "Derwood" Andrews
Birth name Robert Ian Andrews
Also known as Derwood
Born (1959-06-17) 17 June 1959 (age 56)
Fulham, London, England
Genres Rock, punk rock, post-punk, glam rock, electronica, alternative country
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, singer, guitarist
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1976–present
Associated acts Paradox, Generation X, Empire, Westworld, Moondogg, Dead Horse, Speedtwinn

Bob "Derwood" Andrews (born Robert Ian Andrews; 17 June 1959, Fulham, London)[1][2] is an English guitarist, and former member of the punk rock band, Generation X. He is also known for scoring a 1987 UK Top 20 hit single "Sonic Boom Boy" in the glam rock band Westworld.


Generation X[edit]

At the age of 17, Bob "Derwood" Andrews played in an alternative cover band called Paradox which included well known local musicians of the time, Gary Claydon and Chris "Noggin" McCullough. They were performing at the Fulham Arts Centre for one of their gigs when Billy Idol noticed Derwood. A few days later, he was recruited to join the then newly formed Generation X.[3]

The band signed to Chrysalis Records and released their first single, "Your Generation,"[4] in September 1977, performing the song on Marc Bolan's Marc TV show that same month. Derwood remained with the band through their first two albums, the self-titled Generation X (1978), followed by Valley of the Dolls (1979).[4] In May 1979, Derwood told the band that he was quitting, wanting to form his own band, Empire. His departure would be short lived, however, as he soon came back to finish up remaining live dates as well as recording what was to have been the band's third album, Sweet Revenge (eventually released in 1998 by Empty Records, and then later as a second disc of the Anthology boxed set in 2003 by EMI Records). Internal disagreements came throughout the year until 19 December, when Derwood again announced to the band that he was leaving.[5][6] He would be joined by drummer Mark Laff a month later.


Derwood and Laff formed the cult band Empire along with bassist Simon Bernal in mid 1980.[7][8] At the age of 21, Derwood was writing and singing along with honing his skills on guitar. Empire released "Hot Seat"[9] as a single and one commercially unsuccessful album, Expensive Sound.[10] The trio undertook four gigs, before Bernal left. After many replacements and more gigs, Laff decided to quit on 9 February 1983. They then morphed into New Empire with Babel Wallace taking over on vocals, Mike Gregovich on bass and Crispin Taylor as drummer. This outfit released only a white label 12" ("Inside You"), but toured in UK a lot (supporting artists like John Miles and Roman Holliday) and later in Spain, where the band enjoyed an unexpected degree of success. This would not be enough for Derwood, who was dissatisfied with the band's new musical direction and the financial issues related to touring. He disbanded New Empire in early 1984.

Today they are regarded as one of the most influential post-punk bands to the emo genre.[citation needed]

Westworld and Moondogg[edit]

After some time, in 1986 Derwood had moved on to his next incarnation as leader and guitarist in the British "beatbox rock'n'roll" band Westworld.[11] Having finally found the perfect singer in Elizabeth Westwood, they had an early success with their debut single "Sonic Boom Boy", which reached #11 in the UK Singles Chart in February 1987,[12] and was used in Sony's advertisements.[11] They achieved many hits throughout Europe and released three albums.

Always pushing the boundaries of music genres, Derwood kept Elizabeth as singer and moved on to form the very eclectic band Moondogg along with UK sound artist Martin Lee Stephenson in 1994.[13]


In 1998, Derwood and former Supernaut/Twenty Flight Rockers vocalist Gary Twinn formed an alternative country band, Speedtwinn, along with Mario Barmosca and Dale S. Daniel.[14][15] They released an album in 2003, California, right after Derwood had left the band.[16]


1993 saw a Generation X reunion for one night only at the Astoria Theatre in London, during Billy Idol's No Religion Tour in support of the album Cyberpunk. In 2006, Andrews and Laff re-recorded "Hot Seat" as Empire to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Expensive Sound. It was released on the Expansive Sound Volume II compilation.[17] In 2011, Andrews reformed Empire again with vocalist Babel Wallace and drummer Jerry Judd for the recording of a song called "Bed Head", appearing on Wallace's solo compilation Good Things Can Happen.

Other works[edit]

In 1980, before forming Empire, Bob Andrews and Mark Laff recorded on the first Jimmy Pursey solo record, Imagination Camouflage.[18]

Derwood has played guitar for many people including a long stint with one of his heroes, Swamp Dogg.

2007's release of Tone Poet would mark his first ever solo release from Rubbercheese Music. It features his trademark guitar style along with songs from all traveled paths, even some punk banjo picking. He has also completed an autobiography on the life of a rock'n'roll musician titled Loud Guitarist.[19]

In 2010, Derwood recorded Cover Yer Arse, a compilation of cover songs of his favorite artists.[20]

In 2013, Derwood recorded a downloadable song "Sleeping Beauty."

In 2014, Derwood recorded another compilation entitled Tone Poet, Vol. 2. He also put out the song "Winter Pt 1," which was part of an unmade album called Mojave Full Circle.

Derwood' song catalog has been covered by diverse artists such as U.S. Bombs and L.A. Guns.


Studio albums[edit]

Generation X
Generation X Compilations
  • 1981 – Expensive Sound (Dinosaur Discs) (American reissue in 1986 by Highway 61 Records).
  • 2003 – Expensive Sound (Poorly Packaged Products Records) (Also featuring 7 previously unreleased songs and 4 live cuts).
  • 2009/2012 – Volume II – Expansive Sound (Poorly Packaged Products Records) (the never issued before New Empire tracks, plus covers and live cuts from 1983–84).
  • 2012 – Babel Wallace solo compilation Good Things Can Happen (Poorly Packaged Products Records) (Featuring 3 New Empire tracks and the reunion song "Bed Head").
  • 1987 – Where the Action Is (RCA Records) UK No. 49
  • 1987 – Rockulator (RCA Records) (US release of Where the Action Is with different track listing and artwork and some new mixes).
  • 1988 – Beatbox Rock 'N' Roll (RCA Records) (not released in the UK).
  • 1991 – Movers and Shakers (MCA Records) (not released in the UK).
  • 1997 – Beatbox Rock 'N' Roll (Camden Records) (Compilation album, not to be confused with the same-titled second album).
  • 1996 – Fat Lot of Good (Better Records)
  • 2001 – God's Wallop (D.O.R.)
  • 2004 – All the Love in the World (Rubbercheese Music)

Solo records[edit]

  • 2007 – Tone Poet, Vol. 1 (Rubbercheese Music) (Digital download only.)
  • 2010 – Cover Yer Arse compilation (Main Man Records)
  • 2014 – Tone Poet, Vol. 2 (Rubbercheese Music) (Digital download only.)


  1. ^ Biodata at
  2. ^ International Who's Who in Popular Music 2006, p. 14. Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2006 (ISBN 185743367X; ISBN 978-1-85743-367-8)
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  4. ^ a b Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. p. 472. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  5. ^
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  8. ^ Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982, page 462
  9. ^
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  11. ^ a b "Biography by John Bush". Retrieved 18 December 2008. 
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 597. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
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External links[edit]