Johnny Moped

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Johnny Moped
Background information
Origin Croydon, South London, England
Genres Punk rock
Years active 1976–1978, 1981, 1992, 2007-2008, 2011
Labels Chiswick Records, Deltic
Associated acts The Pretenders, The Damned
Past members Paul Halford (aka Johnny Moped)
Dave Berk
Fred Berk
Ray Burns (aka Captain Sensible)
Slimey Toad
Chrissie Hynde

Johnny Moped were a mid-1970s English punk rock group from south London, who once had Chrissie Hynde (later of The Pretenders) and Captain Sensible (later of The Damned) within their ranks.


Formed in Croydon in May 1974, the band were a proto-punk band. Initially calling themselves Johnny Moped and the 5 Arrogant Superstars, by August they changed their moniker to Assault and Buggery, then the Commercial Band, before reverting to just Johnny Moped by January 1975.

Johnny Moped became one of the pioneering punk bands that played live in the first few months of London’s now-legendary Roxy Club. They played two gigs in February 1977, one supporting Eater and one backing The Damned. The following month they played two more, one supporting Slaughter & The Dogs and the other backing The Damned. In April, they were on a bill that included Wire, X-Ray Spex and the Buzzcocks.[1]

Johnny Moped’s "Hard Lovin’ Man" appeared on the hit various artists album Live at the Roxy WC2 (Harvest Records, 1977). The band signed with Chiswick Records and released three singles, including "Little Queenie" (a cover of the Chuck Berry song), and one album - Cycledelic - before splitting up. First single "No-One" later featured on the Chiswick various artists sampler album Long Shots, Dead Certs and Odds On Favourites in 1978, while b-side "Incendiary Device" made number 15 in BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel’s ‘Festive Fifty’, the so-called ‘lost list’ of 1977.[2]

Sixteen years after its release, the publishers of The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, named Cycledelic as one of the best fifty punk albums of all-time.[3] Most of the band reformed to record a second album The Search For Xerxes in 1991.

A documentary about the band, Basically, Johnny Moped, produced by Fred Burns, premiered in September 2013.[4][5]

In 2015 the band, that now featured Rob Brook on second guitar and long time bassist Jacko Pistorious alongside Johnny, Slimey and Dave, entered the studio to record a brand new album. The first single to be taken from it was "Ain't No Rock 'n' Roll Rookie" backed with "Super Woofa" which came out on Damaged Goods records 31 July 2015 as a limited 7" and Download.


Johnny Moped’s style has been variously described as:

  • ‘Moronic punk ‘n’ roll fusing future Chiswick label-mates Motörhead with the manic humour of John Otway’.[6]
  • ‘They were one of Chiswick’s top bands because they bridged the gap between mid-seventies pub rock and the beery end of punk’.[7]
  • Cycledelic was "absolute madness. The greatest songs, the sloppiest playing, a voice to make Billy Bragg feel grateful and the sheer immortality of the since-oft-covered "Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby". Rating: nine out of ten".[8]
  • ‘Johnny Moped had been about for a few years practising their sonic terrorism in & around Croydon by the time Punk Rock broke. That didn’t stop them signing to Chiswick Records & releasing the utterly superb 45 No One (NS 15) & the equally frenetic LP, Cycledelic (Wik 8). Perennially written off by the snobbier elements of the Punk elite, mates of Captain Sensible & part time roadies for The Damned - Johnny Moped had it all’.[9]
  • Legends… ‘In any discussion of punk’s greatest legends the name of Johnny Moped forever looms large – not necessarily for the vitality of their vinyl, although few would deny that the Moped had few peers in that arena. Nor through the brilliant chaos of their live shows, although a good Moped gig could keep you grinning for a week. No, Johnny Moped was a legend because with a reputation and a presentation like theirs, what else could they be?’ [10]


Studio albums[edit]

  • Cycledelic (April 1978: Chiswick Records, WIK 8)
  • The Search For Xerxes (May 1991: Deltic)
  • It's A Real Cool Baby (25 March 2016: Damaged Goods)


  • Basically: The Best of (September 1995, Chiswick)
  • The Bootleg Tapes: I & II (September 2007, Damaged Goods)

Appearances on V/A compilations (Selective)[edit]

  • "Hard Lovin’ Man" - Live at the Roxy WC2 compilation album (24 June 1977: Harvest Records SHSP4069) No. 24 UK Albums Chart[11]
  • "No-One" - Long Shots, Dead Certs and Odds On Favourites (Chiswick Chartbusters Volume Two) sampler album (1978: Chiswick Records CH 5)
  • "Incendiary Device" - Pogo a Go Go! cassette compilation (1986: NME Magazine NME 021)


  • "No One" / "Incendiary Device" (August 1977: Chiswick, 515)
  • "Darling, Let’s Have Another Baby" / "Something Else" / "It Really Digs" (January 1978: Chiswick, NS 27)
  • "Little Queenie" / "Hard Lovin' Man" (June 1978: Chiswick, NS 42)
  • "Ain't No Rock 'n' Roll Rookie" / "Super Woofa" July 2015: Damaged Goods, DAMGOOD446)
  • "Real Cool Baby" / "Never Never Time" (12 February 2016: Damaged Goods)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thompson, D. (2000) Punk, Collector’s Guide Publication, Ontario, Canada, p. 61 - 62;
  2. ^ John Peel’s Festive Fifty on Rock List Net;
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (1994) "All Time Top 1000 Albums", Guinness Publishing, Enfield, Chapter 9;
  4. ^ "Film | Film Reviews | Croydonian Dada: Basically Johnny Moped Reviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  5. ^ "Basically, Johnny Moped, at KOKO". Camden Review. 2013-09-12. Retrieved 2014-06-28. 
  6. ^ Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p. 102;
  7. ^ Joynson, V. (2001) Up Yours! A Guide to UK Punk, New Wave & Early Post Punk, Borderline Productions, Wolverhampton, p. 234;
  8. ^ Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books. p. 749. 
  9. ^ Jean Encoule (March 2004) "A-Z Of Punk Rock"Rohit kumar kaariya , trakMARX, Issue No.13;
  10. ^ Thompson, D. (2000) Punk, Collector’s Guide Publication, Ontario, Canada, p. 84;
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]