Rich Kids

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Rich Kids
L-R; Steve New, Midge Ure, Rusty Egan, Glen Matlock
L-R; Steve New, Midge Ure, Rusty Egan, Glen Matlock
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresPunk rock, power pop, new wave
Years active1977 – 1979
2010 – 2019 (occasionally)
Associated actsGlen 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 membersGlen 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 the Sex Pistols.[1][2][3] The band also included future Ultravox members Midge Ure and Rusty Egan, who both later founded Visage together. 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 7 November broadcast of BBC Radio 1, hosted by DJ John Peel.[8] Following on 13 January 1978,[9] they were ranked at #24 on 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 22 March, they recorded a further session for John Peel's 3 April broadcast.[16] Another single, "Marching Men"[17][18] was released on 19 May 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]

Matlock and New later played with Sid Vicious in the band Vicious White Kids, which only played one concert.[21]

The Rich Kids released the album [22] Ghosts of Princes in Towers, and the single of the same name, in August, with the latter ranking only at #51.[23][24][25] Their last TV appearance was at the University of Reading where they taped a live show for Rock Goes to College on 27 October.[20][26][27] But the band ran into creative differences as they recorded demos for a second album. Having acquired a synthesiser, Ure, alongside bandmate Egan, wanted to integrate the new instrument into the band's sound while Matlock and New preferred to remain with traditional guitars and drums. This resulted in the group's decision to go their separate ways.[6]

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.[28][29] New died from cancer on 24 May 2010.[27][30]

On February 2016, it was announced that Rich Kids, with Gary Kemp on lead guitar and James Hallawell on keyboard, would reform for a joint headline show with The Professionals at London’s O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire for 16 May.[31] The show was rescheduled for 23 June due to the ongoing structural work at the venue.

The band reunited for a one-off appearance at the Vive Le Rock awards at The O2 Academy Islington, London on 27 March 2019, with Neal X of Sigue Sigue Sputnik standing in on lead guitar.[32]


Guest appearances[edit]


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. ^ "Rich Kids Discography". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  2. ^ "The Rich Kids - Early UK Punk Rock band". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Rich Kids". Punky Gibbon. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  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. ^ a b Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982 - George Gimarc. ISBN 9780879308483. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  7. ^ Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982 - George Gimarc. ISBN 9780879308483. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  8. ^ "Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - 31/10/1977 The Rich Kids". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Rich Kids - Rich Kids / Empty Words - EMI - UK - EMI 2738". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Rich Kids - Rich Kids". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  11. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 50 | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  12. ^ "Revolver: Season 1, Episode 1 (20 May 1978)". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  13. ^ "Revolver: Season 1, Episode 8 (2 Sep. 1978)". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  14. ^ Inglis, Dr Ian (28 January 2013). Popular Music And Television In Britain. ISBN 9781409494171. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  15. ^ Inglis, Dr Ian (28 January 2013). Popular Music And Television In Britain. ISBN 9781409494171. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  16. ^ "Radio 1 - Keeping It Peel - 20/03/1978 The Rich Kids". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  17. ^ "Rich Kids - Marching Men". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Rich Kids - Marching Men / Here Comes The Nice (Live Version) - EMI - UK - EMI 2803". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  19. ^ "D.O.A. (1980)". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b "HOMELAND - Official Midge Ure Website". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  21. ^ Mervis, Scott (24 March 2014). "Never mind the legacy: Here's the Sex Pistols". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Block Communications. p. G1. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  22. ^ "Rich Kids - Ghosts Of Princes In Towers / Only Arsenic - EMI - UK - EMI 2848". 4 August 1978. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  23. ^ "Rich Kids - Ghosts Of Princes In Towers". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  24. ^ "Vinyl Album - Rich Kids - Ghosts Of Princes In Towers - EMI - UK". 7 January 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  25. ^ Gimarc, George (2005). Punk Diary: The Ultimate Trainspotter's Guide to Underground Rock, 1970-1982. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 978-0879308483. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  26. ^ "rock goes to college episode guide". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  27. ^ a b Perrone, Pierre (15 June 2010). "Steve New: Troubled guitarist with Rich Kids, Glen Matlock's post-Sex Pistols band - Obituaries - News". The Independent. London, England: Independent Print Ltd. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  28. ^ "Rich Kids Reform | News | Clash Magazine". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  29. ^ "Rich Kids Reformation Details | News | Clash Magazine". Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  30. ^ "2010 ➤ Rich Kid Steve New (aka Stella Nova) dies at 50". 24 May 2010. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  31. ^ "Rich Kids and The Professionals – Joint Headline Show Announced For The First Time Ever". WithGuitars. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  32. ^ Ure, Midge (27 March 2019). "Rich".

External links[edit]