Steve New

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Steve New
Steve New, Rich Kids musician.jpg
Steve New on stage with re-united Rich Kids in 2010
Background information
Birth name Stephen Charles New
Also known as Shooz, Stella Nova
Born (1960-05-16)16 May 1960
Paddington, London, England
Died 24 May 2010(2010-05-24) (aged 50)
London, England
Genres Punk rock, post-punk, new wave, synthpop, experimental
Instruments Guitar, Vocals,
Years active 1975–2010
Labels EMI
Associated acts Sex Pistols, Rich Kids, Vicious White Kids, Kim Fowley, Gen X, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, Iggy Pop, Wasted Youth, Lude, The New, John Sinclair, The Philistines, Beastellabeast

Steve New (16 May 1960 – 24 May 2010) was an English pop music guitarist and singer, who performed with a number of punk rock and new wave bands in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the Rich Kids. Born Stephen Charles New,[1] in the 2000s he changed his name to 'Stella Nova', whilst performing with the band Beastellabeast.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Paddington in London,[3] New received his formal education at Quintin Kynaston School in St. John's Wood, London, and started playing the guitar with the London Schools' Jazz Orchestra at the age of 14.[4]

The Sex Pistols[edit]

New first came to notice for his talented lead guitar playing style at the beginning of London's punk rock music and fashion scene in the mid-1970s. In September 1975 at the age of 15 he auditioned and rehearsed with the Sex Pistols before they became publicly known, as a potential replacement for Steve Jones,[5] but was let go after a few weeks as being surplus to requirements,[6] and got a day-job working in the London office of Warner Bros. Records as a junior postal clerk.[7]

Rich Kids[edit]

When the bass player Glen Matlock left the Sex Pistols in early 1977 he invited New, still only 16 years old, to join a new band that he was setting up entitled Rich Kids as its lead guitarist.
On 15 August 1978, whilst still with Rich Kids, New performed with a one night only line-up entitled the Vicious White Kids at the Electric Ballroom in Camden Town, in what subsequently came to be seen as one of the events that marked the last hurrah of the punk rock movement's heyday in London.
Whilst Rich Kids was musically gifted, it failed to find commercial success and broke up in early 1979 after the commercial failure of two of its three singles releases and first long-player release entitled Ghosts of Princes in Towers (which reached #51 in the U.K. Album Chart in 1978), and New's career was undermined beyond this period by long-term narcotics use.[8][9]

Unable to find another band to join after the Rich Kids, New resorted to working as a jobbing guitar for hire with a number of acts including Public Image Ltd.

Gen X[edit]

New recorded with the band Gen X in 1980 on their long-player Kiss Me Deadly, playing the guitar track on the Dancing with Myself single release.[10] Billy Idol and Tony James wanted him to be the newly re-branded band's lead guitarist, and New rehearsed heavily with the band in 1980, but Idol and James reluctantly decided against it due to his professional unreliability caused by his increasingly severe narcotic habit.[11][12] The Gen X song Heaven's Inside was written by Billy Idol about New.[13]

Session musician[edit]

After Gen X, New went on tour with Iggy Pop, on whose Soldier L.P. (1980) he played, during the recording of which New assaulted David Bowie [14] who was acting as a quasi-producer of the record at the time. He also worked with Chrissie Hynde and Kim Fowley. In the early 1980s he rejected an offer to play with Duran Duran at its inception.[15] He also recorded under the performance alias of "Shooz".[16]

Having relocated to the United States of America in the 1980s, by the mid-1990s he was resident in Los Angeles, but failed to find musical success there, and ended up homeless living in a car for a while, before returning to England.[17]

Solo artist[edit]

In 2001 he released a solo long-player entitled Here Comes Everybody.[18]


In the early 2000s he formed a new experimental pop band entitled Beastellabeast with the young singer Beatrice Brown (whom he had become the mentor of after they met whilst both temporarily employed as guides at a publicity event for a cinema film at the Wembley Exhibition Hall in 1998),[19][20] which released three self-produced L.P.'s, viz. With Bestellabeast (2004), Beastiality (2009) [21] and Stars & Wronguns (2010).[22]

Final work[edit]

He worked again with Glen Matlock, whose solo album Born Running (2010) was dedicated to New,[23] and featured his last recorded work.[24]


Afflicted with what would prove to be terminal cancer,[25] New performed live for the last time with Beastellabeast and a reformed Rich Kids at the Islington Academy in London on 7 January 2010, at a testimonial concert organized for his family's finances.[26][27][28] He died of cancer on 24 May 2010 in his 51st year.[29][30][31][32]

A funeral service was held at the Islington & St. Pancras Cemetery in East Finchley on 11 June 2010, Glen Matlock, Tony James and Terry Edwards being among the pallbearers, where New's body was cremated.[33]

Personal life[edit]

New married once, the marriage subsequently being divorced with one daughter; he also fathered a son from another relationship.[34] In the early 2000s New adopted transvestism, a decision which he psychologically associated with the successful breaking of his 20 year long narcotic habit around the same time, and renamed himself Stella Nova.[35]


  1. ^ Perrone, Pierre (2010-06-15). "Steve New: Troubled guitarist with Rich Kids, Glen Matlock's post-Sex Pistols band - Obituaries - News". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  2. ^ Adelle Stripe. "Stella Nova | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  3. ^ "PiL People Bios | Miscellaneous". Fodderstompf. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  4. ^ Obituary for New, 'The Independent', 14 June 2010.
  5. ^ "The Rich Kids History part 1 - Early UK Punk Rock band". Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  6. ^ 'I was a Teenage Sex Pistol', by Glen Matlock. (Pub. Reynolds & Hearn, 2006), P.87.
  7. ^ Interview with New, '3:AM Magazine, 'Clean on the Dirty', 5 December 2016.
  8. ^ Interview with Steve New, '3 A.M. Magazine', 5 December 2006.
  9. ^ Obituary, 'The Independent' 14 June 2010.
  10. ^ 'Dancing with Myself', by Billy Idol (Pub. Simon & Schuster, 2014), P.125.
  11. ^ Interview with Tony James, April 2002, recorded for the 'Generation X Anthology' (2003)
  12. ^ Interview with Tony James, 'Gary Crowley's Punk & New Wave Show', 21 October 2015.
  13. ^ Information from the journalist Melanie Smith from an interview with New, 'Mudkiss Fanzine,' 'Bright Stars Burn Fastest', 10 October 2009.
  14. ^ Interview with New, '3 A.M. Magazine', 5 December 2005.
  15. ^ Interview with New, '3:AM Magazine', 'Clean on the Dirty, 5 December 2006.
  16. ^ Discogs entry for performance career of "Shooz".
  17. ^ Interview with New, '3 A.M. Magazine', 5 December 2005.
  18. ^ Entry for 'Here Comes Everybody' on Discogs:
  19. ^ Interview with New and Brown, 'Mudkiss Fanzine', 2 October 2009.
  20. ^ Discogs website entry for Beatrice Brown.
  21. ^ Entry for 'Beastiality' (2009) on Discogs website.
  22. ^ Discography for Beastellabeast,
  23. ^ "Review of: Glen Matlock : Born Running". Retrieved 2012-07-04. 
  24. ^ [1] Archived September 5, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ Interview with Steve for Mudkiss Fanzine
  26. ^ "Midge Ure and Glen Matlock resurrect the Rich Kids for one-off gig | News". Nme.Com. 2009-12-02. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  27. ^ Guardian Rich Kids concert review
  28. ^ "God Save The Sex Pistols - Rich Kids. Hung On You: For One Night Only". 2010-01-07. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  29. ^ "2010 ➤ Rich Kid Steve New (aka Stella Nova) dies at 50". 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2013-06-17. 
  30. ^
  31. ^ Guardian Other Lives Obituary
  32. ^ A personal tribute by Kris Needs
  33. ^ Online article on the funeral of Steve New, 2010. '
  34. ^ Obituary, 'The Independent', 14 June 2010.
  35. ^ Interview with New,

External links[edit]