Talk:The 4-Skins

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ACAB stands for All Coppers Are Bastards. If you listen closely to most versions of the song, you will hear it, especially the one on The Good, The Bad, & The 4-Skins, where the song is clearly introduced by singer Tony Cummins as "A.C.A.B. All Coppers Are Bastards". --Physicsd00d 18:24, 16 July 2006 (UTC)


the 4 skins weren't racist were they? I heard they were socialist but when someone mentions socialism it may be National socialism...--ghostbear616 00:23, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

  • They were not a racist band, and were not very political in general. They did get involved with some of Garry Bushell's Oi!-related pet projects though, which could be described as a somewhat socialist populism. The liner notes on one of their CDs says they were friends with the anarchist band Conflict, although they didn't have similar political views. The band had an ever-changing lineup, and different members had different political opinions. I've read that one of the members, 'Rockabilly' Steve Pear wanted to start a socialist rockabilly band after The 4-Skins. After The 4-Skins had broken up, Paul Swain joined Skrewdriver and became involved in the far right racist movement.[1] Apparantly The 4-Skins' original manager (and temporary band member), Garry Hitchcock, had been involved in the far right before he got involved with the band, and he may have gotten involved again later after he was no longer involved with 4-Skins. I've read that Hoxton Tom McCourt (the only member who was in The 4-Skins from beginning to end) was somewhere in the middle, and the cause he got involved with was prisoners' rights. He was part of the mod revival scene and was a big fan of soul music. McCourt (along with some of the others) had been in streetfights against both the British Movement and Red Action (see the book Cockney Reject, for example). There are a few other rumours floating around about The 4-Skins and other British Oi! bands, but a lot of them are lies, such as the letter written on the following website signed by "A Condemned 84 fan."[2] Note the email printed underneath by Hoxton Tom, in which he debunks some of the lies. Spylab 01:07, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks so much for clearing that up.--ghostbear616 00:18, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

Anyone who has talked with Gary Hodges for five minutes knows he is a racist. Not really a political one, just somebody who doesn't like "pakis". Can't be proved unless he does a press statement so it won't/shouldn't be mentioned in the main article. ---- mark

And shouldnt be mentioned here either really based on that evidence! --- Frank — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:02, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Adding further background info to the article[edit]

I'd like to add the following to the article:

The 4Skins formed in late 1979 in the Alaska Rehearsal Rooms at Waterloo. All of the band members knew each other from football (West Ham), as roadies from other bands (Sham 69, Menace etc.),were 77/78 skinheads and were members of the Cockney Rejects Road Crew (the Rejects song 'I am not a Fool' was originally called Roadcrew and name checked them and the ICF) . There were no instruments, just a few pints and Hodges wrote the lyrics to Chaos and ACAB. Hodges had been a skin since 1977 when he reckons there were only about 30 in the whole of London, including Hitchcock and H. Suedehead Hoxton Tom had played in Barney & The Rubbles.

The first line-up (1979-1980) consisted of 'Hoxton' Tom McCourt (guitar), Gary Hodges (vocals), Steve 'H' Harmer (bass) and Gary Hitchcock (drums). This line-up played their first proper gig at the Bridgehouse, Canning Town in the summer of 1980 supporting the Cockney Rejects and the Damned. Gary Hitchcock couldnt make it so Micky Geggus (from the Rejects) stepped in on drums. They only played three songs (which was all they had at the time!) Wonderful World, Chaos and Jealousy. This line-up also recorded the first two tracks 'Chaos' and 'Wonderful World' for Oi the Album on EMI at EMIs Manchester Square HQ. This session also inlcuded the best ever version of ACAB but EMI refused to consider it for release. H left the band (having to go to court appearance before returning to roadie, full time, for the Cockney Rejects).

The second line-up (1980-1981) consisted of Tom McCourt (bass), Gary Hodges (vocals), Steve 'Rockabilly'Pear (guitar) and John Jacobs (drums) and this line-up recorded '1984' and 'Sorry' for the Strength through Oi compliation, the single 'One Law' on their own Clockwork Fun label.and the track 'Evil' for the Carry on Oi compilation. Gary Hitchcock became manager and Hoxton Tom moved to bass. The band had then recruited 'Rockabilly' Steve Pear on guitar (from the Bridge House) and John Jacobs on drums (and anything else!). Before One Law was released, Southall happened, so the single suffered poor distribution in its aftermath, with many shops refusing to stock it. It was "Single Of The Week" in Sounds and sold well. To get back on track, they did a come-back gig at Mottingham Prince Of Wales at the end of August under the name 'The Skans' and with support band The Business billed as 'The Bollyguns'. BBC TV cameras were invited to the gig, and it was shown in part on their 'Nationwide' TV programme. Shortly afterwards, Hodges left the band ... After a further "comeback" gig in Leeds Brannigan's, Rockabilly Steve quit as well (he wanted to go techno).

The next line-up (1981-1983) was Tom McCourt (bass), Tony 'Panther'Cummins(vocals), John Jacobs (guitar) and Pete Abbot (drums). This line-up recorded the 1st album 'The Good, The Bad and The 4Skins' and the singles 'Yesterdays Heroes' and Lowlife/Bread or Blood'(produced by Mickey Geggus). Panther was an old skinhead and one of the bands roadies. In addition John Jacobs switched to guitar with Pete Abbott (ex-Conflict) coming in on drums. Gigs were still hard to come by though, even though they could sell out places all over the country with no trouble. Eventually Panther left, to become a punk DJ according to music press reports at the time, followed by John and Pete. This left Hoxton Tom on "vocals", "bass", "drums" and "guitar" and the 4-Skins disbanded for a while.

The final line-up (1983-1984) was: Roi 'Last Resort' Pearce (vocals), Tom McCourt (bass), Paul Swain (guitar)and Ian Bramson (drums). This line-up recorded the final two albums 'A fistful of 4skins' and 'From chaoe to 1984' and the track 'On the streeets' for the Son of Oi compliation. This version of the 4-Skins recorded the 'A Fistful Of... 4-Skins' LP and the 'From Chaos To 1984' live set, before disbanding for good in 1984. In that time they played about 5/6 gigs in Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham.

The band have reformed with Gary Hodges the only original member to record 2 tracks and a possible album this summer. Hoxton Tom has said that doesnt want to get involved - "End up like the old teddy boys on stage we hated when we were young...a punk Showaddwaddy?"

Just putting this here for an admin to have a look and hopefully authorise this. I wrote this as a summary from my website ( which is shown as a link on the wikipedia page and my e-mail address from that site and my logon for wikipedia are the same) for use on other web sites and has already been used on sites such as . Hope this is ok for wikipedia.


Tommy Cassidy --The4skins2004 19:54, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

2008 -[edit]

Should Gary Hodges 4Skins really be considered as a continuation of the band? The other line-ups all produced original material and evolved from each other.... ok given the 2007 lineup was slightly different in that it was a recording line up only but this lateset line-up of the band is in reality Indecent Exposure fronted by Gary Hodges playing old material and some Slade covers for 3 gigs? Suppose it could be taken as a pov.. The4skins2004 (talk) 07:56, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't really see a problem with it. There have been plenty of punk/oi! bands who've toured with only one original member in the lineup (e.g. Angelic Upstarts, The ANL, Chelsea, The Last Resort, The Lurkers, The Business) and still been considered to be a legitimate continuation of the band. It's not as if (as far as I know) any of the other ex-members have spoken out to challenge Hodges' use of the 4-Skins name. I'm not entirely sure that it's only for three gigs either - I was talking to the 4-Skins' manager at Blackpool and he didn't yet know for himself as to what was going to happen next. I'd heard a few people saying that the Blackpool gig was going to be a 'final farewell' - but he was of the 'possibly not' opinion. The article already mentions that the current band is touring as 'Gary Hodges' 4-Skins' - perhaps the 2008 entry in the band members section could be amended to reflect this? Actually, I might be bold and do that now... --Kurt Shaped Box (talk) 22:03, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

29 May 2010: With the release of the new 4-skins album "The Return" which includes 6 new original songs and more than 3 gigs in the bag I think we can safely say it is a legitimate line up. With Index (as far as i'm aware)no longer and a possible 2nd album in the pipeline and under new management the band continue to gig albeit a dozen or so shows a year. Also I would like to add that many of the original members were asked if they would like to be involved and all declined for their own reasons.Sedge1310 (talk) 17:39, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

No doubt youve that view Sedge as youre part of that line-up... for many the 6 tracks and the few gigs really dont add up to much, a bit like the recording line-up with Mickey Geggus and H. Not sure what original band members being asked add? Didnt Hodges once say that he would be in a band as fat, 45 and sta-prest dont mix? And Hoxton Tom that it was a bit like a punk version of showaddywaddy? - Frank — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 5 August 2012 (UTC)