Tenpole Tudor

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Tenpole Tudor
Rebellion Punk Festival, Blackpool, August 2008
Rebellion Punk Festival, Blackpool, August 2008
Background information
GenresPunk rock, new wave[1]
Years active1977–present
LabelsStiff Records
Recall Records
Voices of Wonder
MembersEdward Tudor-Pole
Rita Kae
Elin Krstiansen
Tony Rudseter
Thomas Hoegda
Tony Karlsen
Daniel Norum
Morten Anders Gaard
Inger Marie Buseth
Past membersBob Kingston
Dick Crippen
Gary Long
Munch Universe[2]

Tenpole Tudor are an English punk band fronted by Edward Tudor-Pole. The band first came to prominence when Tudor-Pole appeared in the Sex Pistols' film The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle and on three of the singles released from the soundtrack. The band then went on to have hits in their own right with songs like "Swords of a Thousand Men" and "Wünderbar". The band has been active intermittently since 1977, and the current incarnation is known as The Tenpole Tudor Vikings.


Tenpole Tudor formed in 1977 when Tudor-Pole (vocals/saxophone) met guitarist Bob Kingston, bassist Dick Crippen, and drummer Gary Long.[3] They played regularly for several years until Tudor-Pole himself (under the moniker of Eddie Tenpole) came to prominence by appearing in the 1980 film, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle (filmed in 1978).[3] He was originally billed as a replacement for Sex Pistols singer Johnny Rotten — performing the songs "Who Killed Bambi?", "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle" and a cover version of "Rock Around The Clock" for the film and subsequent soundtrack[3] — however, manager Malcolm McLaren and the remaining Sex Pistols instead decided to abandon the group and go their own ways.


Tenpole Tudor recorded a single on WEA Records with the A-side being "Real Fun" and the B-side "What's In A Word".[3] "Real Fun" is available in live form on two different CDs, but the single was never released on CD. Tenpole Tudor returned in 1980 and signed a recording contract with Stiff Records, with whom they released the single "3 Bells in a Row"[3] (which is a slightly different version of the one later found on the album Eddie, Old Bob, Dick, and Gary) and was produced by Dick Crippen.

The band released their début album, Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary, in 1981.[3] It sold well, and in addition to the popular "3 Bells in a Row", launched two additional hit singles "Wünderbar" and "Swords of a Thousand Men".[3] In the same year, the group released their second album, Let the Four Winds Blow, which also performed well.[3] They further distinguished themselves with their oddball live performances, which had band members often dressing in medieval garb, and Tudor-Pole himself in a full suit of chain mail armour. They also added Munch Universe, as he was billed, to their line-up.[3]

Stiff Canada released a Canada only album entitled Swords of a Thousand Men in 1981. This album was pressed by Attic Records in Toronto. This was a compilation of their other two albums, and included Eddie Tudorpole, Gary Long, Bob Kingston, Dick Crippen and Munch Universe. The album cover was of high quality, showing a photo taken by Kim Aldis of the band in suits of armour, standing in front of the relics of a castle. The videos for "Swords of a Thousand Men" and "Wünderbar" received regular airplay on Canadian TV.

In 1982, the original Tenpole Tudor broke up.[3] While Tudor-Pole led a cajun-inspired version of Tenpole Tudor, the rest of the band released a single under the name The Tudors, minus Munch Universe.[3] After the non-original incarnation of Tenpole Tudor failed, Tudor-Pole left Stiff Records and began performing in jazz and swing bands, eventually returning to acting.[3] Tudor-Pole formed a new line-up of the band in 1985,[3] featuring Mick (guitar), Matt (bass), Sean (saxophone/guitar), and Paul (drums).[4]


Since the 2000s, Tudor-Pole has concentrated partly on acting, but focuses mainly upon his new one-man-show, performing live shows described as a 'One Man Stadium Show'. He has re-formed Tenpole Tudor from time to time, notably in 2001, with Darrell Bath on guitar, Donagh O'Leary on bass and Ben Standage on drums. He currently performs his one-man live show throughout Britain and, in 2009, released a Tenpole Tudor album titled Made It This Far.

In 2018, the band's latest incarnation was formed. The Tenpole Tudor Vikings features Ed Tudor-Pole alongside Rita Kae, Elin Krstiansen, Tony Rudseter, Thomas Hoegda, Tony Karlsen, Daniel Norum, Morten Anders Gaard and Inger Marie Buseth. They recorded an album, mostly consisting of covers of old Tenpole Tudor songs, at Rudestar Recording, Skogbygda, Norway, which was released in 2019 as 3 Bells in a Row.

Ed Tudor-Pole and Dick Crippen appeared onstage together for the first time in over 35 years in September 2016 in support of charities Rhythmix and Heads On.[5] Bob Kingston is the brother of the former The Mo-dettes drummer June Miles-Kingston. Since 1988, Crippen has owned and operated the Panther Recording Studio in Surrey, producing many rock, punk and garage bands such as Chelsea and Johnny Moped. He also plays guitar in The Weird Things.


Tenpole Tudor[edit]




  • The Best of Tenpole Tudor: Swords of a Thousand Men - (2001, Metro, METRCD 049) - compilation of singles, b-sides and selected album tracks.
  • Wunderbar: The Stiff Records Singles Collection - (2002, Anagram Records, CD PUNK 128) - compilation of all the singles and b-sides.

The Tudors[edit]

  • "Tied Up With Lou Cool" / "Cry Baby Cry" - (1983, Stiff Records, BUY 172)

Eddie Tenpole Tudor[edit]

  • "The Hayrick Song" / "Take You to the Dance" - (1983, Stiff Records, BUY 177 - 7" / SBUY 177 - 12")

CD reissues[edit]

  • Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary - (1991, Repertoire Records, REP 4220-WY) - the original album plus six bonus tracks.
  • Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary - (1993, Stiff Records, STIFFCD 06) - the original album plus three bonus tracks.
  • Let the Four Winds Blow - (1993, Stiff Records, STIFFCD 12) - the original album plus five bonus tracks.
  • Swords of a Thousand Men - (1997, Recall Records) - 2CD version of the 1993 reissues with different artwork.
  • Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary / Let The Four Winds Blow: The Stiff Anthology - (2007, Stiff Records, CDSEEZ 31) - Slipcased digitally remastered 2CD reissue of the original albums, with the single versions, b-sides and exclusive live tracks.


  1. ^ Thomas, Stephen (11 August 2009). "Tenpole Tudor - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Munch Universe". Discogs. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. pp. 284/5. ISBN 0-85112-579-4.
  4. ^ "Pole Vaults", Sounds, 14 December 1985, p. 4
  5. ^ "The Weird Things - Timeline". Facebook. Archived from the original on 26 February 2022. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  6. ^ "Tenpole Tuidor : "Swords of a Thousand Men"". Discogs.com. Retrieved 16 February 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 553. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External links[edit]