Except from my correspondence with Michael Moorcock in 2001 on his original Mooorcock Miscellany site :
” PS any Alex Harvey stories ?
Answer – Mr Moorcock answered this question on 2001-09-24 23:30: 39
I worked with Alex and his wife on a project in the late 70’s we got on very well — he had my taste in books and toy soldiers, as well as music.Great guy and good all rounder . Did much to introduce Jacques Brel to wider audience . Greatly missed.
” Alex Harvey in 1977 and two bagpipers played his song “Anthem” night after night in the notorious The Vortex Punk club london verbally taking on any Punks that dared spit on him , he was naturally attracted to Punk was really enthusiastic about it even stated how he wanted to manage the Sex Pistols , John Lydon stated a that Alex Harvey was the only one of the old Generation of Rockers he had any time for. Alex having left the sensational Alexa harvey band by then. in London he became close friends with John Miller (John MCkillop) Manager of the vortex punk club 1977 Alex Harvey a proto punk if ever there was one as early as 1973 interviewed in “sounds ” he predicted something like punk needed to happen and he was spookily accurate about it ” somebody’s got to come along and it wont be in the format and i haven’t got a clue what its going to be / Something that’s going to be the Equivalent of Rock n’ Roll which came along and said ” Fuck You ” to all this being in tune…. And we’ll all ask ” whats going on ? ” i’d like to see something like that ”
“Something like that” he did live to see thankfully this genuine and wholehearted ” Godfadda” Prophet of Punk Rock , Vambo ruled once again but not in the” format” . he certainly would have no problem dealing with anything a punk audience could throw at him in fact he was the kind of guy would thrive on it . Born and brought up in Gorbals Glasgow taking as many has fifty jobs before settling on music he had no fear of Gang violence or anything else ” the second manager of S.A.H.B described him as ” very very . menacing ” he was known for when psyching himself for his charismatic and enthralling performances for screaming ” Cunts !” over and over into the dressing room mirror yet paradoxically he was a passionate conscientious objector and Anti war with every fiber of his being as he had been brought up that way by his father.Paradoxically seems he shared with Mike Moorcock a love of collecting and painting toy soldiers when his family later moved to Kinning park .
Harvey , as also David Bowie famously known for being ,was a total Bibliophile as MM said he had the same taste in Books as him , In fact one of the most well read and erudite performers in the whole of rock , His love of Literature and History Books knowledge of all sorts showed in in his choice of material and quality of his lyrics he didn’t just entertain he taught you history with twelve bar . ” are you going to the “Boston Tea Party ? not to mention that enormous book from which he declaimed the story of ” Vambo” ” It seems entirely Just therefore that he shares the Clutha bar Mural in Glasgow , a part of the healing process for the City , after the dreadful helicopter disaster when 11 people died and many more were injured , ( a process that still has a long ,long way to go as Police Scotland seem unable to admit the cause was engine failure) , with another intellect of rock Frank Zappa.
Speaking of demands for Truth and Justice , the appeal of Harvey for many young people who would become part of the punk and post punk revolution was this sense of Injustice about him that he was someone dreadfully wronged , who was now fighting back through art, a characteristic rather than “persona ” such as Bowie might more cerebral create this comes through very clearly in his Rendition of the blues Rock classic ” Framed” the attraction to this aspect of Alex certainly seems to have been the case for Robert Smith who later formed the Cure, whose favorite top five songs of all time is the Alex Harvey S.A.H.B Classic ” Give my Compliments to the Chef ”
Speaking to the Guardian “Alex Harvey was the physical manifestation of what I thought I could be. I was 14 when I first went to see him, and then I followed him around to all the shows. He never really got anywhere, even though he had something so magical when he performed – he had the persona of a victim, and you just sided with him against all that was going wrong. I would have died to have had Alex Harvey as an uncle.” and in Rolling Stone Australia in the early nineties he made it clear who was ” Godfadda ” of Punk ” ‘People talk about Iggy Pop as the original punk, but certainly in Britain the forerunner of the punk movement was Alex Harvey. His whole stage show with the graffiti-covered brick walls – it was like very aggressive Glaswegian street theatre