CHAPTER 14: Second Album Syndrome

As the year drew to a close we were still strong and I had high hopes for things to happen in America. EMI had picked up the option for a second year, and we got the advance ready to fund the next episode. Taking stock, things looked good. We had hit singles, sold a lot of albums around the world and everyone definitely knew who we were.

Back in London I watched a screening of Ferris Bueller and was pleased to discover that Mick’s increasingly successful B.A.D were also in the movie soundtrack. Sputnik and BAD had literally grown up together. Everyone in the early years, all playing football together every Wednesday evening, in a field by the council tower blocks just off the Westway at Latimer Road. Degville had been surprisingly handy in the number 11 shirt, belying his weedy frame.

I sat there that Christmas wondering just what to do next. Malcolm McClaren’s Great Rock and Roll Swindle had crashed and burned after the first album, so the path was unknown from now on. I was on my own on this one with no precedent set for what happens next. On a positive note, unlike The Pistols, no one had murdered anyone else or died, although I suspect there had been some pretty close shaves, given the madness of the meteoric rocket ride we’d all just been on. Needless to say, all the characters were fully formed monsters by now, Ray Mayhew still had a string of court appearances to come which now included assault on his girlfriend, Martin was becoming increasingly rude to everyone except Magenta, and Neal now saw himself as the Jack the Lad of rock and roll, fearlessly hitting on every glamourous woman he came across. But we had an office full of very tall girls, a huge entourage and EMI’s money in the bank. What could go wrong?


We had an office full of very tall girls, a huge entourage, and EMI’s money in the bank... What could go wrong?