The Chords

By the end of 1978, it was evident that punk had spit its last, and new groups began springing up like weeds, all giving allegiance to the sounds of the past but dragging them through the ashes of punk. Among these bands were the Chords, a southeast London group formed in January 1979 when singer/guitarist Billy Hassett and his bassist cousin Martin Mason advertised for musicians in The NME and found guitarist and band songwriter Chris Pope. Original drummer Paul Halpin didn't stay long, at least behind his kit; eventually he became the group's tour manager. In his stead came Brett "Buddy" Halpin, and by March the Chords were taking the stage. They gigged continuously over the spring and summer, headlining two mod festivals at London hotspot the Marquee and recording their first Radio One session for DJ John Peel in early July. The Chords' reputation was rising quickly, and among their early supporters were Paul Weller, who caught one of their first shows, and Sham 69er Jimmy Pursey, who swiftly signed the group to his JP Productions company.