T.V. VAMPIRE (March 1978/January 1979)
T. V. Vampire formed in March 1978, though the founding members played together since 1975 as a nameless trio, covering various material - even a couple of King Crimson instrumental numbers ('Red' and 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic') -, plus a couple of pseudo-goth original instrumentals. After breaking up in December 1976, the trio reforms in March 1978, influenced by the fading english punk scene. Hurried by the other two members to find a name for the band, Glezos comes up jokingly with ‘T.V. Vampire’. The name stucks. After a couple of months spent rehearsing punk covers, the trio asks Tonito (a punk fan Glezos met in a record shop) to join as singer. The band plays their one and only gig in June 1978 at an open air festival in Monluè, Milan, in front of a speechless audience of about fifty. The band performs a set of punk standards, including the Damned's Neat Neat Neat and Born To Kill, The Clash' Clash City Rockers and Generation X's Wild Youth, plus a couple of Ramones ditties (Blitzkrieg Bop and Commando). An anecdote sets the tone of the whole gig. Complaining about the band's loud and murky sound, a punter screams: "Stop it! You need a proper balance in the mix, this sounds like shit!" . Tonito looks down at him and replies: "Sorry mate, but we ARE shit". In September 1978, after an aborted plan to expand the band to a quintet via the inclusion of a keyboard player, the band asks Tonito to leave and Glezos takes over as lead singer and Danny joins on bass. Heavily influenced by the recent Adam & the Ants' gigs in Milan (October 16 & 17, 1978), the band start rehearsing songs from the Ants repertoire, learning them via audience tapes. They also lay down versions of the New York Dolls' Frankenstein and Shirley Bassey's Goldfinger (from the James Bond movie), plus tentative original songs recorded during rehearsals at Danny's basement flat. T.V. Vampire are among the bands announced at 'Sabatok Folle' (Mad Saturday) Festival at Palazzina Liberty in Milan on December 9th, 1978, but minutes before going on stage a fight erupts in the audience, halting the proceedings and bringing the festival to an abrupt end. In January 1979 Danny leaves the band and Bite takes over on bass, just as the band is about to change its name (see The Girls and The Gags).).