THE PROFESSIONALS PROFILE
'80 - AUGUST '82)
The Professionals (left-right) Paul Cook, drums. Steve Jones, guitar & lead vocals. Andy Allen, bass.
The announcement of Steve Jones & Paul Cook's new group, The Professionals, was coupled with news of the debut single in July, "Just Another Dream" (Virgin Records). It was to be followed by a 10 track album "Join The Professionals" in August.
The single failed to chart despite healthy sales. ITV's Saturday morning teenage magazine programme, "Fun Factory", aired the promotional video. Filmed by Julien Temple, the video depicted the trio superimposed as giants around famous London landmarks, (Paul drumming on the dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, a giant Steve standing on Nelson's Column). A record retailer confirmed on the show that "Just Another Dream" had been a top seller the previous week.
During August, Steve Jones disappeared to Thailand, giving rise to concern over his health & highlighting his continuing drug problem. The album meanwhile was postponed initially to October, then to November.
A second single was however forthcoming in October, the mighty "1-2-3". Music paper "Sounds" described the record as "...a slab of meaty power punk", with BBC DJ John Peel remarking, "Steve Jones quite clearly hasn't had his creativity blunted by weeks of shocking behaviour in Bangkok". The single gave the group their only slice of chart action, hitting no. 43.
(Left, music press
With the time now right for a full scale assault on the charts, all was not well within the group. Virgin Records announced that the band were in "intensive rehearsal" & would be joined by a second guitarist for live dates. A shock announcement was made by the end of October. Andy Allen had been ousted & replaced by bassist Paul Myers (ex- Subway Sect) & additional guitarist Ray McVeigh.
Two BBC Radio One sessions (John Peel & Mike Read) were recorded and transmitted in November/December with the new line-up.
Both sessions were released 35 years later in October 2015 on "The Complete Professionals" 3 CD box set (Universal).
A new single "Join The Professionals" was slated for November 20th, with the album now put back until the New Year. The single however, did not appear until June '81.
Still no tour dates were announced, although the band did perform at The Nottingham Boat Club on 16th December.
One track, "Kick Down The Doors", from the proposed Cook/Jones/Allen LP 'escaped', albeit briefly, via Virgin's cut price compilation, "Cash Cows" (Nov. '80).
In December, Allen took Virgin to court & won an indefinite injunction against "Cash Cows". Allen claimed "Kick Down The Doors" had been released without his permission. In addition, he had not been paid for his contribution to the Sex Pistols' single "Silly Thing". Virgin offered no defence. The Professionals track was subsequently removed from "Cash Cows" & replaced by a track by Magazine. It was also confirmed that The Professionals album was to be re-recorded without Allen.
The Cook/Jones/Allen album would not see the light of day until 1990 when "The Professionals" was released on Limited Edition Records. Pressings were limited to, reportedly, 1,000 CD's & 1,000 albums on coloured vinyl, although evidence suggests numbers pressed were in excess of this. This 10 track release contained 2 versions of "All The Way" & the rare "Rockin' Mick". "Just Another Dream" was omitted. The release mis-titled a number of tracks.
Virgin dusted off the recordings in 1997 for a CD release, also entitled "The Professionals". This featured superior quality reproduction, although "Rockin' Mick", & the alternative "All The Way" were absent. An opportunity was lost to include the B-sides to both "Just Another Dream" & "1-2-3". Strangely, the Paul Myers/Ray McVeigh line-up single, "Join The Professionals", & its B-side, "Has Anybody Got An Alibi", were included. (note that the CD states '95 as date of issue, but true to Professionals form, it was released 2 years later!).
Click here for 1981/82 "I've Had Enough"
and researched by Phil Singleton.