Paul Fox (Guitar,Vocals), Segs (Bass, Vocals) Malcom Owen (Vocals) & Dave Ruffy (Drums, Vocals)
First time I ever saw The Ruts was one Saturday afternoon when riding the number 12 bus home from a trip to Rough Trade. We passed through Peckham and as we did we noticed that there was a band setting up their equipment on one of the housing estates. So we jumped off the bus and made our way to where the band was now playing. It was The Ruts and the first song we hear them play was their soon to be released debut single, 'In A Rut' (released on the People Unite label). We learned that Segs and Ruffy lived in Forest Hill and that certainly made them to be favourites among the Forest Hill Punks.
In A Rut (Live in Paris 1980)
They signed to Virgin Records and released some of the finest singles of the whole Punk/New Wave era. First up was 'Babylon's Burning'
Backed by the brilliant 'Society' this single peacked at #7 on the British Charts.
Babylon's Burning (Top of the Pops 1979)
That was followed by 'Something That I Said'
Something That I Said (Promo Video)
September 1979 saw the release of the debut album from The Ruts entitled 'The Crack'
The album peaked at #16 in the Charts and was loaded with so many good songs. Listening back to it recently I thought that there was not a single song on there that was worth skipping over. Some of the guitar work on tracks like 'SUS', 'It Was Cold' and 'Savage Circle' is just amazing and showed just how good an axeman Paul Fox was.
In November 1979 'Jah War' was next single release but for some reason it failed to chart. Maybe the politics were considered to be a bit too heavy!
Jah War (Single Version)
'Staring At The Rude Boys' would be the final release from The Ruts whilst Malcom was still alive. The single was released in March 1980 but by July the same year Malcom would be dead from a drug overdose.
Staring at the Rude Boys (final Top of the Pops appearance)
Love In Vain (B-Side to 'Staring At The Rude Boys')
The final single ever by The Ruts just happens to be one of their finest ever - 'West One (Shine On Me)'. It was released a month after Malcom had died (aged 26).
West One (Shine On Me) - Single Version
Virgin would release a second album by The Ruts but it was really a compilation of singles, b-sides, Peel Sessions and Live material entitled 'Grin and Bear It'
With Malcom gone, the remaining three members carried on as The Ruts DC and released an album 'Animal Now' and a number of singles.
On July 16th 2007 Segs, Ruffy and Fox came together and performed for the first time in 27 years to play a special show for Cancer Research and for Fox who had been diagnosed with lung cancer. The main vocalist for the show would be Henry Rollins and what a brilliant job he did that night.
Three months later on 21st October Paul Fox lost his battle against cancer and died.
I end this blog with one of the performances from that show.
Henry Rollins and The Ruts performing 'West One (Shine On Me)'