Blitz Club

The Blitz Club was founded by Steve Strange and Rusty Egan. Steve was invited to London by Billy Idol. His first job was designing artwork for Malcolm MacClaren and The Sex Pistols. Rusty was the drummer in punk /new wavers 'The Rich Kids'. They met on the Kings Road in 1978. After the Rich Kids disbanded we approached 'Billy's' club and told them "We'lll fill up your club on Tuesday nights!", they said yes. The club became the setting for a mixture of art students and fashion designers and music fans

The Blitz Years

The Blitz Club was already established as an existing bar. Steve and Rusty knew about it and liked it and in 1979 they moved their Tuesday nights there. The mixture of fashion, music and glamour provided a brighter alternative to the bleak streets and grey prospects in 1980s Britain. People often accuse The Blitz of being elitist... they were right...

With the embers of the first wave of punk fast burning out, the art school drop outs and degenerate-Dadaists weren't willing to follow the street punks towards OI! and it's newly planted proletarian roots. The Bowie influenced futurism of Strange and Egan's Blitz club was their new home. Little did they know that their hedonistic, haphazard detournement of past and future aesthetics and hurried forays through their mums makeup boxes was going to create a subcultural blueprint that would reach long into the future.

The Blitz Kids

The Blitz Kids was the name given to the main faces at the club, the original core of what became the New Romantics: Boy George, Marilyn, Perri Lister, Steve Dagger, Iain R Webb, Stephen Jones, Princess Julia, Philip Sallon, Carl Teper, Martin Degville and Robert Elms. Richard James Burgess (who coined the phrase “New Romantic” in an interview) was also a Blitz regular. We suggested he produce a young band called Spandau Ballet. They did their first gigs at The Blitz. "

Club For Heroes & Camden Palace

In October 1980, the Blitz Club night was temporarily put on hold. In the meantime, Visage had gone onto to be something more than they had ever imagined it would with its first chart hit, Fade to Grey. Midge (Ure) and Billy Idol also went on to do big things with Ultravox, and as a solo phenomenon (respectively). Whilst the New Romantic movement continued growing, Steve and Rusty then moved on to our next ventures Club For Heroes (1981), and the Camden Palace (1982-84) which became one of London’s first full-time clubs driven by new music and style.
The ethos of The Blitz carried on with Steve hosting and organizing and Rusty taking care of the music. Camden Palace featured many appearances of artists that either where already (or soon would be) household names... Madonna, Kraftwerk, Michael Jackson and Grace Jones. Steve & Rusty moved on from Camden Palace in 1984.

Warren Street squatters, drag queen, fashion hopefuls, burnt out punks - this fabulous ragbag of suburban fantasists, urban hustlers , wannabe sophisticates and eternal dreamers sashayed into the cramped confines of the Blitz like it was the Weimar in the 1930s. But outside it was Britain, lurching towards 1980, mass unemployment and class conflict. Our superheroes were no elitists ,but refugees from a class war they didn't belong in, penniless aesthetes creating bourgeois spectacles on dole queue budgets.

The Blitz Club - Worried About The Boy (BBC Two)

The Blitz Music Playlist

Rusty Egan The list below is just a snapshot of a much larger body of music that Rusty personally selected, wove together, and presented to an audience ready and willing to devour new sounds and new styles.

Richard James Burgess (Member of Landscape, Shock and as Spandau Ballet's first producer) summed up the Blitz playlist as follows

"Rusty had concocted this amazing soundtrack for the Blitz club; and subsequently the movement. I still don't think he gets the credit he deserves for that. He was putting together music from artists like Bowie, Fad Gadget, Roxy Music, Eno, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Ultravox, Kraftwerk and Landscape; choice cuts that all pointed in one direction. I got it right away. It was a like a shot of dopamine straight to the brain for me".

We will probably never know how many hundreds of records passed across Rusty's decks over the years. Doubtless many tracks became perennial favourites that were played again and again in subsequent clubs after the Blitz.

The Blitz Club playlist is maintained by Blitz Archivist Rob Kirby from ReVox Magazine

Blitz Club Playlist

Don Armando – Deputy of Love (12" full length version) 1979

Blondie – Heart of Glass (7" edit) 1978

David Bowie – Always Crashing in the Same Car (from the album Low) 1977

David Bowie – Be My Wife 1977

David Bowie – Helden (German 7" version) 1977

David Bowie – Sound & Vision 1977

David Bowie – D.J. (7" edit) 1979

David Bowie – Ashes to Ashes (7" edit) 1980

Cabaret Voltaire – Nag Nag Nag 1979

Wendy Carlos – Theme from a Clockwork Orange (Beethoviana) 1972

Cerrone – Supernature (12" full length version) 1977

Billy Cobham – Storm (from the album Crosswinds) 1974

Barry De Vorzon – Theme from The Warriors (from the soundtrack to The Warriors) 1979

Alice Cooper – Eighteen 1971

Cowboys International – Thrash 1979

Holger Czukay – Hollywood Symphony (from the album Movies) 1979

Sheila and B. Devotion – Spacer (12" full length version) 1979

Brian Eno – No One Receiving (from the album Before and after Science) 1977

Brian Eno – Kings Lead Hat 1978

Brian Eno and Snatch – RAF (b-side to King's Lead Hat 7") 1978

Eno, Moebius, Roedelius – Broken Head (from the album After the Heat) 1978

Fad Gadget – Ricky's Hand 1980

Marianne Faithful – Broken English (12" long version) 1979

Flying Lizards – Money (7" edit) 1979

John Foxx – No One Driving (7" remix) 1980

Peter Gabriel – Games without Frontiers (7" edit) 1980

Nina Hagen Band – TV Glotzer (White Punks on Dope) 1979

Human League – Being Boiled (from the 7" EP Holiday '80 and Travelogue album) 1980

Japan – Life in Tokyo (original 7" short version) 1979

Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe 4 (French 12" remix) 1978

Grace Jones – La Vie en Rose (7" edit) 1977

Joy Division – Atmosphere 1980

Kraftwerk – Radioactivity (7" edit) 1976

Kraftwerk – Trans Europe Express (7" edit) 1977

Kraftwerk – The Robots (original 7" edit) 1978

Kraftwerk – Das Model 1978

La Düsseldorf – La Düsseldorf (from the album La Düsseldorf) 1976

La Düsseldorf – Geld (from the album Viva) 1978

Landscape – U2XME1X2MUCH 1977

Landscape – European Man (7" version) 1980

Thomas Leer and Robert Rental – Day Breaks, Night Heals (from the album The Bridge) 1979

Lori and the Chameleons – Touch 1979

M – M Factor (UK version, b-side to Pop Muzik 7") 1979

Magazine – Touch and Go 1978

Mahler – Adagio from the 5th Symphony (from the soundtrack Death in Venice) 1971

Patrick D. Martin – I Like 'Lectric Motors 1979

Giorgio Moroder – The Chase (12" full length version) 1978

Ennio Morricone – 60 Seconds to What (La Resa Dei Conti) (from the soundtrack For a Few Dollars More) 1964

Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes 1972

Neu! – E-Musik (from the album Neu! '75) 1975

The Normal – Warm Leatherette (b-side to T.V.O.D. 7") 1978

Gary Numan & Tubeway Army – Down in the Park 1978

Gary Numan – Cars 1979

OMD – Electricity (7" re-recorded version) 1979

Iggy Pop – The Passenger (from the album Lust for Life) 1977

Iggy Pop – Nightclubbing (from the album The Idiot) 1977

The Psychedelic Furs – Sister Europe 1980

Lou Reed – Perfect Day 1972

Lou Reed – Vicious 1972

Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side (unedited album version) 1972

Rinder and Lewis – Willie and the Hand Jive 1979

Rockets – Space Rock (12" full length version) 1977

Michael Rother – Zyklodrom (from the album Flammende Herzen) 1977

Roxy Music – Do the Strand 1973

Roxy Music – Trash 1979

Roxy Music – Dance Away 1979

Roxy Music – Angel Eyes (7" remix) 1979

Shock – R.E.R.B. (b-side to Angel Face 7") 1980

Simple Minds – Changeling (original 7" version) 1980

Simple Minds – I Travel (7" edit) 1980

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Hong Kong Garden 1978

Sister Sledge – Lost In Music 1979

Space – Magic Fly 1977

Space – Carry On, Turn Me On (from the album Magic Fly) 1977

Spandau Ballet – To Cut a Long Story Short (12" extended version) 1980

Sparks – Number 1 Song in Heaven (7" edit) 1979

Donna Summer – I Feel Love (7" edit) 1977

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer 1977

Television – Little Johnny Jewel (Part 1 – 7" version) 1975

Television – Marque Moon (album version) 1977

Telex – Moskow Diskow (12" Maxi version, French vocal) 1979

Throbbing Gristle – Hot on the Heels of Love (from the deceptively named album 20 Jazz Funk Greats) 1979

Harry Thumann – Underwater (12" version) 1979

Ultravox – Hiroshima Mon Amour (re-recording from the album Ha! Ha! Ha!) 1977

Ultravox – Slow Motion 1978

Ultravox – Dislocation 1978

Ultravox – Quiet Men (12" full length version) 1978

Ultravox – Sleepwalk 1980

Vangelis – Pulstar 1976

The Velvet Underground – I'm Waiting for the Man 1973

Vice Versa – New Girls Neutrons (from the 7" EP 4 Music) 1979

Visage – Tar (original 7" mix) 1979

Visage – Frequency 7 (original version, b-side to Tar 7") 1979

Visage – Fade to Grey (12" extended version) 1980

Jeff Wayne – Eve of the War (7" edit) 1978

Wire – I am the Fly 1978

Gina X – No GDM (7" edit) 1979

Yello – Bimbo 1979

Yello – I.T. Splash (full length Swiss 7" version) 1979

Yellow Magic Orchestra – Computer Game (Theme from The Invaders) 1979

Yellow Magic Orchestra – Behind the Mask 1980

Who Were The Blitz Kids?

Kim Bowen, Stephen Jones, Dylan Jones, Julia Fodor, Lee Sheldrick, Stephen Linard, George O'Dowd, Andy Polaris, Kim Whitmore, Fiona Dealey, Perri Lister, Iain R Webb, Carl Teper, Judith Frankland, Theresa Thurmer, Michelle Clapton, Richard Ostell, Clare Thom, Greg Davis, Caryn Franklin, Eric and David Holah, John Maybury, Cerith Wyn Evans, Willy Brown, Christos Tolera, Grayson Perry, Sade Adu, Darla-Jane Gilroy, Melissa Caplan, Michelle Clapton, Francesca von Thyssen, Robert Durant, Robert Laws, Pam Hogg, Judy Blame, Lesley Chilkes, Jayne Chilkes, Perry Haines, Scarlett, Myra, Dexter Wong, Dinny Hall, Kate Garner, Jeremy Healy, Steve Mahoney, Ollie O'Donnell, Jimmy O'Donnell, Jo Strettell, Chris Sullivan, Simon Withers, Graham Smith, Graham Ball, Robert Elms, Steve Dagger, Midge Ure, Billy Currie, Richard James Burgess, Steve Lewis, Steve Norman, Gary and Martin Kemp, John and Flea Keeble, Tony Hadley, Christos Tolera, Jon (Mole) Baker, Peter Ashworth, Peter (Marilyn) Robinson, Stewart Mechem, Peter Probert, Rose Turner, Rachel Auburn, Paul Sturridge, Steve Beech, Robert Pereno, Bic Owen, Jelena Lakovick, Mandy d'Witt, Jo Hargreaves, Naomi Gryn, Christine Binnie, Holly Warburton, Bailey Walsh, Sue Clowes, Vivienne Lynn, Jennifer Binnie, Tracey Rivers, Philip Sallon, Wilf Rogers, Jeffrey Hinton, Dencil Williams, Paul Bernstock, Thelma Speirs, Dean Bright, Wilma Johnson, Daryl Humphries, Barry O'Dea, Michael Hurd, Paranoid Pete, Jacqueline Capron, Tim Dry, Barbie Wilde, Haley Harris, Peter Godwin, Karl Adams, Babs Mahon, Swede Mahoney, Mac London, John Barclay, Jill McComish, Robert Gordon, Helen Carey, Martin Degville, Kenny Campbell, Robert G Leach, Caroline Des Noettes Harper, Claire Mendelsohn, Chris Buxbaum, Bob Cleary, Debra Rossiter Guterres, Donna Waite, Franceska Luther King, Nigel Stark, Sioux Peto, John Barclay, Gabriella Palmano, Teresa Hartrey, Sue Scadding, Paul Disney, Claire Mendelsohn, Paul Frecker, Corinne Drewery, Helen Carey, Wendy May, Mark May, Wendy Tiger ... PLUS those trendsetters from an earlier chapter of London's story, including Duggie Fields, Kevin Whitney, Luciana Martinez, Michael and Gerlinda Kostiff, Andrew Logan, Brian Clarke, Richard Sharah, Marie Helvin, Gilbert and George ...