D.O.S. / I.B.S.


Nigel touched upon the history of D.O.S. in Carlisle giving mp3’s and photos. I would like to include an additional posting about 1 song that D.O.S. covered. It is called “I.B.S.” which I wrote in the early 80’s for my band “Frenzy” before D.O.S. existed, below you can hear D.O.S.’s demo recording that was included in the unreleased “The Price I Pay” demo”

“D.O.S. grew out of the band “Societies Victims” (Martin Hewitt [R.I.P.], Kevin Bradly, Nic Scott, and myself). When they folded I never knew the transition from “Societies Victims” to “D.O.S.” until now…30 years later. Societies Victims fell victim to their own in-fighting and differences in music: 1 direction verses multiple directions. The break-up was not amicable; you can read about it in the page “Societies Victims” in this blog.

What was unknown to me at that time (1982/3) was “what happened next”? The reason why I ask, is because what happened next still has a resonance 30 years later, and until a few days ago I thought I had moved on for it! But when Nigel sent me the biography of D.O.S. and the mp3 recordings, it opened up memories I had forgotten about. I had not “gotten over it” only suppressed it and covered it over with life.
Nigel’s info filled in the gaps, and like other writings in this blog, it brought back a lot of feelings and memories that I think should be mentioned. So, let’s put the record straight, let’s say it as it is…or let’s say it and have done with it.

I had written a song in 1981/82 called “Independent British State” (or “I.B.S.” for short). I had written the music too and I had introduced this song to the members of “Societies Victims”, they had learned it and performed it, and when we broke up I took the song with me. When Societies Victims broke-up I had always thought Martin Hewitt and Kevin Bradly had gone off and formed D.O.S. but according to Nigel, Martin Hewitt was never in D.O.S. So, Kevin Bradly must be the person who took my song and passed it off as his own in D.O.S.

The first I heard about I.B.S. being played in D.O.S. was a couple of weeks later after the break-up of Societies Victims. It was on a Saturday, Kevin Bradly saw me in town and we had words over a missing guitar lead, he thought I had stolen it (I never did) and threaten to “wrap it around my head”, I guess in retaliation he stole my song “I.B.S.”
I was furious, I mean livid, but what could I do? How can you take back what was given in trust? On Monday morning I went to a solicitor and asked advice about copyrighting “I.B.S.”; which I did do. If they used my song for commercial gain I would act upon it. I heard D.O.S. perform the song at Stars and Stripes one evening; if I could not stop them for performing it then I could stop them from cashing in on it.

Playing other people songs in bands in not uncommon, if it was a Damned’s song people knew “it was not your song”, but when it comes to local songs being performed no one knows who it is by, unless you tell them! In Havana Affair we regularly performed Dung’s song “Hell Exists”, Dung knew about it, he heard us play it and danced to it, we knew it was written by him.

Punk’s were a community of sorts, we were supposed to be mates, having a laugh, not stabbing each other in the back. For Kevin Bradly to pass I.B.S. off as his own song in D.O.S., without any reference to its original writer, and without any credits in the demo recording is a lie, a cowardly way of doing things. Today we would call in plagiarism.
Today things have moved on a little and there are stricter laws (social and legal) against such things. Musicians today are more aware, but 30 years ago we were not aware, we were against all that bullshit.
I once saw Tony Styles (R.I.P.) in Abbey Street and we spoke about I.B.S. he said “What can I do? They tell me to play it and I play it, I am really sorry kev”.

So what is “I.B.S.” and why did it bother me so much? If you have listened to any of my recordings in the pages of “Business Controlled” or the other bands I have been in, you will have heard I write songs about personal topics. “I.B.S.” was a follow-on, an update, to an earlier song called “Pravda” which was influenced by “Anarchy in the UK” and my readings of Karl Marx and the Anarchist activist “Bakunin”.

Bare in mind this is the late 70s and early 80s, not some PhD dissertation with the use of the internet. It was a lad between the ages of 15 and 18 writing about politics and how he saw the UK; as an “Independent British State”. This meant for me dissolving the UK into smaller States (regions, counties, towns, cities, districts and streets…) or whatever the people wanted. It meant a dissolved central government and power given to people to form themselves into whatever political/social groups they want to, a form of Federalism or Republicanism. Today, we could call it “Scottish Independence” or a “Northern Capital” or the political aspirations of the Catalonians’ and Basques’ in Spain. It was about people being responsible for themselves on a smaller scale, not passing responsibility onto politicians or a Central Government.

I am sure when Martin Hewitt or Sid sang this song they did not feel the same way as I did! But that is not the point. I did, and to have that taken away from me, is like a theft, someone else taking credit for something I held dear, a form of idealism, a personality.

I have to confess that when D.O.S. performed this song at gigs, I felt a sort of “justice” and “retribution” that those gigs ended in violence and disruption. I am not sure why those D.O.S. gigs had so much trouble? But I felt that “trouble would follow them” as it had done with Societies Victims. If you do not treat people with a bit of respect (especially in Carlisle) it will come back and bite you on the arse!

Time moved on but I had learned certain things, even though I performed my songs in other bands later on, I never had the same experience. I learned several things from I.B.S. and I guess that is positive. If you notice that this blog does not have any photocopies of my lyrics (even though I have scanned all the song books) or anyone else’s, is one of its legacies. I try and give references to people as much as possible in this blog and in other works I do, I think it is only fare and polite.
I could of deleted “I.B.S.” from Nigel’s recordings, and therefore from D.O.S.’s repertoire, but that is not what this blog is about. Let it stand for what it is…however bad it is. (It is nothing like the original, although Tony’s guitar playing is excellent).
So here it is, 3 takes of my song “Independent British State” done as a demo recording (none commercial) by the band D.O.S.

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