The Ornaments

Jim Bethel - The Ornaments

1979 was an interesting year. Punk nationally had become as anarchic as chamber music and locally the group of Tamworth punks, now probably numbering 10-12, was regularly finding one of its members arrested, in court, or worse. Visits to the Magistrates Court became a spectator sport.

The Armchair spent a great deal of time in Birmingham and formed a band with his good friend, Jimmy Bethel, the band was called The Ornaments. A gig organised at The Star Club in the City Centre was cancelled - the band having no songs and no instruments apart from a second-hand Woolies special. To purchase this the Armchair and his cousin had traded in their entire childhood toy collection, a pair of golf shoes and a violin with one string.

There was however, one performance by Armchair's new band. A new venue was being developed, The Stable at The Tavern in the Town. Rikk (Rikky Patrick - and coincidentally the barman at the Tavern) had cut out some pictures of ornaments from his Mum's Kay's catalogue especially for the poster outside. There was no one at the gig.

Armchair had asked Vince if he'd stand in as the token musician whilst he himself strummed away at the Woolies special. Jim was the vocalist but was too nervous to sing, so just stood there squeezing the microphone tightly, desperately trying to bring himself to utter the first note - he didn't.

Vince went away for a while! Jim went back to Birmingham and the Armchair went up to the bar for a pint and began to plan his next musical escapade. He asks Rikk Quay for a pint of Black Label and they begin to plan The D.H.S.S.

(Pic: Jim Bethel)