The History of Transvision Vamp.
The best high energy punk/pop/rock band from the late 80's and early 90's.

The Vamp Nick Christian Sayer was a songwriter searching for a singer. From the begining he had been looking for a foreign girl from Scandinavia or Europe, and had actually met one beautiful Danish girl, but she couldn't sing very well. The real story of Transvision Vamp began on the night of November 4, 1983. Wendy James was singing vocals to the backing beats of Patti Smith in an after-hours drinking club to earn some extra cash. Nick Sayer was also there that night in the run-down basement club. He was captivated by Wendy's magical voice, and later he asked her if she would be willing to team up and sing the songs he'd written. Wendy, who was a drama school student at the time, decided to drop out and follow her fate, hooking up with Nick to go off and write some rock music.

Even though Nick and Wendy were on the dole, they spent most of their money on guitar strings and tapes for Nick's 4-track Teac 144 tape recorder. Over the next eighteen months, Nick and Wendy worked hard, recording a tape of 6 songs which included: "We Travel", "Space Junk", "Sky High", "I'll Do Anything", "Rocket To Me", and "Satellite Boy." The songs were intended to be a soundtrack for a film they wanted to make called 'Saturn 5', based upon their love of Sci-Fi movies. The film was to be about a futuristic planet inhabited only by young people. They had even gone so far as having the costumes designed with the help of a girl from Brightons Art College. In their bedroom Nick and Wendy had also come up with a name for the band, a name that suggested "Worldwide re-excitement, revamping the music scene" - Transvision Vamp.

Wendy and Tex have a revolution After two years of hard work and dedicated writing, recording and refining themselves, Nick and Wendy moved to London with the intention of finding a record label to sign them. Full of confidence, they told everyone that they were the most brilliant new band in the world. How could anyone refuse to give them a record deal? The search for a band manager was on. They met Steve O'Rourke, the manager of Pink Floyd (who introduced them to engineer/producer Duncan Bridgeman), who didn't end up managing Nick and Wendy, but they all became good friends. Gary Kerferst, a bigshot from the states who "discovered" the Talking Heads and the B52's, seemed like a good choice for a manager, but Gary had so many other things going that Nick and Wendy didn't think they would get the time they needed devoted to them. Nick and Wendy took their demo tape to Brian Carr (the lawyer who won Jonny Rotten's legal battles), who in turn gave it to Dave Ambrose of MCA, who finally signed the band in the winter of 1986. On December 8th Transvision Vamp became reality.

Nick and Wendy began recording, but needed a few more musicians to make up Transvision Vamp. They gained a bassist after meeting Dave Parsons in a pub. Tex Axile, who was living in New York at the time, just happened to have a flat in London a door down from where the band had started recording. Tex went over to investigate, everyone hit it off nicely, and Tex became both the keyboardist and drummer for the band.

Wendy does VelveteenTransvision Vamp had their first album shooting out singles in the UK to great success in 1988. "Pop Art" contained their famous tracks "I Want Your Love" and "Tell That Girl To Shut Up" which were clearly indicitive of the surging guitars and power drums listeners would be treated to with this band. They also had the hit singles "Revolution Baby" and "Sister Moon". If you inspect a copy of "Pop Art", you will notice a chap named Pol Burton depicted as the drummer. Well, we know Tex was the drummer and keyboardist during recording, but obviously he couldn't do double duty when they played live. Pol was the "live" drummer, but he ended up only lasting two months, after which the band felt it was best to keep all video and television appearances to a four-piece.

Transvision Vamp's smash follow up album, "Velveteen", hit #1 in the UK and produced their most popular and successful single, "Baby I Don't Care", along with five other hit songs, making 1989 a lucrative year for them. "Velveteen" is prime TVamp with the band belting out intense backing for Wendy James' screaming lyrics. "The Only One", "Landslide Of Love", "Born To Be Sold", "Bad Valentine" and "Velveteen" were the other hit singles that helped establish Transvision Vamp as a household name in British Pop Culture. For the Velveteen live tour, Jazz (James Piper) and Mallet (Martin Hallet) were hired to play guitar and drums live, while Tex watched over the complex sequencer set-up and played keyboards.

Look at this The Trannies shifted gears for their third album, going for what they call a more swampy and mystical feel. "Little Magnets Versus the Bubble of Babble" gave us some hooking melodies in "If Looks Could Kill" and "Ain't No Rules" along with the hit single in the United States, "I Just Wanna B With U". Strangely enough "Little Magnets" was never released in the UK (until just recently), although Transvision Vamp could sell out countless shows for 50,000 back home. During the course of their existence, the band also had three tours in Australia, and finally played L.A. and N.Y.C. in the States to support their third album. Jazz and Mallet stuck with the band to support live performances.

Unfortunately, Transvision Vamp did not get near the exposure and attention that they had grown accustomed to on their first two albums, and poor sales on "Little Magnets" began the demise of the band. Transvision Vamp soon broke up. Check out the band members own pages to see what they have been up to in the meantime. Notably, Tex, Dave and Wendy have all continued with their love of music and are still in "the business" reaching new plateaus for their individual musical careers.

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