|Dave Goodman - Producer (Sex Pistols)
Dave Goodman was the man responsible for the early Sex Pistols live 'wall of sound'
and the infamous 'Spunk' bootleg recordings.
He died early last week 7-14th February 2005 at his home in Malta from a heart attack.
Dave Goodman started doing the live sound for the Sex Pistols after spotting them supporting
the 101'ers at the Nashville Rooms in London on April 3rd 1976. Like Joe Strummer who
immediately quit the 101'ers to form the Clash, he was transfixed by these young new urchins
with a major chip on their shoulder and enough energy to blow the music scene into the feeewcha!
Goodman, a bass player with the tame funk band Polecat, who once backed Benny E. King for his
sins, owned the PA Company that was hired for that fateful night. After the gig he immediately
offered his (mixing) services to the Sex Pistols full time (a role he played for the next 12 months).
He hit it off with their manager the slippery Malcolm McLaren and when he heard the prototype
Chris Spedding demo that the Pistols had just recorded he informed McLaren "I can do better
than that with my 4-track". So began a mammoth demo recording session that would stretch out
over the next 10 months and would culminate in the Sex Pistols getting signed to EMI as a result
of Goodman's intimate Denmark Street demos. Thus, sealing his fate as a legendary producer in
the process. Some of these sessions recorded at various locations including Goodman's fathers
garden shed, were gonna be the source of the infamous 'Spunk' bootleg that mysteriously
appeared at the height of the bands notoriety in October 1977 prior to the official Virgin release of
the Sex Pistols 'Never Mind The Bollocks' album. Goodman had attained a wealth of live and
studio cuts of the most infamous band in England at the time on tape, and subsequently released
a few of these gems officially in late 1985 on the Impressive 'mini' album. He was also responsible
for recording their seminal live sound which found it's way onto countless bootlegs including the
most famous one 'Indecent Exposure' which made its appearance in 1978. His services to record
their official releases were however handed over to Chris Thomas who went onto to produce the
classic 'Bollocks' album. However his original recordings made three official Sex Pistols b-side
releases. Debuting on their thrashy 45 cut of 'I Wanna Be Me' on the b-side 'Anarchy In The UK',
and then the ultra scarce A and M 45 'God Save The Queen' that featured a Goodman mix of 'No
Feelings' on the flip. However it was short lived coz all but a very few copies of this record were
scrapped after the band were fired from the label, resulting in the most sort after 45 in punk
history. Finally his original recording of 'No Fun' made it to the b-side of 'Pretty Vacant' in July '77
all be it polished up and shortened by Thomas.
By the start of 1977 Dave Goodman's services within the Pistols were no longer required. And in
March 1977 he was busy running his own record label with bizness partner Cruzo Fuller. This
venture was called imaginatively "the Label." Goodman produced the whole roster of bands that
graced his imprint, including the entire Eater catalogue, which was selling over 15,000 copies
each at their peak in '77. Other bands of note signed to the label, were the Front and the Cash
Pussies, who both released Goodman produced 45's in 1978 and 1979. He also acquired the
services of Cook and Jones once more in 1978 when they were still Sex Pistols. They joined him
incognito on his own 45 'Dave Goodman And Friends' - 'Justifiable Homicide'. He went onto
produce numerous other punk acts over the next 27 years. In 2002 he was rumoured to be writing
a book on his recording career called 'Shamanarchy In The UK' which is yet to see the light of day.
And finally before he died, Goodman had compiled an albums worth of original unreleased Sex
Pistol monitor mixes from the 'Spunk' archives called 'X-Spunk' that apparently sounds superb!
And may well see the light of day yet?
Wall of Sound creator, Spunk mixer or mysterious bootlegger? Whatever the label...
Dave Goodman had already left his mark on punk's legacy forever.
Peter Don't Care