Tamworth Bands - History 1960-1990

Ed Ake and the Painkillers

Ed Ake wrote a letter to the Tamworth Herald on the subject of ‘Punk Rock in Tamworth’Musical Type/Genre: Punk
Formed: 1977 Split: 1977

Band Members:
Ed Ake

Tamworth Herald Features:

Tamworth Herald – 12/08/77
Ed Ake Letter – Punk in Tamworth HeraldEd Ake Letter – Punk in Tamworth
For a bit of fun, Edward ian Armchair (Ed Ake) sent this letter to the Tamworth Herald. The intention was basically to shout from the rooftops that 'punk exists!' Armchair was isolated, 16 years old, sitting in his bedroom, listening to punk records on John Peel, going to Barbarella's in Birmingham to see every punk band you can imagine. But there was no one else, as far as he knew, in Tamworth.

Full text of the letter, with Tamworth Herald errors corrected:

Punk rock in Tamworth

Dear Sir,
I would like to bring to the attention of the populous of Tamworth, the fact that within the town a new phase of teenage life is being built up. This new phase is commonly referred to as 'punk' rock.

Within the outlying areas of the town, namely, Amington, Glascote and Belgrave, I have come to notice several punks. There must be at least 50-100 in Tamworth.

This may surprise quite a few of your older readers who are totally devoid of any connection with teenage life.

Since this time last year 'punk' rock has spread throughout the country like wildfire and has now, I am exceedingly glad to say, reached the wonderful, serene, socialist town of Tamworth.

Being totally in favour of 'punk' rock, I hope that the kindly folk of Tamworth will not treat any 'punk' rockers with disdain and hatred. We are not all akin to the impression of a 'punk' built-up by the media. We are not degenerate forms of homosapiens.

We are simply normal, lovable teenagers, who after many years of pointless education and inability to express our views, have now become able to reveal important facts. The majority of people, who, being totally ignorant of what horrors are surrounding them in this society should be helped to redeem their corrupted souls.

We have discovered the medium of music to express our views and this music, having so much unhindered energy and influence is the reason why 'punk' rock has become so successful.

I hope that you, the Editor, will not refuse to print this letter simply because it concerns an item that you may feel is vile, dangerous and of no interest to your readers.

I personally believe it to be important that your readers know of this new wave of excitement in their town.

(Name and address supplied)

Tamworth Herald – 09/09/77
Punk flop as new wave sinks in Tamworth by Peter Brown
It’s just a big laugh…for the Headbanger at least

Ed Ake…”punk rock can enlighten people.”
Ed Ake…”punk rock can enlighten people.”

We’ve had skinheads, hell’s angels, hairies and … but we just haven’t got punks.

Tamworth it seems is not riding on the crest of the new wave – and it doesn’t look as if it is likely to either. Punk rockers have given the town a miss and the throbbing street music of the cult is the only sign that new wave is here. But wait! Did we not see a letter in this very paper a couple of weeks ago from a punk called Ed Ake?

Ed Ake from Amington says he is a punk, but unfortunately we were unable to trace many of the 50-100 punks he claimed must be going around the town.

In fact we found only one other.

Ed Ake, a soft-spoken, red-haired sort of punk, has been merrily flinging up and down to punk rock for the past four months.

“I have really been into this,” says Ed, a 17-year-old school boy (16 actually – I needed to make sure I could still get served in the pub and could say I was just turned 18 – Ed.) “I was sick of things and this was a way of showing my feelings.

“People are so simple minded – the media just controls what they do.” Punk rock can actually enlighten people, claims Ed. “It’s a way of showing to the majority of society the things that surround them,”

Punk rock portraits – part of the Headbanger’s collection.It sounds as if it has all been done before…


“It’s the same sort of thing as the hippy thing, but we’re trying to do it in a more realistic way.”

The music is the main vehicle of the movement. “The lyrics are the most important things, “ says Ed, who seems more educated and less aggressive than your everyday punk. He swears he would never wear safety pins or chains. “Take The Jam. They say that society is going to turn into a police state and people are going to control our minds.”

It was on his return from a Jam concert in Birmingham that Ed Ake first ran into trouble – and it gave him something to think about. A gang of youths threatened Ed and a friend when they arrived back in Tamworth – and now they are a little wary about taking to the streets in their ankle-hugging punk jeans.


The town could be hearing more from Ed though. He is thinking of forming how own punk band.

Ed Ake and the Painkillers,” he grinned.

What about the other half of the town’s punk rockers then? Who else is getting a kick from “good metal” music?

Susie the Headbanger…”It’s just a laugh.”
Susie the Headbanger…”It’s just a laugh.”

Susie the Headbanger does – and she regularly nips off to Birmingham to hear the latest at a disco run by DJ Vic Vomit.

“I just got into punk music,” says the 18-year-old from Belgrave. “There’s nothing much going for it in Tamworth though.”

At one time Susie had nights out in Tamworth. But now people laugh at her, so she travels to the city for her entertainment. “Everyone makes jokes about me round town – people have even been known to shout out of car windows at me.”

Like Ed Ake she wears the customary drainpipe jeans and plimsolls. Sometimes she goes a step further and puts on a shirt and tie.

“I’ve always tried to do my own thing. Punks look normal to me – when I look at straights I think they’re boring.”

Susie, who cropped her own hair, occasionally pokes a safety pin through her already pierced ears. She has been on the dole since leaving college a couple of months ago. Does punk rock really reflect the frustrations of disillusioned youth?

“The original thing was started off by kids on the street with nothing to do and nowhere to go,” the Headbanger explains.


“That’s why it is called punk rock – but now there are a lot of poseurs hanging on. The music gets the message home.”

Susie in fact, takes her name from lyrics by American punk band The Ramones. “My dad just laughs at me for being so silly,” she says, “but my mum hates all this.

“But it’s all fun. That’s all it is – just a big laugh.”

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