Artist: Johnny Solo

by on 19th May 2020

Johnny Solo live at The Bull (c/o Chris Brown)

Years Active

Late 70s – early 80s


Johnny Richardson / Johnny Solo (vocals)
Chris Brown (guitar)
Ian McWalter (bass)
Steve Jessop (drums)
Steve Marshall (keyboards)
Dave Gambi (trumpet)
Paul Tiffany (percussion)
Jane Hutchison (saxophone)

Tom Cotton (bass)
Dave Ellis (double bass)
Thurstan Binns (drums)
Professor Arthur Smee (drums)
Joe Casey (drums)

About Johnny Solo

Johnny Richardson (a.k.a. Johnny Solo) and Chris Brown were at Art College together. They frequently collaborated with poets and performance artists, meeting Steve Marshall on the way. Both Johnny and Steve worked with Mike Bradwell’s Hull Truck as musician/performers. Early, avant-garde incarnations of The Solo Band included Thurstan Binns on drums and Dave Ellis on double bass.

Out of the late 70s and into the 80s emerged re-invented post-punk popster Johnny Solo. The band that formed around him initially comprised of guitarist Chris Brown, Tom Cotton (bass guitar) and Professor Arthur Smee on drums. Both Smee and Cotton had their own projects and replacements were sought. Steve Jessop (drums) and Ian McWalter (bass guitar) were recruited, and Steve Marshall joined in the fun on keyboards.

In 1981, tight, funky and fronted by the charismatic Solo, the band were renowned for their lively performances in Hull venues and around the university and college circuit. Winning a music paper competition, they recorded “Rebound” during a riotous weekend with Nick Lowe. The master tape went missing, so the band produced a new version plus “Yellow Dinghy” from sessions featuring Dave Gambi on trumpet, Jane Hutchison on saxophone and Paul Tiffany on congas. Around the same time the seminal Hull compilation Mrs Wilson’s Children was released, including the Solo track “Special Stuff”. A video of “Fluff on the Needle” made that year is still available on YouTube.

The retrospective album 15 Minutes Or More… with the rediscovered Nick Lowe production of ‘’Rebound’’ resulted from the careful restoration of tapes found in the late Johnny Solo’s Amsterdam home.



15 Minutes Or More… (CD) – 2019


Yellow Dinghy / Rebound (7″) – iPM, 1981