“Aged 16 I went to worship at the throne of Johnny Thunders when The Heartbreakers played Manchester University in October 1977. He was the coolest, minimalist guitar player ever which also fitted in with my obsession at the time with anything connected to the New York Dolls.
I remember I was really pissed off that the guitarist for the first band on, The Models, was using Johnny Thunders Les Paul TV Jnr with the Chinese Rocks sticker on it. I was angry that someone other than Thunders was playing his guitar! Ironically that guy was Marco Pironi who went on to join Adam and the Ants and also became a pal of mine.
Next on was Siouxsie & The Banshees and like most teenage punk boys at that time I had a huge crush on Siouxsie and I loved everything about the them, they always had great guitar players with killer riffs. Then of course Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers blew me away. Especially great was being that close to them in a place that only holds a thousand people. Plus I got to see Johnny’s Les Paul in the correct hands! I was also saw Johnny outside the show but he was on a call at a payphone but was still cool enough to pull one of his (Dunlop Herco Flex 50) guitar picks out of his pocket and hand it to me. I’ve only ever played Herco picks since and have had my own branded ones produced by Dunlop for a number of years now.
Later when I was living in London my pal Andy Blade (ex Eater) gave me these photos of the Heartbreakers as he knew the photographer Ray Stevenson and “aquired” them for me. They took pride of place on my flat walls and have the drawing pin holes as scars.”
Billy - August 2019
These photos are featured in
THE BILLY DUFFY COLLECTION
Auction on 25th October 2019