In 1976, with drummer Jon Moss, bassist Steve Voice and guitarist Dave Wight, I formed the rock band London. I was the vocalist using the name ‘Riff Regan’, (Riff from the character in West Side Story and Regan from John Thaw's character in The Sweeney). We came to the notice of ex-Yardbirds and ex-Marc Bolan manager Simon Napier-Bell who secured us a record deal with MCA Records and a nationwide tour supporting The Stranglers throughout the summer of 1977. Our singles Everyone’s A Winner, Summer Of Love and Animal Games and our one and only album Animal Games were all produced by Napier-Bell at the IBC studios in London.
Following a nationwide tour London broke up after a farewell gig at the Marquee Club in Wardour Street. Jon Moss joined The Damned and then formed Culture Club with Boy George; Dr Colin Wight became a Lecturer in International Politics; Steve Voice formed The Original Vampires; Simon Napier-Bell went on to manage George Michael and Wham! and I was retained as a solo artist by MCA Records releasing four more singles All The Nice Boys And Girls In The World, Japanese Girls, You Call Me Lucky and The Only One before recording my final record Hard Hearts Don’t Cry on CBS Epic.
In 1982 I co-wrote the song Hottest Woman In Town with Andy Miller. Recorded at London’s Trident recording studios by ex-Ozzy Osbourne and Ian Gillan lead guitarist Berni Torme, it was released as a single and featured on the Metal Killers album.
In the mid-80s I started writing comedy scripts. My first play Because Of Mr Darrow was produced at the Finborough Arms Theatre in London and this was followed by Laugh? I Nearly Went To Miami! which had a successful London fringe run before being produced for the first Liverpool Festival of Comedy.
Translated into many languages, Laugh? I Nearly Went To Miami! has been performed all around the world including Vienna where as ...Und Morgen Fliegen Wir Nach Miami it became one of the city's most popular stage plays. Legendary British Director Cyril Frankel (Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and UFO) directed in a translation by Adolf Opel.
By this time I was writing stage and television material for Frankie Howerd including co-writing the hour long special Superfrank for Channel 4. I also wrote an updated stage version of Up Pompeii which received its premiere by Bruce James Productions in a 2011 UK tour starring Damian Williams as Lurcio the slave. It was published by Josef Weinberger Ltd in 2012.
It was also around about this period that I was writing for the international Walt Disney Magazine creating cartoon stories for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and other well known Disney characters.
I then went on the BBC Television writers training course at Elstree and subsequently created and wrote the BBC1 comedy series Wyatt’s Watchdogs. Produced and directed by Alan J.W. Bell, it starred Brian Wilde (from Porridge and Last of the Summer Wine) and Trevor Bannister (Are You Being Served?) This led to an invitation to write for the Alomo/BBCTV show Birds Of A Feather.
My next stage comedy was It’s Now Or Never! Directed by Marina Calderone, it starred Tony Roper (from BBC TV’s Rab C. Nesbitt), Peter Polycarpou (Birds of a Feather), Heather Alexander and Leyton Sommers as Elvis Presley.
This was followed by Getting Away With Murder, directed by Stephen Warden, which had a successful run in Hampstead, London and was published by Matador Books in 2009 under its original title Twist. It received its USA premiere by the Rogue Theatre Company in Massachusetts in 2010.
I then changed tack a bit and worked for The Big Bus Company training Tour Guides in London, Dubai, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Las Vegas. I’m glad I did because this new experience led to my theatrical comedy Topless, a one-woman play set on an open-top London sightseeing bus, coming about. Following director Martin Bailey's original production in 1999, Topless returned to the West End of London for a second season the following year. Produced by The Big Bus Company and directed by me, this unique theatrical piece was performed on top of a sightseeing bus driving through the streets of London. This was followed by the publication of my first novel Fripp.
Topless in Philadelphia followed in 2009 and I am currently writing Topless in Sydney and Topless in Las Vegas.
In 2012 I developed Topless as a 30 minute sitcom for NBC/Universal International.
Well, that’s about it. Oh I nearly forgot, I recently reformed London with bass player Steve Voice and new guitarist Hugh O’Donnell and new drummer Colin Watterston. We shall be playing gigs throughout 2013 and have just released a new album Reboot.
Hope to see you at one of them!