Mike Badger : Writing

The Rhythm and the Tide

The Rhythm and The Tide : By Mike Badger and Tim Peacock

(Liverpool The La’s and Ever After)

Liverpool in the 1980s.  With prospects for the city’s youth bleak, an ill-fated scheme for unemployed musicians commenced, inadvertently shaping the future for members of Space, Cast and The Lightning Seeds, thus giving fresh impetus to the idea of song as a saviour for the city.

Spearheading this was The La’s, first they conquered their home town, and then on the brink of hitting the big time

(and eventually inspiring what would become Britpop) Badger quit to form Americana pioneers The Onset and find international recognition as a sculptor, before eventually co-founding Liverpool’s Viper record label (which has recently released its 100th album).

As well as featuring a host of Mersey Musicians and characters there are chance meetings with Captain Beefheart, Jonathan Richman, Adrian Henri and Frank Sidebottom to name a few but above all new insights are revealed into the great lost Liverpool band The La’s.

From the emergence of Punk and New-Wave in the 1970’s and on through to the acknowledgment of Liverpool as Cultural Capital some thirty years on. The Rhythm and the Tide is Mike Badger’s personal story as a restlessly creative individual, and a reflection on the ebb and flow of the music scene in the city that he loves.

The La's Scrapbook
‘The La’s Scrapbook 1984-87’ : By Mike Badger, Paul Hemmings and Dave Hewitson

‘A unique story of the bands first three years, before signing a record deal, told through some never before seen possessions incl handwritten lyrics, Lee Mavers and Mikes artworks, photographs, posters and more.’

14th September 2017 and an Exhibition of rare and unseen photos of The La’s first tour opens at The Florrie Liverpool. A period described as a magical time and a crucial part of The La’s story. Amongst the photographs are a selection of ephemera including gig posters, tickets and handwritten lyrics being displayed for the first time. It’s these artefacts that catch my eye, having a loft full myself, of similar music and football related items. I mention to Paul and Mike over the coming days about how such periods of our youth need to be documented, particularly in a book if possible, and especially about a band of such legendary cult status as The La’s. Mike had an archive of stuff from the very early days of forming the band in ’84, from press clippings and diary entries to a receipt from the first studio demos during which Breakloose, Doledrum, Open Your Heart, Son of a Gun and Callin’ All, were all recorded. Paul had a major part in curating the 2017 Exhibition and therefore had access to much of that memorabilia, including Lee Mavers hand written lyrics of songs, as well as having his own diaries from his time with the band. That was all i needed to hear. The book would cover the beginnings of the band up to their first single release at the end of 1987. [Dave Hewitson]