In 2010, Jeff Turner of Cockney Rejects published his autobiography - co-written with Gary Bushell. In this book he relates two incidents which between them inspired no less than three songs: "I'm Not A Fool
," "Police Car" and "(They're Gonna) Put Me Away
At the age of 14 he was in a gang, and one day they tried to shake down someone for £200,000, a sort of mini protection racket. They thought it was a laugh but ended up in court where the police spun a web of lies that made this none-too-humorous joke sound credible. Three weeks later he was arrested at a football match. This appears to have been gratuitous. When the first case came to court he was convicted and given a suspended sentence and a £100 fine. Thinking he couldn't do any worse, the second time he sacked his lawyer and defended himself.
Turner related: "It was a very simplistic argument: why would I be shouting, punching and kicking in an end full of my own supporters? I said that it beggared belief." His friend who was tried with him said the same. The magistrates agreed, obviously "because they gave the copper a grilling. Then they summed up the case in no time and said that the two of us were not guilty and we were free to go."
The very short "Police Car" was inspired by this second misadventure. It was actually recorded as The S--tters, but fortunately that didn't last long; it remains to be seen how far the band would have got had they not changed their name.
Alexander Baron - London, England