This article first appeared in the Dec. 24, 2015 issue of Smashpipe.
By Tony Sokol
Wendy James pulls in members of the Patti Smith Group, The Sex Pistols and The Bad Seeds for New York City-produced new album.
If looks could kill, the music world was almost slayed in the late eighties by 16-year-old singer Wendy James. Before the current crop of punk pop princesses threw off their Mickey Mouse ears for sexualized sales, Transvision Vamp entranced a rabid cult following with their aggressively gorgeous Brit Pop
Wendy James was one of the punk princesses of the late eighties as the lead singer for England’s Transvision Vamp. The band’s albums Pop Art and Velveteen, from 1988 and 1989, were filled with the raw energy of the next wave.
James, a multi-instrumentalist herself, has been living in New York City for the past few years and put together a band with the seminal leaders of punk. James new album The Price Of The Ticket features legendary guitarist Lenny Kaye, who played with Patti Smith at poetry readings before she even found her band; Glen Matlock, the Sex Pistol who was replaced by Sid Vicious because he admitted he liked the Beatles; and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds drummer Jim Sclavunos.
Wendy James wrote all the songs on her solo album but covered two cover tracks. ‘You’re So Great’ by Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith, Patti Smith’s husband and the guitarist for the MC5 and Sonic’s Rendezvous Band and ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ by Bob Dylan feature backing from James Williamson and Steve Mackay from Iggy and The Stooges and James Sclavunos of The Bad Seeds.
James dropped the news on PledgeMusic Presents Wendy James’ New Album, ‘The Price Of The Ticket.’ Fans who pre-order also get access to exclusive updates, including previews of new tracks, exclusive t-shirts and posters, vinyl bundles, CDs, downloads, gig tickets and signed items. “The Price Of The Ticket” will be available on all formats: LP Vinyl, CD and Digital Download.
“Wendy James’ new album ‘The Price Of The Ticket’ is brave and tender, artful and wild, where courage and the dream of love give promise,” raved The Village Voice. “A wild, moving, shocking, hilarious, raging, exhilarating, giant of an album. A dazzling performance that listeners will delight in, it is intelligent, witty, irresistibly relentless and forthright.”
James’s first band Transvision Vamp has become an iconic symbol of alt-rock New Wave Garage Rock.
Wendy James will be touring behind the album but will also play some favorites from Transvision Vamp.
After the breakup, James teamed up with Elvis Costello and his wife Cait Riordon, who wrote the Now Ain’t the Time for Your Tears in (1992. It didn’t sell well, but I bought it being a fan of the vamp and the guitarist with concrete fingers. James followed that up with two solo albums for Cobraside, “Racine” and “I Came Here to Blow Minds.”
“So important in the making of ‘The Price Of The Ticket’ is the encouragement, good will and enthusiasm I am lucky enough to receive from friends and fans alike,” James wrote on the Pledge Music Page.
“My female friends who support me with their fire-brand strength and determination. Old friends in London who remain as true to this day as they were when we were running about in Ladbroke Grove, W.11. Newer friends in New York City who make my present day life so full and thrilling and the city the place I call home. My friends in Paris, the love and hospitality you give me is such a large part of my life.
“All over the world I have some true friends who, whether I see you often or not, I know you are there for me. This is the stuff that keeps everything going. Old band members with whom I share memories and from whom I have learned lessons, you are as responsible for getting me here as anyone else. And Fans – the messages you send me are so sincere and often with such insight, sometimes a day can literally be made good by one message saying my music is playing a part in your life and for me to keep on!”