THE GEMS w/Rory Wilson

Rory Wilson left Broken Home after their final gig at Reading Festival in 1980, and returned to his home town of Dover. He produced a single for a local band named Masterstroke in 1981, adding some guitar as well. He eventually hooked up with the Gems in the mid-80s. In this exclusive, Jenx from the Gems details the story of the band.

The Gems interview - March 2001

The Gems were formed out of the ashes of a band called "the Thoughts" who were signed to Teldec in Gemany , we scored with a hit called "Wait A Long Time For You", released an album entitled "Passions In Fashion" and then drifted apart.

I had known Rory as I was from Dover for years, and had met up again after Rory had moved back to Dover. The Gems were put together using all the members of the Thoughts bar the singer:

  • Rory: guitar, vocals
  • Jenx: keyboards, vocals
  • Mark Edwards: guitar, vocals
  • Steve Morley: drums
  • Tony Newman: bass

This line up lasted for quite a while till I swopped the keyboards to looking after the band as I had made good contacts while working for a London venue. I was replaced by Steve Bignall on keyboards. Next to leave was Mark who later went to join "Anti Nowhere League". This line-up signed to Silent Records and released three singles; all produced by Steve Barnacle - brother of Pete and Gary.

  • Stand Up Sit Down / Here It Comes Again (7", Silent Records GEM1, 1986)
  • Stand Up Sit Down / Here It Comes Again / Stand Up Sit Down (12", Silent Records 12GEM1, 1986)
  • Young Man's Dream / Hand Over Fist (7", Silent Records GEM2, 1986)
  • Young Man's Dream / Hand Over Fist (12", Silent Records 12GEM2, 1986)
  • Leaving / Forever (7", Silent Records GEM3, 1987)
  • Leaving / Forever / Silent / Priority (12", Silent Records 12GEM3, 1987)

This was a hard gigging band playing most of the major London venue's plus supporting Gary Glitter on his Xmas 1985 tour - some 20 dates and again when he went out in the summer. The band then toured to promote the singles on their own and somewhere along the way the keyboard player went and was replaced by a man named "Joe". After this things started to drift apart, 'till like most things it came to a halt. A great shame really because they were on their day a "shit hot band".

Best wishes Jenx (Michael Jenkins)

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