The Skank Mooks were formed in 1978, the band began life when a group of friends sitting in McDonalds on Grafton Street, Dublin (Irelands first McDonalds), decided to form a band. In true “punk” style of the time, only two of the fledgling band had any musical experience, Fred & Paul. Part of the discussion was who would play what instrument. Johnny, got drums & Dick, bass, neither had played their chosen instrument, let alone owned a drum kit or a bass guitar. Tommy McCann, Tony Murphy, Marisa Kavanagh & Sarah Edwards were part of the original line up. Tommy would only play two gigs with the band. The St Anthony’s Hall gig & a jam session in the Magnet Bar. The jam session included Ita Carr (Boy Scoutz), Emmett O’Reilly (Citizens), Paul Woodfull & Tommy (Skank Mooks), The Edge (U2), the Edge played bass & possibly Johnny Bonnie on drums. Some members of Strange Movements may also have taken part in the session.
Their first gig was the now famous St Anthony’s Hall, Dublin. The promoter George Purdy was Dick’s brother and manager of the Skank Mooks & the Citizens. The Skank Mooks set that night was only two songs, Wild Thing & Sound Of Silence. The concert is now best known for George telling U2 they could not play that night, although Bono did sing backing vocals with the Citizens, and a fire being started in the audience during the Virgin Prunes set.
Johnny borrowed a drum kit from Paul Bibby, for the St Anthony’s gig. From these humble beginnings Johnny would go on to be one of the most respected drummers every to come out of Ireland. He is currently playing with the Radiators From Space/Trouble Pilgrims.
Dublin 1978 - 1979
Paul Woodfull & Tom McCann Vocals
Fred Mcloughlin Guitar (R.I.P.)
Dick Purdy Bass
Johnny Bonnie Drums
Tom McCann was the original singer with the band at the St Anthony's gig. Tom McCann...I sang live just once. The very first gig at St Anthony's Hall. I wasn't happy with the direction they were taking with Paul Woodful (more cartoony) - so I left. It seemed more important then than in retrospect :)))
Photo by Patrick Brocklebank, this photo was first published in the now de-funked guide to life in Dublin "In Dublin" magazine.
The Skank Mooks logo was drawn by Johnny Bonnie.
Left to right
Paul Woodfull, Johnny Bonnie, Fred McLoughlin, Dick Purdy.
The band were managed by Dick's brother George.
Outside Bewley's Bar, all the bands would hangout here back in the day, including the UK bands that were playing in Dublin.
Dick Purdy with the Citizens outside McGonagle's. Photo by Patrick Brocklebank
Ticket supplied by Johnny Bonnie
22/11/1978 St Anthony's "Punk Festival" with New Versions, Berlin, Virgin Prunes, Strange Movements, The Citizens.
For moor information & pictures on this gig go to the St Anthony's Hall page, click the button below.
Eamon Delaney "I have a poster for this gig. The full lineup, from the top, is the New Versions, Berlin, the Virgin Prunes, the Strange Movements, the Skank Mooks and the Citizens. It was my first gig, and very memorable; a wild show, with fires being burned down the front of the stage as people set alight some reams of computer paper thrown around as part of the Prunes typically avant garde shock-art set. A women in a wheelchair was whirling around the moshpit, and kids from nearby Oliver Bond flats snook in to join the show. The Strange Movements had a single, Dancing in the Ghetto with Good Vibrations records and the New Versions had Regine Moylett as a singer, subsequently a long time PR person with U2. She and her sister Susan ran the famous No Romance punk and fashion bondage shop in the Dandelion.."
Johnny Bonnie "The Skank Mooks had 4 members but 10 on stage ,the venue was packed but there were more backstage than out front".
My first gig and first time to use a drumkit, thanks to Paul Bibby for that at St. Anthonys Hall, think we got the the name from the film Mean Streets.We went on to do another seven gigs".
Sarah Edwards I was amookette with marisa kavanagh, our trade mark was leopard skin, which we always wore on stage, I wore my fathers cricket trousers, on our debut at St Anthony's hall, the virgin prunes set the place on fire, with computer paper, so U2, who were supporting us, never got on stage, years later when working in Cookes cafe, bono and paul mcguinness used to love to tell that story. both nigel poff and john cole were there that night, we opened with wild thing, that's about all I can remember ! we also played mcgonagles, and i was stopped in grafton st for my autograph, I edited the hot press letters page with Ann Siggins ( Annie West ), as a celeb presenter !
Feb 79-McGonagles with Berlin.
22/02/1979 The Magnet with White Noise, Alternatives, Strange Movements.
11/03/1979 Killiney Court Hotel with Fit Kilkenny and the Remoulds.
15/03/1979 Crofton Airport Hotel with The Brown Thomas Band. Dick Purdy Played the Crofton Airport one night before the BTs. Joe Savino might remember it. No audience, played anyway. We watched them and they watched us. Later in a room elsewhere in the hotel the BTs got another gig because the wedding band didn't turn up.
Mar 79-Alexandra Collage with Fit Kilkenny and the Remoulds.
Mar 79-Howth Community Centre with New Versions.
08/05/1979 Steering Wheel, Dublin with Riff Raff, The Blades
Thanks to Johnny Bonnie for the full gig list.
As far as I know, there are no recordings of the Skank Mooks.