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year selector Introduction 1962-1990 1990-1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998

28 August 1962 Maurice Phillip Ross III is born in East Molesey, Surrey. When he grows up and becomes a drummer, he gets the nickname Bam.

17 December 1964 David Walls is born, and grows up in South Shields, Tyne & Wear. His mother remarries when David is in his early teens, and David Walls becomes David Smith, who eventually gets the nickname Ginger. (Though he's still David to his mother.)

1966 / 67 Andrew Stidolph (later to be nicknamed Stidi) is born, and grows up in Boldon, Tyne & Wear.

27 December 1967 Cris Jagdhar (later to be nicknamed CJ) is born.

29 June 1968 Ritch Battersby is born.

8 June 1971 Jef Streatfield is born.

28 February 1972 Danny McCormack is born, and grows up in South Shields, Tyne & Wear.

July 1971 Ginger buys his first records - David Bowie's Drive In Saturday and Welcome Home by Peters & Lee. The first album he buys is Ride A White Swan by T-Rex.

1977 Ginger (age 12) plays snare drum and kazoo in a local jazz band, where he smokes pot for the first time.

late 1970s Ginger learns to play guitar. He pens his first song, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark.

early - mid 1980s Ginger plays with various bands, among them The Letters (featuring future Wildhearts collaborator Danny Deen), Ipanema Katz (whose songs include Sister Resistor and All American White Boy), Peter Panics, Avenger and Zig Zag ("a fucking great band," Ginger told Record Collector magazine in 1995). Zig Zag were heavily influenced by the New York Dolls, even going as far as performing their sets in full make-up.

8 October 1987 Ginger has been in the Quireboys (who were previously known as The Pretty Girls, then The Queerboys) for only two days when he makes his live debut with the band, opening for Guns N' Roses and Faster Pussycat at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.

1988 The Quireboys release their first two singles, Mayfair (released in May) and There She Goes Again. Tattooed Love Boys, the UK glam rock band that CJ plays guitar for, release their debut album, Bleeding Hearts And Needle Marks. The Grip (who are fronted by future Wildhearts keyboardist and Ginger collaborator Willie Dowling) also release their debut album, Be Yourself.

21 May - 26 June 1988 The Quireboys tour the UK, beginning in London and finishing in Burnley. Support comes from Gypsy Queen and Wolfsbane.

22 November 1988 The Quireboys play the Dominion Theatre in London's West End. They're supported by Lisa Dominique and - reformed for one night only! - Ray Zell's Marionette.

31 December 1988 Tattooed Love Boys, the Quireboys and The Grip play a New Year's Eve Party at the Marquee in London.

1989 Energetic Krusher, a South Shields-based thrash band, release an album called Path To Oblivion. Their bass player is Danny McCormack.

18 January 1989 Watching Tattooed Love Boys play at a London Hippodrome rock night, Ginger turns to his friend, Kerrang! writer Ray Zell, and confidently tells him that he's going to be in a band with CJ one day.

19 January 1989 Ginger is sacked from the Quireboys. He's quoted in a press release as saying that the other members didn't want him in the band because he drank too much and his guitar style was too heavy. He has a life-changing experience immediately after leaving Quireboys manager Sharon Osborne's office, when he falls down some stairs in a tube station clutching his only possession, a bottle of Jack Daniels. Ginger tells RAW magazine in 1993 that if the bottle had smashed, he would have slashed his wrists with the broken pieces. Luckily the bottle stays intact and the guitarist spends a couple of hours sitting at the bottom of the stairs crying, before walking out of the station with a new, positive outlook on life.

14 February 1989 Ginger plays his one and only gig with The Throbs, a New York-based sleaze band, at The Cat Club, Manhattan. Despite the gig getting a rave review in RAW, Ginger opts to leave the band and return to the UK.

spring / summer 1989 EMI pays for the recording of Ginger's demos. His good friend Willie Dowling helps him write and record some tracks. Ginger tells Record Collector in 1995 that the label hated what they heard.

August 1989 Ginger announces the formation of the Wild Hearts. (Danny McCormack tells Splitting Headache fanzine in 1995: "Ginger came up with the name when he was 14. He used to invent bands in his head before he had a band going."). The line-up is Snake (ex-Tobruk; vocals), Ginger (guitar), CJ (ex-Tattooed Love Boys; guitar), Julien Dean (aka Joolz, ex-Soho Roses; bass), Andrew 'Stid' Stidolph (ex-Broken Angel, Gunslinger; drums). Tattooed Love Boys drummer Mick Ransome tells Kerrang! that CJ has been working with the Wild Hearts while still a member of Tattooed Love Boys.

August / September 1989 The newly formed Wild Hearts record their first demos as a band. They are heard by producer Ric Browde, who duly signs the band to the Atco label, an offshoot of Atlantic.

7 October 1989 The Wild Hearts support Willie Dowling's band, The Grip, at the Marquee in London's Soho.

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