Rhino Factoids: The Rezillos Break Up (They Got Better)

Friday, December 23, 2016
Rhino Factoids: The Rezillos Break Up (They Got Better)

38 years ago today, The Rezillos played a show that proved to be their last, except not really. It’s a little hard to explain.

When The Rezillos took the stage of the Apollo in Glasgow, Scotland, lead singers Fay Fifi and Eugene Reynolds knew that it would be their final performance in the band’s lineup, and they knew it because they were the ones who had the idea to leave in the first place. At the time, the remaining members of the band – Jo Callis, Angel Patterson, and Simon Templar – had plans to carry on with The Rezillos, or at the very least to continue with the same musical mindset that had made the band such a success.

By March ’79, Fifi and Eugene had taken up with the band’s former guitarist, Hi-Fi Harris, and started rehearsing songs and looking for a new bassist and drummer, but they were still working out their future plans when, in May, Jo, Angel, and Simon joined forces with drummer Troy Tate, called themselves Shake, and released their debut EP. (In between, the audio document of the final Rezillos show – entitled MISSION ACCOMPLISHED… BUT THE BEAT GOES ON – was released.) It would not be until September that Fifi and Eugene’s new project finally released its first single, “Where’s the Boy for Me?” Oh, and did we mention that the new band was called The Revillos? Yeah, that certainly didn’t lead to any confusion.

No, really, it didn’t: Shake broke up after failing to go nowhere, so the two former Rezillos factions weren’t competing with each other. The Revillos carried on until 1985, when they called it quits, although they did reunite a few times in the mid-1990s for tours of Japan and the UK. In 2001, the Rezillos – yes, the ones with the “Z”,” not the “V” – reformed for a special New Year’s Eve show in Edinburgh, and it went so well that they proceeded to do several more shows, touring not only Europe and Japan but also South America and the US.

Pretty impressive stuff from a band that looked like it was over and done with in 1978, eh?