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Thee Headcoats is one of the various band monikers assumed by garage rock primitive Billy Childish (aka Bill Hamper), a native of Kent, England. Over several decades -- and regardless of the fashion of the time -- Childish has churned out no-frills garage rock, the likes of which saw a resurgence in hipness in the new millennium with groups such as the Hives and the White Stripes. The ultra-prolific bandleader/producer/poet/painter/publisher first emerged in 1979 with mod-punkers Pop Rivets. By 1982, the Pop Rivets had become the more musically catchy Milkshakes (akaThee Milkshakes or Mickey & the Milkshakes). The band was remarkably prolific, releasing no fewer than seven albums in 1984 (four of them on the same day). Shortly thereafter, Childish moved on to the similarly minded Thee Mighty Caesars. Nevertheless, since the late '80s, Thee Headcoats -- a trio that includes Pop Rivets/Milkshakes/Mighty Caesars drummer Bruce Brand -- has been Childish's primary outlet for his more accessible, straight-up rock & roll. 1995's Beached Earls CD combines the vinyl albums Beach Bums Must Die and The Earls of Suavedom. Bo in Thee Garage is a sloppy but interesting tribute album to Bo Diddley, while the live efforts Live! At the Wild Western Room and The Sound of the Baskervilles represent not only Thee Headcoats but the all-girl Thee Headcoatees (comprised of members of the Delmonas, for whom Childish writes and produces). To add to the confusion, Thee Headcoats have also released cover versions of Clash songs under the name Thee Stash. As of 2000, Thee Headcoats were Childish's most prolific outlet (no small accolade). The group played its final gig that year at London's Dirty Water club, though tracks continued to be released. ~ Erik Hage
'80s, '90s, '00s