Following the Pink Fairies’ dalliance with Stiff, Larry Wallis delivered a solo single, Police Car (BUY 22, suitably backed with On Parole). It all happened in classic “Today’s Sound Today!” fashion when Wallis was cajoled into playing the song on guitar to Jake Riviera one Sunday afternoon.
Riviera heard it, loved it, and - by the time he’d packed his guitar up again - had him booked into the studio to record it (with Eddie and the Hot Rods) the following Tuesday. Rolling Stone loved it when they heard it, too. “‘I howl when I get the scent, I turn on my flashing light,’ Wallis sings, carrying out an impeccable oddball conceit fraught with all sorts of dizzy implications,” they wrote. “The police as rock & rollers? An official vehicle as an obsessed lover? This song is definitely a minor classic.”
All this was late 1977 and, the next year, Larry was invited to join Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe on the Bunch of Stiffs package tour. Rolling Stone loved it even more, calling his live pseudonym - Larry Wallis and the Rowdies - “the band name - and maybe the band - of the year.”
Larry was the first to admit that he was in the company of greatness on the package tour, and scored the chance of recording with a few of the Bunch when a compilation was put together, A Bunch of Stiff Records. Along with Nick Lowe on bass, Dave Edmunds on drums and Plummet Airlines’ producer Sean Tyla on guitar they wrote and recorded a song called Food calling themselves The Takeaways and produced by the mysterious ‘Stan Francisco’.