Monday, May 31, 2010

Obituary - Steve New

On 24 May 2010, guitarist, singer and songwriter, Steve New (aka Stella Nova), passed away due to terminal cancer. New may not have been one of the most immediately infamous names of London Punk Rock, but he did have a few key roles in some very notable bands.
New was born in London on 16 May 1960 and attended school in St. John's Wood. At the age of 14 he began playing with the London Jazz Orchestra. A mere year later he was initiated into the then infant London Punk scene when he was asked to audition for the band that would spearhead the movement and become the figurehead for a generation - the SEX PISTOLS. His audition was for the role of second guitarist to Steve Jones - obviously history states he did not get the post.
When PISTOLS bassist Glen Matlock was exited from the band, he asked New to join his new band, the RICH KIDS, along with Rusty Egan and Midge Ure. The debut single, 'Rich Kids', was a hit but the following album, 'Ghosts Of Princes In Towers' and successive singles failed to maintain the momentum. The band split in 1979 although a live performance can be witnessed in the 1980 film, D.O.A.
New and Matlock then toured with IGGY POP before New moved to the USA, where he did some work with JOHNNY THUNDERS while battling a reputed Heroin addiction. 1980 also saw New, via his friendship with Keith Levene, enter the world of PUBLIC IMAGE LTD when Jah Wobble left the band. Besides the obscure 'Pied Piper' track, New never recorded with the band.
New has also played with the likes of SID VICIOUS, Chrissie Hynde, Kim Fowley and GLEN MATLOCK's solo work.
New reappeared in 2006 under the name of Stella Nova in the band BEASTELLABEAST with Beatrice Brown, releasing the 'Beastiality' album in 2009.
With the prospect of the fatal terminal cancer looming, the RICH KIDS reformed with New for a benefit concert for New's family in January 2010. The sold-out show also included MICK JONES, TV SMITH and various members of THE SLITS on the bill.
New is survived by his children Diva Atlanta New and Frank James Lightning Hopkins-New.

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