EXPIRED: 05/24/10 – Steve New, 50, just celebrated his birthday a week and some days ago, and since he knew it was probably going to be his last, made sure it was shared many friends and family.
New was a well loved and, although not hugely famous, pretty important musical link in the 70’s and 80’s British punk and New Wave scene. A guitarist & vocalist, he had played with the London Jazz Orchestra at the age of 14 but was asked to audition for the Sex Pistols as a second guitarist alongside Steve Jones when he was just 15 years old.
When Pistols’ original bass player Glenn Matlock was kicked out of the band and replaced by Sid Vicious, he invited New to join his new group Rich Kids alongside Rusty Egan and former Slik singer Midge Ure. The Clash’s Mick Jones was in the band for a short time too.
They put out one album, Ghosts Of Princes In Towers which was produced by legendary guitarist Mick Ronson.
The first single, “Rich Kids” was a hit but the album and subsequent singles went nowhere. The group disbanded in 1979. Some live Rich Kids performances can be seen in the 1980 film, D.O.A..
Matlock and New went on to tour with Iggy Pop, while Egan and Ure formed The Misfits, and later, Visage. New has also played with Sid Vicious, Public Image Ltd, and Kim Fowley.
More recently he was known professionally as Stella Nova and was the musical arranger/producer with Beastellabeast along with vocalist Beatrice Brown.
However, with terminal cancer bearing down on him and little income to support his family after his demise, New decided to throw a party.
In January, Glen Matlock, Midge Ure, Rusty Egan and New reunited as the Rich Kids to performa a sold out benefit concert in support of New’s family.
Also playing were Mick Jones, The Illuminations (featuring Clive Langer, Steve Allen and Ian Broudie), TV Smith (from the Adverts), Viv Albertine & Patti Paladin (from The Slits) and Gary Kemp (from Spandau Ballet) and Beastellabeast with Tracie Hunter and Maggie Ronson.
So, RIP Steve.
Shine on, Stella Nova.
Say hello to Mick Ronson for us.