A new phase of a long career on the punk rock scene

Jesse Lynn-Dean on stage with his band, The Wasps, during their current tour. / ON

Original The Wasps singer took time out from his current tour to talk to SUR in English about his story and a new CD

Tony Bryant

There are many musicians on the Costa del Sol who claim to have been part of the exciting music scene that was unfolding in London in the late 1970s, although few can match the accomplishments of a pure rocker and hard who is still active today, even though he is now 74 years old.

Jesse Lynn-Dean, the original singer and songwriter of The Wasps, is currently experiencing a resurgence in the punk rock scene, which has seen his iconic band enter a new phase in their celebrated career.

The Wasps story began in London in 1976, when Jesse, without a date, forced his way into the office of a senior publishing executive. The group was snapped up by RCA and recorded several singles and an album titled Punkyronics Plus, as well as participating in the famous album Live at the Vortex.

The band cut their teeth in the early punk movement, alongside other pioneering bands of the time such as The Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned.

They played extensively at renowned venues in London and the UK and were one of the driving forces behind the punk rock scene of the late 1970s.

They then played several dates in France and Sweden, before returning to the UK.

Next comes an offer from the US, so Jesse heads to New York, but is discouraged by the way the music scene is handled in the US and returns to the UK. Shortly after, the band broke up due to contractual difficulties with former managers.

“Basically what happened was that when they were kids, the guys in the band signed everything that was put in front of them, like kids do. Once we started getting noticed, all these ex-managers started coming out of the woods demanding money to get them released from their contracts. Our record company started to reimburse some of them, but it got ridiculous. In the end, the band broke up and I left it,” Jesse tells SUR in English.

Jesse decided to go to Spain for a break in 1980 to take a break from the music industry.

“By then I was exhausted. I had written the songs, performed and rehearsed, recorded and even driven the van. We got a record deal and it all went wrong, so I really needed a break,” says Jesse.

But Jesse’s plans to return to the UK to revive his music career never materialized, as he never returned.

Launch your career

Jesse spent the next decades running two bars in Fuengirola, but he sold them before the pandemic hit, when he decided to launch his music career. After meeting several like-minded musicians, one of whom had been fans of The Wasps since the 70s, Jesse reformed the band and began writing music for a new album, Punk Prayer, which was released earlier. this month. They are currently touring to promote the record, which will also be released on vinyl. The tour has included several dates in Spain – including Malaga and Madrid – and the UK, and they are due to end in Portugal next month.

One of the things that struck Jesse this time around is how many original fans attend his concerts.

“When we played the Water Rats in London, which is a very big venue, people came from all over the country. A lot of people asked me to sign the new record – it was amazing,” he explains.

Wasps’ current success has come at a time when the genre is gaining a new following sparked by a series of Netflix documentaries on the UK punk scene and Danny Boyle’s new film based on the memoir of legendary Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones.

Today, Jesse has mellowed and certainly doesn’t come across as an anarchist singer famous for hurling abuse, and sometimes his mic stand, at his audience. However, he still has the same dynamism and the same passion for his music.

“I think the songs on the new album are good songs. I’m lucky to work with great musicians who are open to new ideas,” Jesse concludes.

Diana J. Carleton