It is with great sadness that we report the passing of our friend Steve Treatment who was found dead in his London flat on Sunday 16th August 22015.
Steve was a pioneer of the DIY Punk scene in the late 1970s and his records sound as fresh, if not fresher, today as they did back then. Unlike the punks of his day Steve’s influences weren’t the Stooges or New York Dolls; he turned to his hero Marc Bolan for inspiration and with the help of his friends The Swell Maps he made one of the best singles ever – The “5 ‘A’ Sided 45” in 1978. He only released two other 7”singles and by 1979 his recording career came to a standstill. A few songs were self released on cassette by his new band The Ticket Inspectors in the eighties but it wasn’t until early this century that Topplers Records got in touch with him and started releasing new material either as solo acoustic performances or with electric backing provided by us!
If it wasn’t for Steve The NoMen would not exist… George had a band called the Yes Men which he drafted me into as the bass player. When we first got in touch with Steve Treatment he sent us a load of cassettes with primitive recording of his recent songs. They were so good that we decided to record them ourselves and then invite Steve up to Scotland to sing them. We recorded the first demo to send him and I cheekily inverted the name from The Yes Men (which is a terrible name for a band!) to The NoMen! Steve loved it and so did we, so much in fact that we ended up recording a whole album of his songs without him even getting involved. He was chuffed, “You sound more like me than I do!”, he replied. Over the years we worked non-stop with him but never face to face. We would either add overdubs to his cassettes or we would record backing tracks and send them to London on CDs and Steve would sing along, recording the whole thing on his trusty cassette player. We invented the “Campaign to Bring Back Hiss” because the background noise on his recordings was impossible to remove.
In the summer of 2015 an LP was released of Steve Treatment’s original records along with unreleased tracks that would have been on his album if one had been released in the late seventies! At the same time Topplers Records released a “Best Of” compilation containing his recordings from 2003 – 2015. Strange and sad that two retrospective albums came out just at the end of his life!
Our thoughts go out to Steve’s brother and mother in Derby and all his friends who will miss his wild and sparkling personality.
Allan NoMan: August 17th 2015