Knuckle Merchants


Although they dabbled in leftist politics and a punk aesthetic, the Knuckle Merchants were in many ways the Clark Kent of late-‘70s and early-‘80s English rock.  Although they would storm the stage in the evening in leather pants or military garb, their days were spent in far more mundane quarters:  three of the members (guitarists Tony Nelson and Al Bellows and drummer Rog Healey) were financial analysts at a London brokerage house, and the fourth (bassist Garfield “G.” Knee) taught primary school.

The Merchants’ aggressive and eclectic sound—merging everything from dab to skew to hillockbilly—resonated with a wide range of audiences, and they had a very successful decade-long run.   However, the usual suspects (illicit substances, minor peccadillos, halitosis) intervened and contributed to the break up of the band in 1986.  Attempts at reconciliation proved fruitless. 

Knee later changed his (her) name to Jean.