After providing the backbone of late-'70s British punk band the Buzzcocks with the scorching, barbed-wire sound of his electric guitar, Steve Diggle was forced to seek other outlets when the group disbanded in 1981. Forming a new band, Flag of Convenience, with Buzzcock drummer John Maher, he continued to assault listeners with his bone-crushing sound through the 1980s.
Diggle continued to struggle for success, however. Although Flag of Convenience was reorganized following Maher's departure in 1986, and renamed FOC, the group's album, Northwest Skyline, sank upon release and failed to generate much attention. A more permanent version of FOC, featuring guitarist Gary Couzens of the Stone Roses, did no better. In a desperate move, Diggle began billing the group as Buzzcocks FOC.
Diggle's problems alleviated when he agreed to join former Buzzcocks bandmates Pete Shelley, Steve Garvey, and Maher in resurrecting the group in 1989. The reunion proved so successful that the four musicians agreed to continue working together, releasing All Set, in 1996, followed by Modern three years later. Collaborating with author Terry Rawlins, Diggle wrote a memoir of the late-'70s British punk scene, Harmony in My Head, that was published by Helter Skelter in June 2002. ~ Craig Harris
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