The Chain Gang
(1987)

Makin' Tracks / Creepy Crawlies

The Chain Gang was a one-off "group" comprised of members from a bunch of Scottish bands. They got together on April 13, 1987 at Ca Va Studios in Glasgow to record a charity single supporting protesting factory workers. The ensuing 45 was released on a label called Supreme International Editions out of Edinburgh, and was produced by James Grant and Bobby Paterson (incidentally, they misspelt Paterson with two Ts on the label). It was engineered by Brian Young, a fellow who eventually was behind the boards duing the recording of many a L&M B-side.

"Makin' Tracks," a rather funky number in the tradition of L&M tunes like "Scapegoat" and "Razorsedge," was credited to J. Grant/P. Kane/K. McCluskey/G. Skinner. The B-side, "Creepy Crawlies," was the same music with comedian Bing Hitler babbling undecipherably over the track. Hitler later moved on to the U.S., started using his real name, Craig Ferguson, and became a regular on The Drew Carey Show as Drew's boss.

The text on the back of the jacket reads:
This record was originally written and recorded by Scottish musicians in support of the Caterpillar Workers occupation at their factory in Uddingston, Lanarkshire. The brave occupation hammered home the unity and strength of Scottish workers in their fight to save jobs from multi-national madness. The struggle goes on. The profit from this record will go to the War On Want organisation as requested by the Caterpillar Occupation Committee at the controversial end of their sit-in. All the musicians and studio services are given free of charge.

In my interview with Bobby Paterson elsewhere at this site, I asked him about the Chain Gang:
What was the Chain Gang project?
Oh right--you heard of the Caterpillar factory? Caterpillar makes tractors and things. They had a factory in Glasgow and the American parent company were going to close it down, so the workers staged a work-in. They wanted to take over the factory themselves. They felt it was feasible. So someone had the idea of doing a benefit record for them, so we got together with quite a few people really--Pat Kane from Hue And Cry, Skins from Hipsway, J.C. Reed, I can't remember all the people involved, and we made a record called 'Makin' Tracks.' That was good fun.

Whatever became of that? Did they get to keep the factory?
Um, no they didn't. It closed down.

Well, it's not all that deep a ponderence, but that's the story of The Chain Gang.

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