S IS FOR SECRET KNOWLEDGE (PT2)
Second post on Kris Needs and Wonder as Secret Knowledge. This time focusing on remix work. This was done either together or by Kris using the Secret Knowledge name. They have an extensive remix catalogue.
After running the Mott The Hoople fan club in the early 70s, Kris started contributing to Zigzag, horrifying the old guard with his coverage of the nascent punk scene. Founder-editor Pete Frame ran his interviews with groups like the Sex Pistols, Clash, Johnny Thunders’ Heartbreakers, Ramones and Flamin’ Groovies before, acknowledging the new movement, asking Kris to take over as Editor in June 1977.
For the next five years, Kris led Zigzag to punk’s front line but also placed himself with everyone from Siouxsie and the Banshees and Blondie to Motorhead, Keith Richards, Chic and Kate Bush. He interviewed a new band called U2 in return for what turned out to be the last UK interview with Bob Marley. There was also an enduring relationship with John Lydon, recently recalled in the Stories Of Johnny compendium.
Throughout this period, Kris contributed to Sounds and NME while acting as New York Rocker’s UK correspondent. He also fronted a band called the Vice Creems, who boasted half of The Clash for one single. After Zigzag became the victim of shady publishers, Kris helped run the Bat Cave club and became UK correspondent for Creem, moving to New York in ’86 and becoming their man in Manhattan.
Arriving back in the UK in 1990, Kris dived into the club scene for the rest of the decade, writing for NME, Mixmag, Echoes, DJ and Muzik. He made records as Secret Knowledge and Delta Lady, produced around 100 remixes and DJed around the world with Primal Scream and Prodigy. After forming a disco group with Irvine Welsh, running Creation’s dance arm Eruption then ending up resident DJ and pole-dancer at Ibiza’s notorious Manumission club, Kris chose writing over an early grave and wrote his autobiography Needs Must [currently being revamped], then formed the ongoing Bunnymad69 with his missus Michelle.
Since 2002, Kris has written books: The Scream: The Music, Myths & Misbehaviour Of Primal Scream; Keith Richards: Before They Make Me Run; Joe Strummer & The Legend Of The Clash and Trash! The Complete New York Dolls with Dick Porter. He also contributes to MOJO, Clash, Record Collector, DMC Update and Trakmarx punk webzine, the spiritual son of Zigzag. http://www.rocksbackpages.com/writer.html?WriterID=needs
I’ve picked remixes that show the diversity of their work with dance acts, indie pop and solo singers:
Nan Vernon – Elvis Waits (Secret Knowledge Mix)
One Dove – Why don’t you take me (Secret Knowledge remix)
One Dove – Breakdown (Secret Knowledge Light mix)
The Boo Radleys – Lazarus (Secret Knowledge Mix)