Bernie Rhodes: The London SS were 3 guys, Mick Jones, Tony James, and Brian James. I got them in a rehearsal room and watched them for two weeks, and I said “You can fuck off but Mick can stay”…at one time Rat Scabies was in too. The London SS was a load of bollocks.
“We met at a Heavy Metal Kids show,” said Mr. Jones, 52, recalling the encounter that led to their first short-lived act, London SS, in 1975. “We had the same feathered haircut,” he said, his Cockney accent thick and twangy.
“I would like to think of it more as Johnny Thunders’s hair,” Mr. James, 53, said in jest to his longtime friend.
“It was a mullet; and this was pre-hair rock,” Mr. Jones said, suggesting that he and his pal introduced the coif before its ’80s ubiquity. “Now you need no hair,” he added self-deprecatingly.
“You need more light when you get older,” Mr. James said, hunching over the menu to decipher the gothic print.
Mr. Jones explained that he doesn’t consume meat or dairy. “I read about how animals experience fear on the way to slaughter,” he said. “I didn’t want to eat that. I figured it would make me a stronger person.”
Mr. James, conversely, spoke of his ongoing war with the pests invading his weekend house in the English countryside. “We’re repatriating the snails,” he said. “I used to cut their heads off, but I’m trying to be a more caring person.” Glancing at Mr. Jones, he conceded: “I watch Fox News. I’m a conservative. Mick’s the socialist side.” (Earlier, at the Strand Book Store, Mr. Jones had picked up Senator Barack Obama’s book “The Audacity of Hope.”)