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Fighting & Violence: Phil Mogg

You’ve got a reputation as a fairly tough guy.

Well, blokes get together and chat and these things get distorted. I did some boxing at school but it was very, very limited and I was really bad. I had an exhibition bout with a guy who squared me – mouth, nose, everything. I was like a fly and he swatted me. That grew into something that never was. I did more posing in front of the mirror. I had lovely shorts.

So as the guitarist tells it, Michael Schenker threatened to quit UFO if you hit him – which you did…

Well, we’d have to differentiate between a hit and shove. A shove was like a loving gesture, but a punch meant: “I’m going to fucking do you.” It was handbags at dawn.

Once, in a more belligerent mood, you confessed to shutting Michael’s head in a door.

That’s me being funny. I’m dazzling, aren’t I? Things never got that bad, though it’s a nice thought. Oh look, you’re putting words into my mouth.

UFO’s song Profession Of Violence was inspired by a book of the same name. What did you find interesting about the Kray Twins?

It wasn’t specifically about them, more the whole gangster scene.

The twins were regarded almost as heroes by some members of the public. Did you see some kind of romance in that?

There’s was nothing romantic about the Krays – they were quite unsavoury. “Say that again and I’ll come round to your place and nail a coffee table to your head.” That’s true romance.

Pete Way was friends with the Cockney Rejects…

Did they have money? Did they have booze? Did they have coke? Pete was very good friends with anyone that had those things.

The Rejects certainly didn’t like anyone spilling their pint.

No, they were very nice boys. I thought so anyway.

At sixty-six can you still handle yourself?

I doubt it, unless it’s someone of my age, or Paul Raymond [UFO keyboardist/guitarist], or a fella in a wheelchair.

Dave Ling
Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.