Interview With Walter Lure (The Heartbreakers and The Waldos)

As lead guitarist/vocalist with the legendary Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, Walter Lure made one of THE definitive Punk Rock albums before forming his own band The Waldos. Mick Burgess chatted to Lure ahead of his forthcoming UK tour.

Walter LureOn 21st September you play in Newcastle in the North of England. Have you played up here before?

Yes I think the Heartbreakers played there on one of our tours through the UK back in 1977 or 78. I could be wrong but I don’t think so. We played so many different towns in the UK that they all start to blur together especially after all these years. I mostly remember Newcastle because of Newcastle Brown Ale that I used to love to drink over there (they water it down over here on import so it’s not as good) and also so many of those thick brown bottles used to be thrown at us onstage it was always a challenge to avoid getting knocked unconscious during one of our sets.

Do you know much about the musical history of the Newcastle?

Musical history of Newcastle. Not that much unfortunately except for the fact that I think Sting is from there. Wasn’t Mick Ronson from somewhere around there as well? I’m not sure. I only used to see it mentioned in old novels as a mining and shipping town, wasn’t there some old saying that “…….more coal than Newcastle” or something along those lines?

The only album that you recorded with Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, L.A.M.F, is viewed as a Punk classic. Did you feel that you were recording something special at that time?

L.A.M.F was the sole Heartbreaker’s album. We thought it was special because it represented our music that was written in the previous 3 years and represented the soul of the band. We obviously didn’t know at the time it would be our last or that it would become something of an iconic album in spite of the fact that the original vinyl version sounded so bad. Later releases on tape and CD were much better of the same songs and mixes. Probably Live at Max’s caught the band at their best .We, like the Dolls before us, were always a live band first – something was always lost in the translation in studio recordings. It was a shame that we didn’t have more time to evolve back then and become a better studio band but the forces tearing us apart were way beyond any of our control.

Rent Party by your band The Waldo’s, sounds like it could have been the natural follow up to L.A.M.F. Were you hoping to capture that vibe when you recorded that?

That has the Waldos Rent Party vibe. Well I didn’t actually go into the studio trying to sound like the Heartbreakers at the time but seeing as that is really the only type of music I ever played or wrote it would follow that the Waldos would sound a lot like the Heartbreakers. I literally didn’t know how to play or write anything else nor would I have wanted to, this was the stuff that got me excited and I loved playing.

It’s been a while since you recorded that. Do you have any plans for a follow up with The Waldo’s or even a solo record?

Follow up? New recordings? Ah, the eternal question that I get asked by everyone and deservedly so. I just did a little side project with some local musicians, you might know Binky Philipps from the Planets and Randy Pratt from several Heavy Metal bands like Cactus. I wrote 3 new songs and did an updated version of “Wanna Be Loved”. We called the band the Last Ditches so you might see it released in the next few months but I have no idea when though. There are no plans for live shows unless there is some demand, I’d rather play with my own band locally in any case but it was sort of good “exercise” to get me out of my lazy mode and start writing some new songs – only 20 years later! Groan….. I also just retired from my career in finance so I’ll have more time now to do stuff like that if I get the urge. Time will tell I guess.

Walter Lure’s UK tour starts on 16th September in Southend. Check out and for more details.


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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