At the young age of 17, Spike (also known as Spike or Jonathan Gray) moved from his home in Newcastle Upon the Tyne to live in the big city of London. He was looking for work and soon found a job in construction. One night while he was out at a pub after work, he met a guy named Guy Bailey and they ended up becoming flatmates. Guy and Spike became great friends, but managed to go an entire year before they came to know that they each played guitar. After jamming a bit together, they decided to form a band and called themselves “The Choirboys”. But, as they began getting bookings, they realized that there was another band by that name and it would cause some confusion, so they changed the spelling to “The Queerboys”. The band consisted of Spike on vocals, Guy Bailey on guitar, Nigel Mogg on bass, Chris Johnstone on piano/keyboard and the very first drummer of a long, long list of drummers to follow, Paul Martin. Although Spike had been playing guitar since the age of 11, he was the only member of the band that could sing, so naturally, he became the lead singer of the band. By 1987, the bands’ name was beginning to hinder the bit of success they were seeing and even resulted in a show being cancelled. They decided to change the name once again, and for the final time, to The Quireboys. Spike began running a club night at the Marquee Club and any profits he made from it went towards paying for The Quireboys to practice. Spike’s parents supported the band in these early days by bringing them something to eat when The Quireboys were travelling around in a van playing anywhere they could. Around 1989, The Quireboys recorded two singles at their own expense, Mayfair and There She Goes Again with videos to accompany them. Then came their big hit single “7 O’Clock”, which at the beginning, didn’t even have a chorus, but once the chorus was inserted, the single was recorded and entered the Top 40 charts right away. That is when The Quireboys were signed to EMI and they released their debut album in 1990 “A Bit Of What You Fancy”. The Quireboys took the album out on tour and that sent the album to platinum status in several different countries. The band was electric on stage and a fanbase grew fast. This popularity in the charts garnered them bookings at massive performances playing alongside mega bands such as Aerosmith, Whitesnake and Poison. It is hard to say what exactly, and more likely a combination of events , that sent The Quireboys’ success on a slow downward cycle. (For Spike’s opinion on this read his interview with Oliver Schwarzer of Rock Cafe Radio on the Interviews with Spike page). Their second album, which still did well by selling a million copies, did not have quite the impact that “A Bit Of What You Fancy” did. This downward slide took it’s toll on The Quireboys. They ended up splitting up, many of them moving to the U.S. and working with other bands. Spike moved to Los Angeles and at this time, decided to record a few solo albums on his own as well as forming another band called God’s Hotel. But, Spike couldn’t give up on The Quireboys. He spoke with Guy Griffin one day and asked him if he wanted to play together a bit just to see what would come out of it. They worked on a few songs and were happy with what came out, so they decided to start up The Quireboys again. After this reformation (which has the current members), it seems that The Quireboys began a slow climb back to where they are today. It could be due to this younger generation looking to hear good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, or possibly that it was the advent of social media spreading the word to all of their existing fans who had not forgotten them, but whatever it was, they found that they still had a large fan base around the world that wanted to see them perform live. The Quireboys have been touring and recording non-stop ever since. Today, Spike is back living in the U.K.
At all times, Spike is either on the road touring with The Quireboys, working on an album with The Quireboys or working on some kind of solo project. It’s what he does; it’s who he is. He is music to his very soul.