Draygo's Guilt



I am the one who gave you a chance in life
How could you try and end my life

Draygo's guilt
Still happens
Draygo's guilt

How long is long in a hellish place?
And dreams today are draining us dry
And I proclaim some loyalty frightened me
Master bold morals get reptiles and ankles

Draygo's guilt
Still apparent
Draygo's guilt

A spiritual king has to rise or perish
And throw away the charity handouts
Blow his nose on last pound note  (2)
Scan window menus and walk away but

Draygo's guilt
Still happens
Draygo's guilt
Sit still 
Sit still

Sit still
Hate from the hills
Hate from the hills
Hate from the hills
Hate from the hills

And all the bands still dream of photo-Draygo 
The county of Lancs dreams of photo-Draygo (3)
Guitars in hands that turn and stab you
And sexy with bass dreams of photo-Draygo

Draygo's guilt

Still happens
Draygo's guilt

Hate from the hills
Hate from the hills

How many times do I have to say this
I should not have to say this
But each time the blood was clear like liquid gold


1. The Lancashire band Victor Drago was active between 1979 and 1983. Their singer, Gary Lomax, was apparently friends with Marc Riley (see comments 16 and 17 below). Lomax was later known for his photography (thanks to Bob). Sometime Fall drummer Steve Davis was a band member at some point, and this may make some sense of the lyrics, although there's no evidence his parting from the Fall was anything but mutually amicable.

Dan: The first documented performance of this song was at the Cyprus Tavern, Manchester, on 14 May 1980. The Fall were supported on the night by the band Victor Drago, who had supported The Fall a number of times by then.

The band may have been named after the detective Victor Drago, a character from the British comic Tornado... 

Note, however, there is also a Marvel supervillain named "Mister Fear," a nemesis of Daredevil. The entity known as Mister Fear seems to have migrated from alter ego to alter ego, confusingly enough, but the original version was named Zoltan Drago. It is entirely possible that MES was familiar with this character. See also "I Am Damo Suzuki" where there is a reference to "fear gas," which was Mister Fear's primary weapon...

Dan says that Rob Waite's article "Notebooks Out" in "The Biggest Library Yet," issue #18, January 2000, p6, notes that "Draygo's Guilt" appeared "on the odd set list under the guise 'The Lou Reed One,'" and records musical similarity to Reed's "Vicious".

As Hexen Blumenthal points out it sounds like Simon Dupree's "Reservations," and also maybe it sounds like Otis Redding's "Hard to Handle" (from the year after "Reservations"), but it's hard to say what the connections are. 


2. Mark points out that this line appeares on the live "And This Day" from the Hammersmith Palais, 3/25/1982 (the version on Hip Priests and Kamerads). As Zack mentions, "Draygo's Guilt" is the older song, and it already had this lyric before "And This Day" premiered.


3. See note 1 re: Gary Lomax.


Comments (34)

  • 1. dannyno | 03/11/2013
Sample story:
  • 2. dannyno | 03/11/2013
From the same comic:

Neat bit of synchronicity, huh?
  • 3. Mark | 16/06/2014
"Blow his nose on last pound note" - this lyric had been in MES' mind for a while before he used it here: it's also used on the live version of "And This Day" on "Hip Priest And Kamerads" (Hammersmith Palais, 25/03/1982).
  • 4. bzfgt | 24/06/2014
Great catch, thank you. I thought maybe "phodo-Draygo" in the last verse, a la "Pseud Mag.", but the 't' is pretty clear. So "photo-Draygo"...I wish I had more to say about this song, but I don't really know what's going on.
Rusty Shackleford
  • 5. Rusty Shackleford | 19/11/2014
To me, it sounds as though Mark is saying "Draygo's guilt still happens", rather than "Draygo's guilt still apparent". I'm pretty sure he adds a syllable (as he so often does) so it actually sounds more like "happens-ah"
  • 6. bzfgt | 23/11/2014
I just listened and I think you're right except for the second chorus, so I changed it accordingly...
  • 7. Zack | 10/01/2017
Believe it or not, "Draygo's Guilt" predates "And This Day" - "DG" was performed live years before it was recorded in the studio, and the "last pound note" line appears in the version on the Live at Leeds DVD from 1981.
  • 8. dannyno | 10/02/2017
Some info on the band Victor Drago:


  • 9. dannyno | 12/02/2017
There's a 1988 short story by Tanith Lee, entitled "The Kingdoms of the Air" (first published in Weird Tales, #291, Summer 1988) which includes the line:

And from the lip of the chalice there ran a stream of blood, but the blood was like liquid gold and it blazed brighter than he sun

Now Tanith Lee is/was a pretty well known genre writer. And so I got all excited, but it seems the story's first appearance was 1988, and not earlier. Nonetheless, I wonder if "blood like liquid gold" is a commonish trope in this kind of writing? And if so, what might it represent?
  • 10. dannyno | 12/08/2017
Rob Waite's article, "Notebooks Out" in "The Biggest Library Yet", issue #18, January 2000, p6, notes that "Draygo's Guilt" appeared "on the odd set list under the guise 'The Lou Reed One", and records musical similarity to Reed's "Vicious".
  • 11. Doc | 21/04/2019
A spiritual king has to rise or perish

Ecclesiastes 3 'Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?'
  • 12. Arnold | 21/04/2019
The band Victor Drago can be heard here:


It's bloody awful stuff, one song containing the line, ' you've got to whip the bitch.'
Don't think it has anything to do with the song.Unless he is guilty over having made a bloody awful record.
  • 13. dannyno | 30/08/2019
Simon Ford's The Fall, suggests that the riff is borrowed from Amon Düül II's Luzifers Ghilom (p137, note 35), off their album Phallus Dei.
  • 14. bzfgt (link) | 31/08/2019
Nah, I don;'t think so, unless there's a part I'm missing....there is a bit at the beginning of Luzifers Ghilom that sounds like the Jefferson Airplane's Volunteers, which was cribbed from the Dead's St. Stephen...
Hexen Blumenthal
  • 15. Hexen Blumenthal | 17/12/2019
This is music totally of Simon Duppree of the Big Sound Kites fame "Reservations"
  • 16. Bob | 27/01/2020
Gary Lomax, singer of Victor Drago was also a photographer (Photo Drago?) according to this and lived in Rossendale (in the hills):


“He was really very artistic. You would never forget him – he was very charismatic and a big personality. He became quite well known for his art and photography. He was always in bands and was quite good friends with The Fall and Joy Division – he was in that circle. He was an all-round creative person.

“Some of his photography is in the Victoria and Albert museum, which is brilliant because it is prestigious. He got offered a deal to work for Vogue taking pictures, but he decided to have a family instead. He was a real family man.”

Don't know what he was guilty about though.

Variant from Janice Long session:

'And a man called James, still dreams of photo Drago'

'Scan window menus and walk away,' sounds autobiographical (Mark was broke at this time).

John Leckie talking about the recording of the track:

  • 17. Bob | 27/01/2020
“He would have jammed with all the main bands on the Manchester scene and his photographs were used for loads of album covers.

“People like Marc Riley, Eddie Fenn and Terry Swaizland were his best friends.”

  • 18. bzfgt (link) | 01/02/2020
Excellent stuff! I can't get the Telegraph page to save in Wayback unfortunately.
Bob Osborne
  • 19. Bob Osborne (link) | 03/09/2020
Chatting about the 1980 Cyprus Tavern gigs with Victor Draygo today with Dan reminded me that German Shepherd Records have released an album of Gary Lomax's work - as The Waterfoot Dandy. It was compiled by Eddie Fenn after Gary sadly passed away a few years back. It's interesting! A very loose connection to Draygo's Guilt but I thought some people might want to have a listen

  • 20. bzfgt (link) | 06/09/2020
Thanks, Bob!
  • 21. bzfgt (link) | 06/09/2020
The band seems to have been named "Victor Drago," not "Victor Draygo"


  • 22. dannyno | 02/11/2020
Don't know whether there's a connection or not, but for the record here is the cover of first issue of Tornado, a comic which lasted for just 22 issues March-August 1979. This first issue is also the first appearance of Victor Drago (who didn't survive the merger with 2000 AD), image of first page also attached.



  • 23. dannyno | 02/11/2020
I found a Gary Lomax photo in the V&A (comment #16, by Bob). I presume it is the Victor Drago Gary Lomax.


  • 24. dannyno | 03/11/2020
The first documented performance of this song was at the Cyprus Tavern, Manchester, on 14 May 1980. The Fall were supported on the night by the band Victor Drago.

Victor Drago had supported The Fall a number of times by then, eg:

Eric's, Liverpool, 8 November 1979

Norbreck Castle Hotel, Blackpool, 10 November 1979

Porterhouse, Retford, 16 November 1979
Jumper Clown
  • 25. Jumper Clown | 03/11/2020
This is surely about the Italian goalkeeper Giulio Drago who feigned injury to get Manchester City's Dennis Tueart sent off in a pre-season friendly in the early eighties.
  • 26. dannyno | 03/11/2020
An error in note 1, but actually my error from comment #2.

I said that the story "Kelly's Eye" was from the same comic as Victor Drago. But it wasn't. Looking at the blog again now, "Kelly's Eye" is from an issue of Valiant from 1964, a good 15 years before Tornado appeared.

Pretty bad mistake on my part, which I can't explain. Maybe the blog post got updated. Yeah, let's say that's what happened.
  • 27. dannyno | 03/11/2020
Jumper Clown, comment #24.

The song's documented debut was on 14 May 1980.

At that time, Giulio Drago was playing for Valle d'Aosta. Who never played Manchester City (as far as I can see).

So unless you have any more information that I can check out, the suggestion doesn't seem plausible.
  • 28. GL | 13/12/2020
I always thought it was 'auto-Draygo' - and 'A bomb the hills'
  • 29. bzfgt (link) | 07/02/2021
Yeah would be good to connect that Kelly's Eye to Bingo Master
Michael Nath
  • 30. Michael Nath (link) | 15/07/2022
I fancy the riff comes from a Campbell's Meatballs ad of the 70s (this cannot be confirmed online).
  • 31. dannyno | 31/10/2022
Lyric sheets to this have turned up in 29 November 2022 Omega Auctions lot 413



What is typed may not be what was performed in the studio, but still this repays some attention and another listen.

"Draygo's guilt, still apparent" rather than "Draygo's guilt still happens"

"How long John been, at our place" rather than "How long is long in a hellish place?"

"He left to-day after draining us dry" rather than "And dreams today are draining us dry"

And so on...
  • 32. dannyno | 10/11/2022
However, this version of the lyrics, or close to it, is what I can hear in some live versions.

e.g. Beach Club, Manchester, 28 May 1980; Nelson Railway Workers Institute, 29 Aug 1980; Acklam Hall, 12 December 1980; Derby Hall, Bury, 27 April 1982; Hacienda, 17 December 1983.

By the time you get to De Doelen/Pandora's Music Box, 22 September 1984, the lyrics are closer to the studio version.
  • 33. dannyno | 10/11/2022
Hm, lost a post.

Just to say that having listened to the track, it's not the lyrics on the studio version. It doesn't sound like it might be "hey from the hills" rather than "hate from the hills", though
Killer Civil Servant
  • 34. Killer Civil Servant | 21/10/2023
Point of order # 324
Sit still
Hate from the hills=
Distilled hate from the hills

Point of order # 378
Blood was clear=
Blood runs thinner

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