The Paris Valentinos

The Paris Valentinos were Kevin Williams (later Kevin Kennedy aka Curly Watts of Corornation Street fame) on vocals and bass guitar, Johnny (Maher) Marr on guitar, Andy Rourke on second guitar and Bobby Durkin on drums. They played local church halls.


The Paris ValentinosJubilee Party – Greenwood Road, Benchill, UK – June 1977
Played Sam Cooke’s ‘Bring It On Home To Me’

(Johnny Marr) Maher and (Andy) Rourke team up with Bobby Durkin and Kevin William (later Kevin Kennedy aka Curly Watts of Corornation Street fame) in a local group, The Paris Valentinos. “It was a very young band,” Kennedy recalls. “We used to play Tom Petty covers and Rory Gallagher numbers. Johnny was well into Rory Gallagher and he got me into him. In fact, I’ve still got Johnny’s first guitar – it was an old Rory Gallagher copy, battered beyond recognition.”

The Paris Valentinos secure their first gig at a Jubilee Party in Greenwood Road, Benchill. Their repertoire consists mainly of Thin Lizzy and Rolling Stones’ covers, with some Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers and Rod Stewart’s ‘Maggie May’ thrown in for good measure. The set is followed by cider drinking binge, after which the lads stagger home in triumph.

The Smiths The Visual Documentary by Johnny Rogan, 1994

The Irish Times – 7 October 2016
‘At 14, watching Johnny Marr play guitar in his bedroom was a privilege’ by Conor Pope
Interview with Kevin Kennedy

We had a band when we were about twelve, or something, and we had more names than we did songs.

Johnny Marr at AOL Chat Room, 2001

The Paris Valentinos drew on the kind of no-nonsense rock that appealed to their age group at this juncture, just before punk threw the marketplace wide open: ‘Breakdown’ by the new American band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and ‘The Boys Are Back in Town’ by Ireland’s Thin Lizzy…Marr also brought in Rory Gallagher’s ‘Moonchild’ and ‘Shadowplay’, and as he did so, Kennedy was blown away by his friend’s ability. “He was superb, really beautiful and melodic and not as harsh as what was about at the time.”

A Light That Never Goes Out by Tony Fletcher, 2012