A time-slide of a 17-year-old Lister with his band at the Aigburth Arms, c.2172 (Timeslides, Series III)

Smeg and the heads

Smeg and the Heads

Smeg and the Heads was a rock band fronted by Dave Lister during his teenage years. ("Timeslides")

The band consisted of Lister on lead vocals, Gazza on the bass guitar and Dobbin on drums. Lister was going through a "Sham Glam" phase and wore outrageous sparkly outfits. Gazza was a neo-Marxist, nihilistic anarchist while Dobbin was a crazy, whacked out hippy.

They had a very limited repertoire of interminable songs written by Lister, typified by "Om", a repetitious mess of noise that somehow got the band some gigs at the Aigburth Arms.

According to Rimmer, people who heard the "Om" song formed self help groups. It got some playtime on hospital radio, and a number of people came out of their comas, packed their bags and went home. ("Krytie TV") Despite this awful catalogue, Lister was convinced that the band would become enormously famous and wealthy, starting with selling memorabilia from Dobbin's car.

Eventually, the band split before they hit the big time. Gazza joined a large insurance firm and got his own parking space. Dobbin became a police officer and achieved a high rank in the Freemasons.

When Lister altered history to make himself obscenely rich, he purchased three million copies of "Om" and made himself go to number one in the charts. Only to use them as ash trays. ("Timeslides")

His opinion on his past work has been mixed, with him showing embarrassment of it in "Timeslides", and describing his past self as "crap", but he later showed a more positive opinion of "Om" in "Krytie TV" (it must be noted that Lister was dealing with a bout of despair over the state of his life in "Timeslides", however). Lister also later reflected that what the band lacked technically, they made up for in "loudness", and noted that after their performances people were left with a ringing in their ears, which he confidently claimed never went away. ("Dear Dave")

One of Lister's ex-girlfriends, Hayley Summers, dated him during his time with the band, and left for a "dream job" on Callisto when the band didn't make it big time; Hayley was potentially a groupie of the band. ("Dear Dave")

Behind the scenes

The three members of Smeg and the Heads were played by Emile Charles (Craig Charles' younger brother), Jeffrey Walker and Bill Steer (members of real life band Carcass).