Adamson founded The Skids in 1977, when he was 18. Adamson and Simpson first recruited drummer Thomas Kellichan. They played as a trio
around Dunfermline and Edinburgh until running into “the only other punk in town” on a street corner, 16-year-old Richard Jobson. Jobson was recruited as a frontman; Adamson and Jobson both wrote songs for the band.
The Skids’ biggest success was the single “Into the Valley” in 1979, which did well in the UK charts, and still regularly appears in anthologies. The band had four singles chart in the UK that year. Adamson was involved with three of their four albums, leaving in 1980 before Joy. Jobson’s influence had increased in the band, which may have led to the increasing disputes between the two artists.
Six years later, Adamson reported he had suffered a nervous breakdown at around this point in his life. He seems to have kept any such problems deeply private though. Jobson later said “This was a guy who had a mortgage, a wife and a family when we were all trying to live some mythic punk lifestyle. He seemed level-headed, grounded.”
Adamson was a large part of The Skids’ sound, which set it apart from many of the punk/New Wave bands of the period, including slow riffs, as opposed to speedily played ones, which anticipated Black Flag and Grunge’s “slow punk
The teenage Adamson taught himself to play electric guitar. Always introspective, he needed an aggressive, in-yer-face front man. He found
him in Richard Jobson, a young tearaway from Ballingry who had been a member of Dunfermline’s notorious AV Toi gang in Abbeyview.
The Skids played their first live gig at the Belleville Hotel in Dunfermline on August 19, 1977. In the next few months, they took the Fife circuit by storm. Seeking greater success, they went to London – and found it in a succession of hit singles such as The Saints Are Coming, Working for the Yankee Dollar, Masquerade and Into the Valley, which sold 250,000 copies.
They also produced a stunning debut album in Scared to Dance.
The Skids’ raucous reputation was strengthened when Jobson arrived for a Top of the Pops slot with a bruised face and missing tooth from a fight. At the same performance, the band was accused of spitting at The Nolan Sisters.
Jobson says: ‘Being in the Skids gave me the same buzz as the fighting.
Aggressive showmanship, that’s what it was all about. I used to end up fighting the whole audience, I got stabbed and stuff.’ The violence was fuelled by alcohol and the lifestyle sustained by it. It all became too much for Adamson, who was drinking more and more heavily. In 1981, after a breakdown, he quit the band. He said: ‘I left the Skids because I hated the lifestyle.’ Adamson and Jobson had never been that close. In a joint interview, Adamson admitted it was less a friendship and more a song writing partnership, saying: ‘ me and Richard don’t really communicate on a street level. We don’t think, “Yeah, we’ll go down to the pub and get mortal and have a good laugh”. But we have the same ideas about song writing.’ Years later, Jobson summed it all up neatly: ‘Stuart was a proper musician; I was just a chancer’ after leaving the Skids, Adamson headed back to Dunfermline. Throughout his life, he always headed back to Dunfermline.