'Jilted John' was a short-lived pop alter-ego of Graham Fellows
, in his pre-John Shuttleworth
days. It was also the title of his biggest hit, although many people know it by the repeated line 'Gordon is a moron'. The song is a small soap opera set to simple punk music, in part a parody of over-wrought ballads such as 'MacArthur Park
' and 'Leader of the Pack
'. It was produced by Martin Hannett
, shortly before he became associated with a new band from Manchester, Joy Division
The song reached number 4 in the UK pop charts in 1978, and prompted an 'answer' single called 'Gordon's not a moron' by 'Julie and Gordon' - actually Alan Blakley of The Tremeloes. Jilted John, the character, produced an album called 'True Love Stories', which was released in 1979 and was out of print for a very long time, until being re-released in 2001, with bonus tracks. After releasing the album Fellows moved on to other things, Jilted John being now remembered as a punk novelty.
The song itself was reminiscent of the shouty, now deeply unfashionable style of Sham 69, and what would later become 'Oi!', with noticeable tape hiss and an extremely simple riff (simpler even than 'Louie Louie'). Some have held up the song, and Fellow's use of a character-based narrative, as a distant ancestor of the work of Pulp, or the Buzzcock's later, more reflective work.