bruno wizard has been keeping the true spirit of punk alive for 40 years

From his days in The Homosexuals to ending up broke and homeless, Bruno has done a lot and seen even more.

Feb 9 2015, 9:20am

"A real punk is not an establishment punk," rattles 64-year-old Bruno Wizard, lead singer of British punk band The Homosexuals, "it's got nothing to do with listening to The Clash or being in London in 1976." It's not something that can be simply defined, for Bruno (born Bruno Alex McQuillan) the true spirit of punk lies in the rejection of all things socially conditioned. A witness to the birth of punk culture, Bruno found fame in the late 70s with his legendary live performances at the Roxy. "I have a wonderful relationship with words,'' he muses, ''as a child I used to sit and listen to the stars sing." 

Despite being a leading member of the Warren Street mafia, and a regular on the Blitz Kid club scene, Bruno's loathing of the establishment and mainstream music industry led him to reject any record deal that came his way. Desperate to widen the doors of perception, it wasn't long before Bruno fell into the clutches of addiction. 

Aged 59 he was broke, homeless, and living in a shelter. But after a chance meeting with filmmaker Elisabeth Rasmussen - who fell so in love with his incredible story that she captured it in a documentary called The Heart of Bruno Wizard - Bruno started to rebuild his life from scratch. Fast-forward to today and not only have Bruno and his band returned to the stage, he is also currently starring in Selfridge's Bright Old Things, an inspiring campaign that aims to promote life's second chances and prove that creativity isn't something that's age-defined. Bruno is back, long live the Wizard!


Text Tish Weinstock
Film still the heart of Bruno Wizard