The Professionals were an English punk rock band in the late 1970s and early 1980s formed by ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook after that band's demise.
The Professionals were formed in 1979 by guitarist Steve Jones and drummer Paul Cook, both formerly of the Sex Pistols. In the previous year Johnny Rotten had left the Sex Pistols, and Jones had supplied lead vocals for late Sex Pistols recordings of the songs "Silly Thing" and "Lonely Boy". For these recordings Lightning Raiders bassist Andy Allen was employed as a session musician. After the Sex Pistols officially split and broke ties with manager Malcolm McLaren, this line up was resurrected as The Professionals, and signed to the Sex Pistols old label Virgin Records.
In July 1980 The Professionals released their first single "Just Another Dream," followed by a second single "1-2-3" in October, which reached No. 43 in the UK Singles Charts. Shortly after the second singles release Allen left the band and was replaced by Subway Sect bassist Paul Meyers. Ray McVeigh also joined the band as a second guitarist.
This same lineup recorded another single, "Join the Professionals", which was released in June 1981. Later that year, the song was featured in the movie Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains along with three other Cook/Jones compositions, "Conned Again", "La La La", and "Don't Blow It All the Way".
Following his departure, Andy Allen sued Virgin Records claiming he had never been paid by them. In response to this, the new line-up of The Professionals re-recorded previous material so that Allen would not be owed any further royalties. The band brought in producer Nigel Gray to help record this material for their first full length album, the result was I Didn't See It Coming released in November 1981.
The album was supported by U.K. and U.S. tour dates, and the release of a single for the song "The Magnificent". But the band's American tour was cut short when Cook, Meyers, and McVeigh were injured in a car accident.
After a hiatus for recovery, the band returned to America in the Spring of 1982. They were offered a spot opening on tour for The Clash, but declined and broke up.
A best of album was eventually released in 2005, containing material from their one album, four singles, and the albums-worth of demos recorded with Andy Allen.
Their song "Black Leather" was covered by The Runaways on their 1978 album, And Now... The Runaways; and by Guns N' Roses on their 1993 album, "The Spaghetti Incident?".Joan Jett and the Blackhearts also released a live version of "Black Leather" on their Fetish album. Their song "Join The Professionals" was covered by the Epoxies.