4th December 1976 – Bob "Derwood" Andrews plays in an alternative band called Paradox, when Billy Idol notices him at their successful Fulham Arts Centre gig. In a matter of few days he is recruited to join Generation X as permanent guitarist.
June 1977 – Mark Laffoley a.k.a. "Mark Laff" joins Generation X as new drummer.
April 1979 – Derwood decides on "EMPIRE" as a name for a new band.
May 1979 – Derwood leaves Generation X for the first time, then rejoins Idol & Co. for a very successful Japanese tour and the (later discarded) recording of the third album, 'Sweet Revenge'.
19th Dec 1979 – Andrews leaves Generation X for the second and last time.
23rd Jan 1980 – Laff is sacked from Generation X. Artistic and managerial divergences.
March through May 1980 – Andrews and Laff record the Jimmy Pursey solo album, 'Imagination Camouflage'.
25th June 1980 – EMPIRE record 5 demo songs at a studio in Wimbledon, London. Andrews on vocals, guitar and bass, Laff on drums. Michael Gregovich is the engineer.
8th July 1980 – EMPIRE is registered as a business name.
22nd July 1980 – Simon Bernal joins EMPIRE on bass.
8th Oct 1980 – EMPIRE start recording 'Expensive Sound' at Alvic studios, West Kensington.
16th Oct 1980 – Final mixes of 'Expensive Sound'. A slightly different mixed version of the album is also preserved on tape.
1st Nov 1980 – 'Imagination Camouflage' is released.
16th Jan 1981 – EMPIRE sign contract with Dinosaur Discs.
6th Feb 1981 – EMPIRE play first gig at Guildford Tech, supporting Hazel O’Connor.
24th April 1981 – EMPIRE release first single, 'Hot Seat/All These Things'.
18th May 1981 – 'Expensive Sound' is released. Record release "party" at The Pits, two shows.
25th June 1981 – EMPIRE leave Dinosaur Discs and the management.
1st Oct 1981 – EMPIRE sack Simon Bernal.
30th Oct 1981 – EMPIRE play first gig with Ian Woodcock on bass. Marquee Club. The trio also records some new songs in studio.
3rd Nov 1981 – 2nd and final gig with Ian Woodcock. Marquee Club.
Early 1982 – Woodcock is sacked, Michael "Mike" Gregovich is taught the bass guitar, Babel Wallace joins EMPIRE on vocals.
29th July 1982 – EMPIRE play first gig with Andrews/Laff/Gregovich/Wallace.
31st July – 27th Jan 1983 – 12 gigs around London.
9th Feb 1983 – Mark Laff quits.
12th Feb 1983 – EMPIRE play gig with drum machine.
18th Feb 1983 – EMPIRE play gig with drum machine, first ever encore.
26th Feb 1983 – EMPIRE play first gig with Crispin Taylor on drums.
26th Feb – 4th Oct 1983 – 20 shows around London. Becoming NEW EMPIRE toward the end. Usually Babel dedicates the song 'Means Of Anything' to his girlfriend Sarah Macaulay (the future wife of Prime Minister Gordon Brown and first lady of England). NEW EMPIRE record the white label 12’’ 'Inside You/Love Is Out Of Fashion' around May, along with many tracks for a hypothetical album.
5th Oct – 16th Oct 1983 – NEW EMPIRE support on the Roman Holliday tour.
27th Oct – 5th Nov 1983 – Spanish tour, 5 shows. The band pulls big numbers.
29th Nov – 24th Jan 1984 – NEW EMPIRE play 6 shows.
26th Jan – 12th Feb 1984 – NEW EMPIRE support John Miles on tour, 32 shows.
12th Feb 1984 – NEW EMPIRE play last show at the Slough Fulcrum Centre and quit the tour. Derwood, unsatisfied with the new musical direction and the financial issues related to the tour (according to Wallace, expensive costs), abruptly disbands NEW EMPIRE.
1986 – Highway 61 Records re-releases the 'Expensive Sound' LP in America.
6th June 2003 – Poorly Packaged Products (run by Sean Randolph) re-releases 'Expensive Sound', for the first time ever on CD format. This deluxe edition also features 7 previously-unreleased post-Bernal tracks and 4 live cuts from the original trio.
2006 – Derwood and Laff reunite as EMPIRE for a last stand and re-record 'Hot Seat' to commemorate the 25th anniversary of 'Expensive Sound'.
2009 – Poorly Packaged Products finally releases via digital distribution the bulk of NEW EMPIRE's material under the name 'Volume II - Expansive Sound', including their never released before 1983 album (10 tracks), covers and live cuts.
2011 – EMPIRE briefly reform as a power trio: Derwood, Wallace and American drummer Jerry Judd. They record a brand-new song, 'Bed Head', to be featured on the Babel Wallace solo compilation 'Good Things Can Happen' along with three rediscovered 1983 NEW EMPIRE tracks.
Main infos provided by Derwood, photographs by Simon Palmour.