Sunday, October 16, 2011


Another beautiful weekend here in Colorado, especially since I no longer have to worry about home renovation projects.  Evenings are very pleasant, the cool, clear nights making for especially nice virtual concerts.  Since the evening temps are dropping, I assume peoples windows are closed, allowing me to crank it up in the driveway instead of driving the truck behind the house into the trees.  No trip to Jack Jensen this week since, well, I have no more room to hang up his paintings!

Pushed under the waves
Of responsibility
Drowns under its weight

There on deaths cold bed
And with that final exhale
Forgets what to say

Clock that's stopped ticking
Darkened room feels so empty
Left there all alone

Friday at 10 PM I stepped outside for a two hour long show with Uncle Johnny, Public Image Limited performing a live show at The Corporation in Sheffield, UK on June 6, 2011.  A very good audience recording, suffering only from the loud chatter in the vicinity of the taper.  I love the recent recordings of PIL, Lydon's voice having been tempered over the years to something I find very pleasing.  By midnight I had no energy to continue on with another show.

"I fucking love me brandy!  So much too, cause it's what gets this voice [unintelligible] what it tis."

The doors are closing
White coats out of cheap options
Lead him to the exit

Mind tortured with pain
Wind rushing through her white hair
Suddenly forgets

A glimpse of that child
Standing there so far away
Across the river

Put on priestly robes
Politicians masquerade
No heaven down here

Download it here:

Saturday night saw me doing the same thing out on the driveway, but this time starting off with Morphine, Live Morning Becomes Eclectic, a recording of a radio broadcast out of Santa Monica, CA on January 14, 1993, the band scheduled to appear in a local club at 10 PM that evening.  Excellent sound and the interview of Mark Sandman only added to the enjoyment of listening to it.

Download it here:

I was waiting a long time for this next one.  Public Image Limited's infamous show at The Ritz in NYC on May 15, 1981, substituting for another band that had backed out of the show. The show is planned, not be a rock n roll gig, but to be a "video performance", PiL playing behind a large screen, on which pre-taped video footage is projected. But the audience doesn't get it and after being goaded long enough, riots. Great sounding show, lots of laughs from Johnny's provocative humor, listen to the bottles smashing!

Download it here:

Keith Levine: I told [the venue]...'We'll do the gig if we can use all the equipment and do a video gig.' They said, 'What's a video gig?' - I was making this up as I was going along - and I said...'You should advertise it as a Public Image Ltd Video Appearance Live.'  They said it didn't make sense - 'You can't appear on video live.'  I told them, 'You watch us do it.'...It turned out the Ritz was a 'Bridge and Tunnel' club.  I had no idea - I was expecting a New York audience.  So I had an audience that had more or less come to see the Sex Pistols...[Lydon, though,] sussed out the demographic of the audience, [and] he started playing whatever would piss them off, just to get a response.

Clinton Heylin says:

Lydon, Levine and their co-opted drummer, Sam, had no intention of performing any kind of ordinary set.  Having set up behind a video screen, they began banging the odd drum and hitting an occasional guitar string, while Lydon persistently goaded the crowd.  After a perfunctory attempt at 'Banging The Door', Lydon - still behind the screen - asked 'Did you like that? Is that what you want?  Are you getting your money's worth  Isn't this what rock & roll's all about, maaan?'  The audience finally did what it was being provoked to do, and PiL's 'performance' broke Suicide's previous record, instigating a full-scale riot barely fifteen minutes after Lydon sauntered behind the screen.

Ed Carabello, who arranged the gig wrote:

The whole band's behind the screen and Keith starts playing and the drummer's playing this celtic rhythm to start the show. Then Keith starts playing the record 'Flowers of Romance.' He cranked it up and took all the equalization out of it- it sounded so cacaphonous. I started pulsating the parcan lights. It was really eerie and screechy. The crowd just loved it- they fell silent. You just saw the glow and the lights flashing. Keith's guitar was feeding back, playing off the record that was on and John was just silent throughout this whole thing. He just stood next to Keith. You could only see the silhouettes of them and the projections of them on the screen. The crowd is just loving this, thinking 'what a great introduction.'

The first song ends and John starts to talk to the audience for the first time. He says 'sil-ly fuck-ing aud-ience, sil-ly fuck-ing aud-i-ence...' He's slowly taunting the audience. Now the crowd's not quiet anymore. They start chanting 'raise the screen, raise the screen, raise the screen!' John's never been one who likes to be told what to do so he's chiding the audience. He says what fuckers they were to pay 12 dollars to see this, just taunting the audience. The more they say 'raise the screen,' he says 'we're not going to raise the fucking screen!'

So the band goes into another song that was this kind of improvisational kind of thing. It seemed to be directed by the drummer! John and Keith were just doing their thing. John made those sounds with his voice, almost like a yodelling type of thing. Keith is doing this screechy, primal sounding thing with his guitar, almost like a jazz number. They go through this and it's a ten minute number. The crowd is kind of liking it but you could hear them add their two cents by syncopating the rhythm with 'raise the screen! raise the screen!' At the end of this, John is really being abusive. So the audience starts pelting the screen with beer bottles. Even in the balconies, they were throwing bottles and some of it was hitting the audience down below. The more that they threw bottles, the more that John would chide them.

The manager of the Ritz comes to me then as I'm the only member of the band that was accessible- everyone else is behind the screen. Jerry says 'you gotta raise the screen! There's a riot happening right before our eyes!' I felt like Nero watching Rome burn, seeing these bottles all over and I never realized how abusive John was to his audience. So I tell Jerry 'No, I'm not raising it. You should have advertised and said that this wasn't a concert. It's a performance art show. That is what it is, that's what they paid for and that's what we're putting on.' I was guarding the remote control switch, not letting anyone touch it. Jerry kept yelling at me to raise it and I'd yell at him that I wasn't going to do it.

Then Jerry turns to the crowd and sees something going on as they let out a collective 'aaah.' The front of the crowd started pulling on the tarp and I start getting scared because the instruments and amplifier were moving forward like they were going to go into the audience. So Jerry says 'Are you crazy? Look at that!' I said 'you're probably right.' So I raised the screen just a little bit, enough to put on the parcans full blast so that we're blinding the audience with light. For a minute, they shrink back from this huge flash of light. It looked like the screen from 'Wizard of Oz' where everyone sees the magical workings of the Wizard, like 'pay no attention to the PIL behind the screen!'

The stage hands started scrambling to get the equipment off the tarp as the audience was still pulling at it. The poor drummer was freaking out as his kit was moving. One of the stage hands grabs the mike out of John's hand and starts screaming 'THE SHOW'S OVER! THE SHOW'S OVER!' They bring the house lights on but the audience is still pulling the tarp towards them. It was like 'we want our money's worth no matter how we get it out of you!' The stage hands rushed John and Keith off the stage for safety's reasons. My camera people got out of there. The management of the Ritz took over, saying 'the show's over. That was the show. Thanks for coming.' It was kind of funny because the crowd just slowly said 'oh...OK.'

Read it all here:

Michael Millet wrote:

Finally PiL came out and the only member they set up you could see was this old guy 60 years+ who I later read they met in a music store that day to play drums. Now there was images of them on the screen they were playing behind and that was fine by me. After the first song people booed and started yelling to raise the screen. So johnny started making fun of them and egging them on. "oh I can't see them.". "I'm not getting my monies worth". ect ect. People got madder as the the show went on and bottles of Molson went flying at and over the screen. Not to mention at the senior citizen drummers head. It was obvious something worse was going to take place. Some of my friends left but I decided to stay. There were a couple of more tunes. I think it was a total of 15 minutes of music. Bottles were flying and the $10,000.00 Ritz video screen was within grabbing distance of the audience who had camped out 9 hours to experience this. The band could tell the screen was being pulled on so they started saying "You destroy that screen, we'll destroy you" and other threats. Not likely.

Keith Levene came out from behind the screen to maybe say something and it got suddenly quiet. He was tackled (later found out by a bouncer) as a torrent of bottles hit the screen where he'd been standing a moment before.

A white cloth covering on the floor got pulled into the audience. All the band gear was on this covering and was knocked over as the roadies ran to keep it from going into the audience and getting stolen. The screen went along with it into the crowd. The club security almost saved it. But it was ripped down and stretched about 20 feet in a tug of war between the bouncers and the kids. I will say here the fabric was surprisingly strong yet light! :)

At this point the bouncers started hitting people with truncheons. I saw a guy on the floor and he was bleeding from a head wound. I helped him walk to the stage right door and banged on it. They opened the door and security took him in. They asked me if he was hit by a bottle or a bouncer's truncheon. Seems they all had rubber covered plastic or metal clubs about 6 - 8 inches long. I said I didn't know. It was a head wound with a lot of blood so they thought it was probably a bouncer! They said to me he'd be OK!

Right behind this guy 3 feet away I was surprised to see the whole band.... Johnny, Keith and Jeanette Lee. They all looked very white no color. Maybe they always looked like that I don't know. I did look Johnny right in the eye and my first thought was this guy is scared to death. Then the door slammed shut so, I went to sit upstairs a bit. They were playing disco music to get people to leave. On my way out there was a line of people trying to get refunds. The bouncers chased them away. I read later a Johnny Rotten clone got beaten up outside.

Read it all here:

Saturday night was closed with a very good audience recording of Echo and The Bunnymen's live performance at Loggiato Degli Uffizi in Firenze, Italy on June 29, 1981.  A classic performance of songs off Crocodiles and Heaven Up Here.  Great show!

Download it here:

1 comment:

Overthewall91 said...

File doesn't work anymore :(.