Another show at the famed First Avenue. We were still getting a hang of the place. We were looking forward to seeing Soul Asylum, a local band that had some good buzz. John had heard they did a cover of Sex Pistols’ ‘Bodies’, but they didn’t play it that night.
John remembers some fellow in the crowd shouting, “Loud Fast Rules!” Which, of course, was Soul Asylum’s original name.
What I remember is Dave Pirner having difficulty with his guitar strings. He kept breaking them. Normally, musicians play through a string break, but, for some reason, Dave couldn’t do that. He would stop and hand the guitar to the tech and wait for it to be restrung or for another guitar. And the rest of the band stopped playing. It made things appear very amateurish.
That’s how I remember it, anyway.
John and I planted ourselves at the side of the stage and stood on the first level up from the main floor. We were very close to the front, close enough to see behind the screen to watch the folks setting up the stage.
We were at Billy Zoom’s side of the stage. He took his spot behind the still lowered screen, while a couple of gals were peeking under it to catch a glimpse of the stylish guitarist. He would playfully slip the toe his boot out toward them and give the girls a thrill.
We were still a little leery of the slam dancing, so we didn’t venture onto the main floor. This turned out to be a smart decision. As John reminded me, it was a very violent crowd. We had a couple of punks jump past us just to join the scrum. They nearly sent us flying in order to get to the pit.
X was tight and rockin’. I didn’t know much of their stuff, but it was cool to see them.
This was my 20th birthday and I didn’t even try to get in free.
You will probably notice that many of the early shows that we attended found me awfully ignorant of a lot of the bands’ music. This was mainly because John and I were just finding these bands, buying some of their stuff and then going to see them right away. After some time we’d learned a lot more about the bands we were seeing. Especially those bands that we would see several times.
The Church is a good example of one of those bands. What I knew of The Church was the song ‘Electric Lash’ and some of their album ‘Remote Luxury’. John bought that album after asking the record store manager about them. She told us that they were “one of your best new wave bands.”
Well, they were very good live. I seem to recall that there was an extra guitarist with the group. Every time that we’d seen them since it was just the four members of the band.
I didn’t know much of what I was hearing, but it didn’t matter. Their material was so good that I liked it immediately. Some bands can do that, but they are rare.
The one thing I remember about Summer of Love, the opening act, is that I was intrigued by the very pretty woman who played the cello.
This was waaaay before that annoying, incredibly overplayed Bridge song.
John picked up their first album because it was produced by one of our guitar heroes, Andy Gill. It’s an odd little album and I really dig ‘True Men Don’t Kill Coyotes’. Very funky.
John and I brought our friend, Kelly, along to this one. I’m not sure why. It was a good thing we did though, because the club was pretty empty that night. The Peppers needed all the audience they could get.
I recall Anthony Kiedis saying that the critics thought the band was a joke. “That’s because we are a joke!” was he proud response. Aim for those stars, Anthony!
We hung in there for a few songs and left. I’m not sure if they wore shirts. Probably not.
John knew this band better than I, but I still enjoyed the show. They played a mix of their current stuff and some of their old English Beat material. General Public was formed by at least two of the members of English Beat, Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling.
Ranking Roger was sporting that striped hairdo and hopping all over the stage. The audience was doing a bit of hopping, too. They really got hopping when General Public played ‘Save It For Later’, the big hit for English Beat.
Here’s one of those shows that brings nothing to mind other than I think it was in the 7th Street Entry. It’s not that they weren’t a good band, I just don’t remember anything.