December 13, 2010

Twenty-eight years ago: "It's like 1954."

"I went to see them twice ... They played twice in Christchurch. August 1982. They were frightening, absolutely frightening. It was amazing to see. They had two drummers and you don't often see a band with two drummers. There's something inherently worrying [about it].
"They were incredibly well-drilled. Maryrose Crook, who had a bit to do with the organisation of the tour at the Christchurch end, said that they were like Mark E Smith and a rugby league team. That's how it worked. Basically there was a bunch of boys who just wanted to drink beer and talk about football and Mark E Smith, who was completely running the show. He clicked his fingers and they did stuff. Which didn't last long: he clicked his fingers once too often at Marc Riley. He [Riley] was photographed at Christchurch International Airport arriving and they put his picture in the paper, which I think the Fall found absolutely unbelievable. They had Totally Wired as a single, which went top 20 if not top 10.
"As soon as some friends heard they were coming, they rushed out and on this billboard on the south end of Colombo Street, in Sydenham, they sprayed up in huge letters, "Bang Fucking Bang! The Mighty Fall Are Coming!'' Which indicated the level of excitement. They are one of the greatest things ever in rock music. Who could not be profoundly influenced by the Fall? Only someone with cloth ears.''

-- Bruce Russell, during a Wire Invisible Jukebox with the Dead C, 2007 (suitably murky audio here). I would love to see a photo of that billboard, if one exists. Jonathan Ganley at Point This Thing has two great posts on the 1982 tour as it hit Auckland, here and here.