Tag Archives: sonic youth

Death Valley 69 by Sonic Youth (Homestead Records)

I’M PRETTY sure that Death Valley 69 was the first Sonic Youth record I ever bought, prompted by hearing it on John Peel’s radio show or reading about it in fanzines and the NME – the principal arbiters of my tastes in those days.

It was a lovely little package. Its front cover features a vintage Savage Pencil grotesque on a bright pink background, while the reverse has a photo of the band in the back of a candy-pink pick-up truck, in an airport, at night. I thought it was an impossibly glamorous scene.

In fact Thurston Moore’s look – a hooded top with khaki jacket over it, couture fans – exerted a strong influence on my own fashion choices for a good five years afterwards.

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Sonic Youth

THIS is a reprint of an interview with Sonic Youth I did for Airstrip*6 fanzine in mid 1987. Note fake Americanisms and early cut-and-paste plagiarism.

* * *

“BOLLOCKS!”

Thurston Moore, one quarter of  this week’s ‘Best Band in the World Ever’, Sonic Youth, darts round the table and half yells, half belches into my tape recorder.

Everyone’s a critic.

We’re in Nottingham for the second night of the UK leg of Sonic Youth’s Sister tour – I’ve yet to hear the album itself – and ever since the band arrived in Britain earlier in the week, it’s been wall-to-wall interviews.

Add to the interview OD a bad sound for the gig they’ve played minutes earlier, the remnants of some fierce transatlantic jet-lag, a couple of bottles of Johnny Walker firewater and the result isn’t exactly the best situation for your friendly neighbourhood fanzine ediot.

The previous night at the Town & Country Club in London had been everything anyone could ask for. It was a swirling, twirling delirious circus of a gig, everything that rock’n’roll should be and more besides. As if to emphasise that, the venerable old granddaddy of punk himself put in an appearance too. As the man Moore said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr Jimmy Osterburg!”

“Cuz Ah wanna be your dawg …”

The best rock’n’roll singer in the world backed by the best rock’n’roll band in the world? I do know that, if Iggy had a band like Sonic Youth behind him permanently, Bowie and his Glass Spider tour wouldn’t be worth a pinch of shit.

Search & Destroy would’ve been nice, but heck, I touched the great man’s leather clad arse during a bit of mid-song crowd surfing. What do I care?

So let’s not mess around here. Do the Sonic Youth have any plans to record with Iggy Pop?

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Filed under expletive undeleted, interviews