Friday, November 5, 1982
.The Michigan Daily
<Furs talk talk talk
- -- -
By Larry Dean
T HE PSYCHEDELIC Furs are a
British quartet whose latest
album, Forever Now-which was
produced by veteran studio maestro
Todd Rundgren-is an excellent
compilation of pop tunes with a
visceral bite. Fronted by vocalist
Richard Butler, whose gravelly
voice has been likened to everyone
from Johnny' Rotten to David
Bowie, the Furs have achieved some
degree of success in America on the
strength of their prior two LPs and
their flashy live shows.
After the departure of three
members, the remaining Furs
decided to continue as a group; they
recorded Forever Now with the
help of Rundgren and some studio
musicians, including Flo and Eddie
(from the Turtles) who contributed
back-up vocals on a few tracks. One
of the three still-active band mem-
bers, guitarist John Ashton, phoned
from New York City recently to talk
about their current tour (they're ap-
pearing tonight at the Royal Oak
Music Theater in Detroit), the ex-
perience of working with Todd
Rundgren, and life as a member of
the Psychedelic Furs.
Daily: How did you come to join the
Ashton: Well, I heard a demo tape
that Richard (Butler, vocalist) and Tim
(Butler, bassist) did with some drum-
mer whose name I've forgotten. I think
it was "We Love You" (from their
debut album). Anyway, I really liked
what I heard, so I went by Richard's
one day to hear them rehearse. I was
amazed-they really blew me away! I
had been in London for about a year
then-the punk thing was well over by
that time (1979), but you could still hear
traces of it in the music that everybody
was playing. I was really into what you
might call "head music," and this stuff
they were doing-it was something
I'd been playing guitar for a
while-just me in my living room. I
hadn't been in a band before. They
asked me to sit in on the rehearsal and
by the time the night was through, they
asked me if I'd like to join.
Daily: Why did Roger Morris
(Guitar) and Duncan Kilburn (sax)
leave the group?
A: Roger and Duncan left because.. .
In the studio we try to put the songs
together as a group. Richard might
have a melody he worked up on the
piano or that he hums, and we work
from that-most of our songs start from
a simple little riff and build from there.
They left because they weren't putting
in enough input. . . They were sort of
standing around waiting for things to
D: What about (drummer) Vince
A: He's in Boston. He has it in his
head that he wants to be a producer,
work with some local groups.
D: Who's the new drummer?
A: Phil Calvert. He used to be with
the Birthday Party.
D: What are you doing live for the
A: Gary Windo is touring with us-he
did the Forever Now sessions. We also
have a friend of mine on keyboards, Ed
Buller-I met him in a music shop in
Soho. He's not officially a member yet
but we're considering adding him.
D: What about the celloes?
A: Ann Sheldon is playing cello. She
did the album, too. She's from Wood-
stock, where Todd's studio is located.
D: Tell me how you came to pick
Todd Rundgren as producer on Forever
A: We were in the middle of our U.S.
tour for Talk Talk Talk (their second
album). Todd came backstage at one of
our gigs and expressed interest in
producing us. Later he got with our
management and record com-
pany-they were quite pleased that he
was interested, not to mention Vince-
Rundgren is his idol. We made
arrangements to meet him in Wood-
stock, listened to some demos and stuff
he'd done for himself and other groups,
and decided we'd like to work with him.
D: I was a bit leery when I heard he
was producing your new album.
A: Yes, a lot of people were! But a
band without enough ideas-one that
isn't strong enough-will end up soun-
ding like Todd Rundgren and not
D: So you're happy with Forever
A: Very pleased, I had some doub-
ts-the usual frustrations during recor-
ding-but they were all pretty invalid.
We secured a good working relationship
D: Do you think you'll ever get the
chance to work with David Bowie (he'd
been mentioned as a possible producer
in a past interview)?
A: Sure-we'll give it strong con-
sideration. At the time he spoke with us
about it he was busy doing The
Elephant Man. Just having him offer
was quite a compliment.
D: What are your future plans?
A: My heart is with the Psychedelic
Furs. Working with a band in a produc-
tion capacity-like Vince wants to do-
is an intriguing notion, but writing with
this group provides so many different
avenues. The nucleus is the same-Tim
and Richard and me-and I'm happy
doing what I'm-doing.
D: Like to make a final comment?
A: Yeah ... Look but for something
drastically different next time.
Long or Short Haircuts
by Professionals at...
Liberty off State ........668.9329
East U. at South U........ 662-0354
Maple Village ...........761-2733'
Margaret (Lundeana Thomas), and Luke (Michiael Shane), confront their true feelings in James Baldwin's 'The Amen
Corner,' a University Players Showcase production running through November 6.
A mnCorner yen tures
-to arle andbe yond
By Mare Hodges
JAMES BALDWIN'S Amen Corner
opened Wednesday evening at the
Showcase Series. Mikell Pinkney, a
successful actor, director, and
choreographer, returned to the Univer-
sity, his alma mater, to direct this
production, and a fine production it tur-
ned out to be.
The play is strongly tied to Baldwin's
own experiences as a young man. It
follows a black woman's struggles as a
preacher in a Harlem gospel church.
This women, Margaret Alexander (per-
formed by University student Lun-
deana Thomas), is torn between her
love for God and her dissolute husband,
while attempting to keep her son and
herself protected from the harsh
realities surrounding their own lives.
.Margaret's constant denial of these
realities couses serious problems
throughout the play from which her
"Amen Corner" can no longer protect
her. Margaret's attempts to deal with
her problems sets the dramatic
storyline that Baldwin has created as a
message to the audience about the
stuggles facing black families.
The play opens on a rousing scene in
the small gospel church that comprises
two-thirds of the stage, (all action takes
place on a unit set which is the church
and home of Margaret). Margaret's
congregation sings in praise as she
stands preaching her sermon against
the evils of the world. In this first scene
we experience just a taste of the mar-
velous gospel music that resotinds
throughout the play. Thomas' execution
of Margaret Alexander, from the
0 .eelipse faol
beginning, proves her abilities as an
From the church we move down the
Margaret's kitchen, where light humor
is tossed around by Sister Moore (Anna
C. Aycox), Sister Boxer (Patricia John-
son), and her husband Brother Boxer
(Steve Dixon). These three present
refreshing humor throughout the entire
play that balances the dramatic
episodes facing Margaret.
In this kitchen scene we meet the
principle characters of the play: David,
Margaret's son who is suffering under
her overbearing protection (performed
by John Fluker), Luke (Michael
Shane), who enters as Margaret's
husband who returns after ten years of
absence, and Odessa (Carolyn Lewis-
Stone), Margaret's sister and advocate.
Any uncertainties that were facing
the audience up to this point were
definitely washed away by Michael
Shane's (Luke). His dynamically
realistic performance settled the
audience into the story and from this
point on the play progressed wonder-
fully, leading the audience through
laughs and tears.
John Fluker's performance as David
grows as his character does. What
begins as a seemingly uneasy effort
develops into a dramatic release of
emotion and ultimately an overall good
Lundeana Thomas' performance
throughout the play makes a definite
statement about her wonderful abilities
as a dramatic actress. When the
audience recognizes Margaret's
falacies about her life and her religion
they go through a similar realizations
moves the audience to tears.
The story climaxes in the final scene
when Margaret recognizes that she can
no longer hide from the truths that were
revealed in the opening scene.
Margaret cres by the side of her dying
husband's bed and the audience is cap-
tured in the excellence of Thomas' per-
formance. In this, her most dramatic
scene, Thomas displays her ability to
make the audience suffer along with
her character, further signs of her ac-
The play closes in. this third act,
leaving the audience with a positive
feeling aout Margaret's triumph over
her crushing problems. Each character
also has a personal triumph over their
characters and all succeed in
delivering a touching, delightful,
'Madcat' Ruth returns
ANN ARBORITES are in for a treat
tonight and tomorrow night when
local favorite Peter "Madcat" Ruth
appears at The Ark.
This resident harmonica -master is
practically a legend in the area. When
he performs his blues, it's not unusual
for his audience to immediately get into
the music by cheering, clapping, and
swaying as he walks onstage. The one
standout aspect of his concerts is that
Madcat gets better as the show
progresses. He just never lets up, and
neither does the audience.
Madcat's affair with the audience
would be understandable even if he just
played the harmonica, but he doesn't
stop there. While his lips are sliding
across the metal instrument, his foot is
squeezing the pedal of an electric drum
while his hand beats a wooden object
attached to his chest. His energy
literally lights up the crowd.
Madcat appears at The Ark at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $5 at the door.
2 INDIVIDUAL THEATRES
5th Ave or tUb"ry 761.9700
SAT " SUN
FRI-6:40, 8:30, 10:20
SAT., SUN.-1:10, 3,4:50,
6:40, 8:30, 10:20
Iwith Special Guest LEON THOMAS
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6
UNIVERSITY CLUB, Ann Arbor
TICKETS: $5.00 Advance, $6.00 at Door
THE MOST P1
AND LOVED R(
FILM OF THE S
"GO SEE IT A
~ "GREAT BLACK MUSIC
OF CHICAGO ANCIENT TO THE FUTURE"
FRIDAY. NOVEMBER 19
TWO SHOWS-5:00 and 10:30 p.m.
MICHIGAN UNION BALLROOM
TICKETS: $8.50 General Admission
David Eyges (cello) Sunny Murray (drums),
Byard Lancaster (saxes)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4
UNIVERSITY CLUB, Ann Arbor
TICKETS: $3.50 General Admission
, 7:10, 9:20
12:40, 2:50, 5:00,
AT 8:40 pm
OR SEE BOTH "OFFICER"
AND "PERSONALS" AT