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November 05, 1982 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-11-05
Note:
This is a tabloid page

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

0

9

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4

IUI

C

Furry
music

By Larry Dean

Psychedelic Furs
Royal Oak
Friday, November 5
I
What does the name Psychedelic
Furs mean to you? I asked
this question of a friend of
mine once and- she said she
thought of a mid-'60s fashion
review sponsored by Andy
Warhol wherein models draped in tye-
dyed mink stoles writhed and twirled in
the multi-colored footlights to the music
of the Velvet Underground. She told me
it was the next logical extension from
the Exploding Plastic.
When I told her it was the name of a
new group who had an amazing debut
album out in the U.S., she laughed-but
then, seeing my solemn nodding and
"no-lie" expression, dropped in a per-
fectly deadpan "you're kidding."
That's the last time I'll count on my
mom for sincere pop music criticism.
II
Phil Spector meets the Dead-End
Kids. Talk Talk Talk, the second
album from the Psychedelic Furs, is
out and I can hardly believe my ears.
Though no radical change has occurred
in the band's sound, the rough edges
from the first LP have been smoothed
down considerably: the melodies are
more upfront, the instrumental inter-
play is improved and surprisingly com-
plex for six guys who'd never played
before forming the group, - and the
oblique lyrics are sung by ever-
melancholy Richard Butler with much
more assurance and control. Hearing
"Pretty In Pink" makes me long for a
time when stuff as downright good as
this will be played on the radio along
with Foreigner and the Eagles. I mean,
we might as well face it.. . we're never
going to be rid of 'em, so we might as
well dream, dream....

the protest had nothing to do with their
jobs or their pay? Besides, they weren't
even unionized.
So those same professors, Bergmann
among them, decided to stage a "teach-
in." Again, not an especially new idea
today; but then, it was literally a first.
"If they were accusing us of not
teaching enough, we decided to turn it
around and teach all night," Bergmann
says. They telephoned every sym-
pathetic professor they knew in Ann
Arbor, and at other universities. No one
was sure it would work-speaking out
against American foreign policy was
still a risky business.
On the night of March 24, 1965, about
3,000 students and teachers met in
Mason Hall and the auditorium of
Angell Hall to talk about the war in
Vietnam, and why they thought it was
wrong. Throughout the night,
Bergmann says, telegrams came in
from universities around the country:
"What you are doing is extremely ad-
mirable. We'll have a teach-in
tomorrow."
"Something was happening. A
historic occassion was being wit-
nessed," says economics Prof. Kenneth
Boulding, who now teaches at the
University of Colorado. There was an,
incredible excitement running through
the crowd and the teachers, he says, as
if they knew somehow what they were
doing would make a difference. "It cer-
tainly wasn't radical-there was

'I never felt really comfortable chanting
'Smash the State,' yet I did it anyway. In a
sense it was the radicalization of the Pepsi
generation: We want it all right now.
-David DuBoff
'60s activist

from 1965 to 1969, says that although the
movement's primary style-that of
militant, direct action-appeared to be
the most recognizable stamp of the day.
it turned out to be the most transitory.
"What really counts is what changes
the course of events, not what people
find amusing at the time," says Booth,
now a labor organizer in Chicago.
"The different, dissenting view of
national security became the dominant
view of the generation, and continues to
be a powerful political force in the

change things through the system; in
the '60s, the change had to come from
outside.
An even more subtle legacy of the
'60s, one that exists without much
notice and appears only once in a while,
is that today's professionals-teachers,
lawyers, state employees, and jour-
nalists, to name a few-all have planted
in their memory the idea of rebellion. It
is not foreign to them, as it may have
been to their parents, to consider revolt
against the status quo. Twenty years
after helping to draft the Port Huron

main body o
Haber, and
devoted to a
activities, ar
workings of ti
men is oftei
people). This
death of both
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people show
There was
says, and a
said at the ti
dynamite a
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Mostly, there
rhetoric: Th
doubt, were r
DuBoff say
up on a table
Charles Man
true revoluti
he says. Thi
stoop up on a
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"That really
"I never ft
ting 'Smash
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was the ra
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Instant grat
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Revolutiona
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Below the
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ther Party, a
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means nece
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Whenever a
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police recorc

Psychedelic Furs: Better than ever
Of course, Talk Talk Talk goes vir-
tually ignored, except for college
stations and some isolated areas in the -
East where the Furs are becoming
something of a hot item; this in a land
where Roxy Music, the Velvet Un-
dergound, Joy Division, the 13th Floor
Elevators, and countless other unsung
heroes are either no longer in existence
or have become scarred beyond
recognition by the passage of time,
there is something very big and very
distinct in both sound and ambition and
that is the Psychedelic Furs.
III
Why they aren't really all that
'psychedelic.' It was 1977 in England
and bands called the Damned, Sham 69,
the Stranglers and the Buzzcocks were
popping up left and right. Doesn't mat-
ter where they are today or what
they've done in that time-it's just
those silly names!
When art school student Richard

nothing Marxist about it-but
radical in that we thought it
stupid and unjust war," he says.

it was
was a

Butler got together with bass playing-
brother Tim, drummer Vince Ely,
guitarists John Ashton and Roger
Morris, and saxophonist Duncan
Kilburn, the then-learning musicians
wanted a name that was both an-
tithetical to those other bands and one
that had longevity. They decided on the
Psychedelic Furs, which is just vague
and imagey enough to suit the music
that has evolved from two-chord and
three-chord dirges and etcetera; if they
only knew three chords, then a three-
chord song it was.
Eventually they got good enough to
play the clubs and when the crowds
kept coming back and growing with
each gig, CBS in Britain signed them.
They did their first, self-titled LP with
producer Steve Lillywhite, who had a
growing reputation as a fast and ef-
ficient soundsmith by that time, having
worked with the Members and XTC,
amongst others; released it
domestically with some extra tracks

produced by Martin Hannett (behind
Joy Division's doldrous sound) and the
band themselves, and set out touring
the globe in small venues-ful of adoring
fans.
For the Talk, Talk Talk tour word had,
indeed, spread, and the Furs started
tackling bigger halls, larger audiences.
Nobody seemed disappointed-both the
fans and the band were "having their
cake and eating it, too."
IV
Forever Now in the land of
President Gas. Somewhere between
Talk Talk Talk and the new
Psychedelic Furs album, Forever Now,
Roger Mooris and Duncan Kilburn
decided to quit the group, for the usual
"artistic differences." They carried on
as a four-piece, however, recording
their latest with, of all people, Todd
Rundgren. It shouldn't seem like such a
far-fetched notion, since they'd tossed
See FURS, Page 15

United States," Booth says. "We can
trace that dissent. We gave birth to all
that."
Carl Oglesby was president of
Students for a Democratic Society in
1965-66, when the organization was at
its peak. His position then, as a 30-year-
old middle-class engineer, lent
authority to SDS, and he is thus one of
its most famous presidents. To
Oglesby, the '60s legacy is crucial.
"Kids now inherit asa perspective a
set of values and a set of intellectual
accomplishments that were, in the '60s,
just not available," Oglesby says. Back
then, "students had a lot of power, a lot
of courage, and the ability to organize.
They were the ones who were going to
fight the war, and they were going to
fight against it," he says.
We have inherited, for instance, the
nuclear freeze campaign, according to
Oglesby. This broad-based movement
to change the government's policy can
be traced directly to similar movemen-
ts in the 1960s, with one distinct dif-
ference: Now, people are trying to

Statement, Haber-now a cabinet
maker in Berkeley, Calif.-puts it this
way, perhaps a bit strongly. "People
now approach their professions with a
transforming potential for a new world
order. In every profession there are
people of visionary quality and
revolutionary temperament." That
idea-that the memory of popular
discontent remains intact-can be a
powerful one, if the course of events in
this nation strays from its moderate
path.
MICHIGAN, IN THE 1960s, was a
haven for radicals who
decided-or were forced-to go "un-
derground," that famous abstract
place. In the late '60s there was a split
in the SDS that brought the more left-
wing, revolutionary Weathermen fac-
tion into the national spotlight before
going underground. Its followers were
committed to revolution, and believed
students were the class that would lead
to the downfall of the government. The

And that was radical enough, ac-
coring to many veterans of the age. The
anger and excitement of the teach-in
and the freshness of the ideas ex-
pressed on that March night caught on.
Universities across the country staged
teach-ins. They became a strategic way
of expressing discontent in a very
civilized, orderly manner: a perfect
forum for academic protest.
Paul Booth, a University student

Rule
Britai~n
By Ben Tich o
EngUsh Beat
Second Chance
Sunday, November 7
T HIS SHOW has slowly grown into
the Ann Arbor music happening of
term (the Ig is just weird, and Itzhak
was a different crowd), which sounds
trite but won't lessen the inevitable en-
joyment of all those lucky ticketholders
hopping down to hear Ranking Roger
and the whole Birmingham sellout
gang.
Though SLK fans swear (with ad-
mirable tenacity) that ska just cannot
be dead before its Ann Arbor fling has

run its course, the English Beat (not,
repeat, not The Beat) have already
transcended that happy Dance Craze
era with their latest release on IRS,
Special Beat Service.
Their new form can't quite be termed
ska; although, of course, some elemen-
ts-gripping dance riffs, a wailing sax
(provided by Wesley Magoogan while
senior member Saxa takes a road
break), sharp attire and haberdashery,
etc.-remain from I Can't Stop It
popularity.
Who can forget the first time they
heard "Tears of a Clown" done com-
parably in quality to Smokey, or the Go-
Feet singles "Hands Off . . . She's
Mine," "Twist and Crawl," and the
superb "Mirror in the Bathroom''? I
can, for one. But I won't forget them
now, surely.,
Special Service's "Jeannette" and
"Save It for Later" don't have quite the
intestinal pull of "Ranking Full Step,"
but they remain admirable efforts in
the face of the gradual fading of a

musical form (shall we say fad? No, I
think not).
Ranking Roger has emerged as a
master of toasting, a Jamaican art
similar to rapping; this ability repor-
tedly landed his place in the band
during the winter of 1978. The group
subsequently toured with Selecter
(Celebrate the Bullet) and the other
Dance Craze stars, the Specials. Recen-
tly, the group played the States with the
Police.
Magoogan joins Dave Blockhead as
the group's newest members, swelling
the ensemble to seven (plus Saxa).
Blockhead adds a refreshing keyboard
balance to a sound used to relying on
David Steele's bass to fill out Andy
Cox's guitar. Everett Morton capably
handles the drum kit, with Roger
helping out on percussion.
Advance tickets are sold out, but
Prism is planning to dispense ad-
ditional admissions for a few of .the
legions waiting at the door. Good luck.
Get ready for a hand-clapping, foot-

English Beat: Over the ocean
stamping, knuckle-cracking evening of,
as they say, serious dancing, new-
fashioned and fun. Oh my. Oh boy! 0'

Demonstrating: Protesting the establishment

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