1982-01-20 Crocs, Rayleigh, Essex, England, UK
- 1982-01-20 - Rayleigh, Crocs
- January 20th 1982 (last crocs gig)
- photo credit: by Sian Mountney
- please respect the source when reposting it !
Alan Wilder plays his first live gig with Depeche Mode (1982)
On the 20th of January Alan had his first gig with DM - at Crocs in Raleigh.It is said that the band commented on Alan that "he's a good musician, though they're not certain that's what they needed. He played his first gig at the old Modish haunt Rayleigh Crocs in January and was somewhat shaken by the mayhem surrounding Depeche as crushed kids in the front row were plucked out of their very shoes to save them from severe damage."
Remember that this happened just about one year after they'd started. They really were some kind of a hip boy-band especially loved by young girls. Sometimes they had to play special early gigs because most of these girls were too young to go to a gig later in the evening. - If you were one of these girls, please tell me about your experiences and what you like about the band at this time. Afterwards the band travelled to New York where they played at the Ritz on January 22nd and 23rdFletch: "Alan came to New York - I remember, it was so funny. He had a little jacket on and a woolly scarf and I think New York was minus 40 degrees."Dave appeared with an arm in the loop. He had had a Tattoo removed and the scars swelled up. The rest of this mini-tour wasn't much better.Fletch: "We'd done Top Of The Pops the night before - why we agreed to, I don't know. But Mute decided to send us over on Concorde. Unfortunately it was probably the most disastrous gig of our lives. None of the equipment worked, we didn't go onstage until 2.30 in the morning."These weren't the only difficulties they had when they tried to find their way to the American market and it would take its time until they became really big there.
At first Alan wasn't important to the media at all. It was Vince who had the attention - although he wasn't there anymore.Martin: "He presents you with riddles, things you can't explain."Fletch: "The impression he likes to give is that no-one knows him."Dave: "We thought we knew him, but we discovered we didn't." Fletch: "Vince always wanted to do a lot in the studio and the rest of us would feel restricted. If we had an idea we'd be frightened to say anything."Dave: "No, not frightened. We were uncomfortable."Now Martin took over the role of the songwriter and they tried to produce songs with more substance and more difficult chords.Fletch: "Martin writes music around his words, whereas Vince used to write the tunes first and then fit the lyrics to them. Words were never Vince's strong point. As a matter of fact, we were sometimes quite, er, embarrassed by his stuff! We didn't understand a lot of his songs. He'd never tell us what they were about!"Dave: "I remember walking through town in Basildon one night and I saw these two girls following along behind me. I knew they'd recognised me. And they start singing, y'know", (high-pitched squeak), "I stand still stepping on a shady street. And I start walking a bit faster," (laughs), "turns me collar up like this! And then ...", (wails), "And I watch that man to a stranger. And I'm thinking: 'oh no, this is embarrassing! Do they understand these lyrics?! Perhaps they do and we don't!'"
But the media wouldn't make it easy for Martin at first. Today we know him as a genius writer but he was thrown in at deep end in the early days when See You / Now, This Is Fun was released on January 29rd.Fletch: "After New Life a lot of people thought Depeche Mode were 'sweet' and 'cute' and everything, and we wanted to show them we could be a lot of other things as well. On the new B-side, Now, This Is Fun we tried to ...", pause while they all burst out laughing, "we tried to sound ... really ... mean! Didn't work though." The understanding of the new lyrics didn't work that properly either. So Martin was asked about the line Well, I know that five years is a long time and that times change but I think you'll find people are basically the same from See You: "It's good. Serious. But funny. I like it because those words aren't used much in songs. It's just the things people say. I can't tell the story behind it. It's private. I wrote it when I was 18." [The age detail permanently varies from source to source, sometimes it is claimed he wrote it when he was 15, when he was 17 and so on.]"My style of writing has changed since I started writing more seriously. Sometimes I write the words first, sometimes the music, sometimes both together. I have to lock myself away. The thing is a lot of ideas I come up with are embarrassing so you have to be on your own when you come up with them! See You isn't as instant as the earlier singles, so we thought a lot of our old fans wouldn't buy it. It's also full of musical references to people like the Ronettes and the Beach Boys. I know they're not very fashionable at the moment, but everybody knows their earlier songs, and we used to do And Then I Kissed Her as a live cover version."Dave: "Two years ago See You probably wouldn't have been a hit, but the radio has been getting more adventurous. I think punk made all that possible. After punk, you could do anything."
Alan about his first appearance at TOTP, performing See You: "It was an all-day affair, mainly spent hanging around in our dressing room while the union-led BBC staff took their various tea, lunch and back-strain breaks. The audience consisted of about 15 people being goaded with cattle-prods to move them swiftly around the studio from stage to stage. We had the dubious honour of appearing on the same show as one-hit-wonder Adrian Gurwitz. The lyrics of his unforgettable tunes were as follows gonna write a classic, gonna write it in an attic ..."It's not very surprising that he didn't like the video to See You (nor any of the other videos that were made in 1982): "You can pretty much lump all the Julian Temple videos (See You, Meaning Of Love, Leave In Silence) into one collective disaster. But you should not forget that video was a very new and experimental genre at that time so we weren't the only ones to suffer at the hands of spotty students fresh out of film school."
posted by Andy McMinn on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 at 18:17