1990-03-20 The Wherehouse (Sire-Reprise PRO-C-4329)

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The Wherehouse 3/20/1990 (Sire/Reprise PRO-C-4329) is a promotional cassette tape that was presented as an apology to fans who were inconvenienced or suffered minor injuries as a result of the 20 March 1990 Wherehouse record store incident that resulted in a near riot when Depeche Mode were instructed to evacuate the event after only forty-five minutes by Los Angeles police due to an unexpectedly high turnout of approximately 20,000 fans.

Front artwork scan.

Notes

Spin magazine reported in July 1990 that 25,000 copies of the cassette were produced for distribution at Daniel Miller's direction. Depeche Mode fans in the Los Angeles area were instructed by local radio station KROQ to mail in a stamped self-addressed envelope in order to receive the cassette. KROQ's Richard Blade praised the move in the same feature: "[This] shows how devoted the band is to their fans and that’s why their fans stick with them. They always go that extra mile for them."[1].

Content featured on the cassette included 'Something To Do (Metal Mix)', which was previously unreleased in the United States at the time, as well as a selection of interview segments featuring Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Alan Wilder, and Andrew Fletcher. KROQ aired a live radio broadcast relating to the Wherehouse in-store record signing event throughout 1990-03-20 KROQ, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Fletcher was interviewed by Richard Blade the following day, see 1990-03-21 KROQ, Los Angeles, CA, USA. Parts of these interviews were included on the cassette.

A transcript of the interviews included on this cassette was originally posted on defunct fan site sacreddm.net. Additionally, an eighteen minute Wherehouse record store signing feature was made available on the official depechemode.com Archive, viewable here.

Audio

Back artwork scan.

       You can listen to this entire interview below.

Cassette commercial, courtesy of depechemode.com.

Audio transcript

Richard Blade: Tuesday March 20th 1990 was initially just an ordinary day. Apart from it being the first day of spring the only other item of distinction was the fact that Depeche Mode were releasing their latest album, Violator. To coincide with that release the boys in Depeche decided to get together with their record label Sire/Reprise, K-ROQ FM radio in Los Angeles, and the Wherehouse record store, across from the Beverley Centre, in order to meet their fans. That's when Tuesday March 20th 1990 ceased being just another day and earned itself a place in rock history.

[News report audio]: Depending on who you believe, up to ten thousand young people showed up last night to see the British band Depeche Mode at a record store promotion. [2] It started peacefully, but it got out of hand when restless fans started pushing and shoving. LAPD called in almost one hundred officers before it was over, and they were dressed for battle.

[News report audio]: Los Angeles city councilman Zev Yuroslovsky is furious that KROQ, the radio station that promoted the band's appearance, let so many kids stand in line. The city wants between twenty and thirty thousand dollars for police time, paramedics who were on the scene, and the cost of clean-up. This place was a mess when it was all over.

RB: But we're getting a little ahead of ourselves right now. This event actually had its roots back in October 1989 when Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode called KROQ to talk about finishing the new album in London.

Dave Gahan: We've been basically working on it since early April, we were out in Milan for a few months, and then we went off to Denmark for a couple of months, and we're finishing up in London, we hope to finish the album just before Christmas. But it's sounding really good; we're just finishing up at the moment mixing the next single, and may hopefully get the album out around, sort of, March.

RB: The album's release date turned out to be March 20th 1990. Prior to the album coming out, Depeche Mode released two singles. The second was 'Enjoy The Silence'; the first was 'Personal Jesus', which featured no less than five different mixes.

DG: With a song like 'Personal Jesus', we took it as far away as possible from the foot stomp sort of beat that the song's got, the very bluesy feel that the song's got, and we done some remixes with François Kevorkian from New York and some dance mixes, and he sort of basically turned the whole thing around, and we wanted to get it completely away. And also, of course, the acoustic version that Martin and I knocked out in three minutes, or something.

RB: Are you pleased with that acoustic version?

DG: Yeah, I mean it was just - the song lends itself to that, and that kind of approach. And that's, I'm sure, how the song was originally written. That's something that was done like an afterthought really, and Martin and I just went in the studio, and he strummed away while I was singing. I think it's a really good feel, actually - it's the song at its bare minimum. And a very different sort of sound of Depeche Mode as well.

RB: With two hit singles - 'Enjoy The Silence' and 'Personal Jesus' - Sire/Reprise got together with KROQ and arranged for Depeche Mode to meet their fans at the Wherehouse record store across from the Beverley Centre.

[News report audio]: KROQ bring Depeche Mode to the Wherehouse record store at Beverley, La Cienega, across from the Beverley Centre.

[News report audio]: Tuesday night March 20th at 9pm: Come out and meet the band, plus be part of the KROQ exclusive live broadcast as Richard Blade interviews Depeche Mode.

[News report audio]: Come meet Depeche Mode on the first day you can buy their new album at the Wherehouse record store at Beverley in La Cienega. From 106.7 KROQ.

[News report audio]: With the announcement made, the excitement began to build...

RB: [...] A couple of members of Depeche Mode in the studio, we have Andy Fletcher and Alan Wilder, good to have you guys in studio. Kind of a surprise, we didn't really want to announce it on radio because we're doing the thing on Tuesday - -

Andrew Fletcher: But you were hinting, weren't you? [laughs]

RB: Yeah, a few little hints here and there, you know! Just a mention that maybe - -

AF: A few casual - -

RB: Yeah [laughs]. Well you guys certainly deliver on the CD as well, and it's going to be nice for you to meet the fans. On behalf of KROQ, thank you for agreeing to do that on Tuesday. It's going to be a little crazy, don't you think Jed?

Jed: I ran into these guys last night, downstairs, and they said they're going to stay as long as they can on Tuesday night. If it was up to them they'd spend the night there.

AF: Yeah, we're having our sleeping bags taken down.

RB: In the in-stores that you've done in England etc, have you got any tips for the fans listening now, what they should have with them, or - -

Alan Wilder: Yeah, we will only sign one thing per fan - -

RB: YEAH!

AW: It's unfair to sign a whole bunch of things because then, other people don't get a chance, so that's it really. And just to keep moving through, because there's obviously going to be a big turnout. Well, hopefully, and we won't have time to do everybody.

AF: And no body-signings either! [laughs]

RB: OK, no body parts, right, like "Sign my chest..."

AF: Certain body parts we might consider.

[laughter]

RB: There are some very excited ladies listening right now, I'll tell you, at this very moment.

[News reporter]: How long have you been waiting in line?

[News report - fan]: Since Sunday morning.

[News reporter]: Why do you do that?

[News report - fan]: Because they're gods! It's Depeche Mode they are the best [...] We've been sleeping - we slept the first night we were here, we slept outside the hotel in our car.

RB: Fans came from all over the south land, and some from even out of state.

[News report - fans]: We came all the way from Arizona...we heard about it, over the radio, the new album, and it was definitely worth the ride.

RB: As the evening of March 20th approached, Depeche Mode became the top story on the news.

[News report]: Traffic has been congested near the Beverley Centre for hours.

[News report]: And not because of a traffic accident, but a group from England. It took ten years and twenty-two singles, but Depeche Mode is now the word in music hall progressive techno-pop. Tonight the band is appearing in person for an autograph party at a west Los Angeles record store. It has attracted thousands of fans waiting to see their music idols, some who have been lined up since last night.

[News report]: If you were anywhere near the Beverley Centre today or tonight, you probably saw a lot of people there, it's all turned into a human gridlock. And you're probably wondering, "What's this about already?" Well, it's about a group called Depeche Mode.

[News report]: Would you believe that there are ten thousand teenagers here? You can hear the screaming all over the Beverley Centre area. A line of teenagers fifteen blocks long, like the swooning over Sinatra and the ecstasy over Elvis and the fainting over the Fab Four, Depeche Mode is definitely today's hot act.

[News report]: 106.7 KROQ, K-R-O-Q, take it away Richard.

RB: Alright Katy, we are once again inside the Wherehouse Store, Depeche Mode are just saying Hi to a few people in the back room and getting their breath. To all the folks listening in line, just pass it on that they're going to start signing in about five minutes, that's when I'll be opening the doors and letting people come in to meet the band. But I'll tell you, it feels like a jock meeting here, I almost think we're going to get fired or something! We've got more DJs in the store tonight than we have had for a long time - we've got Paul Mann, we've got Scott Mason, we've got Jed the Fish, we've also got Kevin and Bean. So this is your first, like, huge KROQ promotion with a major band; I know we've had the world tour, what do you think of it so far?

Kevin: Incredible, we thought we were going to die, we were outside when the limos pulled up, we got rushed, we played security guards, we held the throngs off... and we almost got killed.

RB: Let me ask you, Bean, if this is alright: How does this compare with having Tony Orlando in the studio this morning?

[laughter]

Bean: Well, ah, that's a tough comparison to make, really, to be honest, but let me just say that we didn't really have any security problems this morning with old Tone!

[News report]: Behind me right now is probably every teenager in town, and they're all screaming in my ear. The group Depeche Mode is very hot. They started out as a dance band and they just built. They sold out the Rose Bowl. Just a few minutes ago they arrived by limo at the Wherehouse here in the Beverley Centre area, and I haven't seen anything like this before. Girls are crying. Boys are hurling themselves at the limo.

[News report]: The LAPD just called out a tactical alert, which means plain squad cars are on the way to the Beverley Centre.

[News report]: The band is called Depeche Mode, the latest post-modern group to retake the US by storm. [3] Tonight thousands of fans jammed the streets surrounding the Wherehouse music store which is across from the Beverley Centre trying to get autographs. The private security force couldn't handle them all, and police had to be called. Twenty units arrived initially, but that wasn't enough. One person fainted after fans began to crowd in, and she was taken to a local hospital. These fans were going to any lengths to get a peek of their favourite stars.

RB: When we come back, we'll talk with Depeche Mode and find out what happened inside the Wherehouse. Plus, a world exclusive: an unreleased new version of a Depeche Mode single.

[intermission]

RB: We are live inside the Wherehouse at Beverley, La Cienega, with Dave, with Alan, with Andy, with Martin, and - your mic's live on the table if you want to grab it, you're live on the radio with KROQ - Yes, we're here! Is this more like a concert for you than an in-store, are you surprised right now?

Martin Gore: We're very, err, moved by it, I mean we didn't expect this many people to turn up.

RB: I heard a rumour that you thought there might be only like thirty people turn up, like a Spinal Tap.

MG: Yeah, we was hoping! [laughs]

RB: But instead - I mean, you've got over ten thousand people. Have you rested all your hands so you're ready for the signing, Martin?

MG: I feel really great at the moment!

[laughter]

[News report]: We've just gotten an updated figure on the number of kids here. Police say there are now probably fifteen thousand kids. A police helicopter is going overhead. There are a lot of backup patrols in the area. The band's only going to be here for three hours - I'm afraid a lot of the kids won't be able to get in and get autographs, and at that point who knows what they might do? So far it has been peaceful. Just not quiet.

RB: OK, a couple of quick mentions here to the folks waiting outside, who can see me pointing at them right now: Please don't bang on the windows if you could, because if the windows go, the in-store goes, and we have to close everything down.

[News report]: Crowd control problems in west Los Angeles tonight as thousands of teenage fans of the rock band Depeche Mode crammed the area near the Beverley Centre for a chance to meet their heroes.

RB: We'll start with Dave and...Dave, the upcoming tour, any word on it this summer?

DG: Umm, well, we start over here with... The whole world tour, the Violator Tour, starts in America and we start the end of May; all I know is that we're starting in Florida, we're rehearsing down there, and then we're starting there, and as yet we don't know the rest of the gigs, but it's like forty shows right across America.

RB: OK, I'm going to move on down the line, Dave, and leave you signing here...And we've got Alan. Alan, what is your favourite cut at the moment off Violator? I know we came in and chatted about it at length on Friday, but what is your favourite cut on the album?

AW: For me it's 'Clean' because I think it's the most different-sounding thing we've ever done, so that's why I like it.

RB: I'll move on down the line here... And we've got Fletch, we've got Andy here. Andy, seventeen thousand five hundred people is the word on the street; how do you feel about that?

AF: I must say that is totally beyond our expectations. Slightly. [laughs]

RB: Do you find sometimes that you can't believe what's happening?

AF: The thing is that we have been working hard at it for quite a while. I think it's all... As I said earlier, it's down to Martin's songs really, it's the key to our success.

RB: Well we'll talk to the man himself, songwriter and singer Martin Gore, I think you sing at least three cuts on this new album.

MG: There's a duet. There is a duet on this album, so - - [4]

RB: Now, there's nine cuts on this album. Did you find as the songwriter that it was hard coming up with nine or was it hard cutting it down to nine?

MG: It was quite hard, actually, choosing the tracks that we wanted to use on the album, because we had about thirteen, fourteen tracks, so we had to really just, you know, big discussions among the band members. Everyone has different favourites. But I think in the end we came up with something we all quite liked, so...

RB: It's a great album, and it's on release today.

[News report]: Some people are calling it a near riot.

[News report]: Police were called out to the Beverley Centre about an hour ago when security forces were unable to handle the thousands of kids who turned out for an autograph session by the English group Depeche Mode. The line stretched for fifteen city blocks, one woman has been taken to a local hospital after being crushed by fans, and two more ambulances have been dispatched to the scene.

RB: We've got first of all an important announcement, and this is primarily for the seventeen thousand plus people who are all waiting in line outside, and I know a lot of them have radios on - pass this on. We've just heard from the police department that we have to keep it mellow out there otherwise the cops'll close it down.

DG: Err, well, we're apologising now, so if we have to go, we have to go, but - -

RB: OK, now the only alternative is, basically, to try and keep mellow in the line - no fights, no pushing. There's four divisions of police outside, and so they're really watching, and I know that Dave and Alan and Andy and Martin don't want to shut this down, they want to stay here. So please stay mellow.

DG: Yeah, I mean, you know, I don't know what four divisions of police is out there but it sounds like a lot of police, so if anyone's out there just try and be calm, and we'll do as many people as we can, sign as many people's things as we can, and when we're told to go, we have to go.

[News report]: Riot police, we are told, have gathered at the Beverley Centre right now. Thousands of screaming rock fans are waiting to get autographs from the British band Depeche Mode. At one time, the police say, the line of teenagers stretched fifteen blocks. Some of the diehard fans say they camped out for days just to get a glimpse of the rock stars. The band members are at the Wherehouse record store tonight to promote their new album, Violator.

AF: We thought it was going to be about thirty people [laughs]. And now it turns out there's about seventeen to twenty thousand, it's unbelievable.

[News report]: There's just been an update on the disturbance that's been going on at the Beverley Centre with fans from (sic) the rock group Depeche Mode, who went out of control tonight, and about ninety police are still there on the scene trying to clear the streets near La Cienega and Third.

DG: Well, apparently we've been told that we've got to stop now, and we have to go, because there's some trouble outside, and I'm sorry, I apologise to everyone, but the police are shutting us down.

[News report]: They say that no arrests have been reported; several ambulances, though, have been called for, and some reports of cuts and bruises. The police have no word on any official injuries.

[intermission]

RB: We have on the line Andy Fletcher from Depeche Mode. Hi Andy, how are you doing?

AF: Hello Richard.

RB: So - -

AF: A bit upset, to be honest.

RB: A little upset?

AF: Yeah, that we didn't get to sign everything last night. I remember when we arrived, we arrived on time, and we were overwhelmed by the amount of people that had turned up to see us. And we were prepared to stay until...you know, as long as it took, really. And then all of a sudden, we were getting sort of vibes that the police were shutting it down and obviously, you know, it was something we didn't want. So we kept on signing, and then we sort of had to retire to this room, the police basically saying, "That's it, it's over", you know. And we was - obviously, you were in the room as well - we wanted to carry on. I mean, we never expected that amount of people to turn up; we've done many in-stores in our career, sort of thing, and never have that amount of people turned up. So I think it was an overwhelming amount of people. And what's upset me as well is there's been something in the press about violence, and the crowd abusing the police and stuff. And I mean I can't believe that our fans would do that. You know, I mean, we meet our fans all the time, they're just not them sort of people.

RB: Looking back at the event, which turned out to be the biggest in-store record signing in history - more than three times bigger than David Lee Roth at Tower Records on Sunset - Depeche Mode attracted so much attention that all across the country, and indeed around the world, people wanted to talk to the band. [5] But Dave summed it up by saying Depeche Mode were not going to change.

DG: There's a lot of people want to talk to us now, but Depeche Mode as a group has the same policies, it doesn't matter how big we get, we're going to have the same attitude to what we do. You know, we care about what we do, and we're not going to just change anything in the way we do things. The people that have got us where we are so far we won't forget, and we'll still be doing those things.

[News report]: Depeche Mode is a British band that were here to promote their new album. If you didn't know who they were before - you do now.

RB: Special thanks to Howie Klein at Sire Records; all the staff and DJs of KROQ radio; and the Wherehouse records stores, who not only provided the location, but also helped with the clean-up of the streets and contributed twenty five thousand dollars to the City of Los Angeles to pay for the police, tactical units and paramedics who were called to the event. And especially thank you to all the thousands of fans who stood in line and waited for Depeche Mode. From Martin, Dave, Andy and Alan, a special bonus: previously unreleased in America, this is the "Metal Mix" of Something To Do. For Depeche Mode, I'm Richard Blade.

Lineage

  • "The Wherehouse" (Sire/Reprise Pro-C-4329 promo cassette) -> Nakamichi BX-300 (Dolby "B" enabled) -> Blue Jeans Cable LC-1 8-foot RCA cable -> Creative Sound Blaster ZxR (RCA Line In) -> Audacity 2.3.2 (audio capture at 32-bit / 88.2kHz, normalization to -0.1dB and any DC offset removed) -> WAV (32/88.2) -> downsampled to FLAC level 8 (16/44) using foobar2000 v1.4.8, FLAC 1.3.2 64-bit, and foobar2000's Resampler (SoX) component v0.8.3 (best quality), dithering enabled
  • Transfer: DMLiveWiki
  • auCDtectTaskManager log and artwork scans included
  • Depmod info

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References

  1. Source: Spin magazine, July 1990 issue
  2. Notably, the figure for the number of fans who attended the Wherehouse record store event creeps higher with every mention over the course of the interview.
  3. It speaks volumes about the way Depeche Mode were received in the United States that the various newscasters reporting on the event had such difficulty in describing their genre. So far, they have described Depeche Mode as "dance", "rock", "post-modern", and "music hall progressive techno-pop", whatever that might be. Evidently, America had never heard anything like Depeche Mode.
  4. The duet in question is 'Waiting For The Night'. The other tracks sung by Gore are 'Sweetest Perfection' and 'Blue Dress'.
  5. The Los Angeles police department's crowd control operation was the largest of its kind since a US presidential visit which occurred several years previously.