Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
My Spring Cleaning Hitlist consisted of old cassette tapes I’d come across while doing some, yes, spring-cleaning. One of them was my own recording of The Smiths at County Hall in June 1984. Thanks to long-term Jamming! contributor Anthony Blampied, who sent me the Time Out special on “London’s 100 Gigs” from the end of May, I can now fill in a few blanks on this show. According to Time Out, the show was actually on June 10, and…
“The Smiths (were) in their prime on this unforgettably sunny, flower-festooned session, as gladiolis flew and Mo writhed around in a big girl’s blouse. The festival was marred earlier in the day by a feeble riot from some right-wing skinhead groups. [That’s the one in whcih Jamming! contributor Richard Edwards suffered a broken nose.] And, during The Smiths’ one-hour set, two events distracted attention – one was an idiot dangling from the gargoyles of County Hall 100 feet up in the air, before lighting on a window ledge (he got a round of applause); another was a fully naked gentleman sporting only a large beard on a balcony.”
I remember the former distraction all too well, as I mentioned when I wrote about the tape; the latter rings no bells whatsoever. Nor does the fact, noted in Time Out, that England beat Brazil 2-0 that day; football and rock music were about as far apart in 1984 as they would ever be. But clearly I was not the only one who brought his walkman to the gig: Time Out prints the full set list.