onstage with Nick Cave and The Birthday Party
This might seem tenuous to you, but it sure ain’t to me.
This is the first ever recording of The Legend! (Everett True) on vinyl … no, not CRE001.
Extracted from the cover feature on Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Careless Talk Costs Lives #6.
So, one day in about ’82 or ’81, I get a call from my mate Geoff The Postman and he’s like, “You’re in *Sounds*, you’re in *Sounds*, there’s a Birthday Party interview and half of it’s about you and – ”, and I’m like, “WHAT?” It transpires that he’s right (sort of), cos a few weeks ago there had been a Birthday Party show at the Africa Centre or some place, no stage (as ever), ferocious slam-dancing – Birthday Party fans invented slam-dancing way before Black Flag ever got puritanical on the Yanks’ asses – and someone pushed Nick meanly as his back was turned, and he went sprawling arse-over-tit over a monitor, got up, face like thunder, grabbed a microphone stand and…
Thing was, I didn’t notice. I was too busy fucking dancing down the front, but every other fan did and magically melted away from view… so Nick turns round and there’s just innocent me there (first sang on a record at the start of the live Birthday Party/Lydia Lunch split 12-inch 1982’s Drunk On The Pope’s Blood, saw the Cocteau Twins’ debut London performance cos they were fellow Birthday Party freaks like us, stopped going to Birthday Party shows when all the goddamn (spit) music press-led Goths began showing up and laughing at my screen-printer dungarees) … so he grabs the microphone stand and goes fucking “WHACK!” straight across my face, and over I go and over he goes and a couple of kids rush to pull me back …
A week later, it’s all over the fucking national music press.
I don’t tell Nick any of this.
I’m halfway scared he may still think it was me who tripped him.
NOTE: You can’t hear me on that record, unless you know what you’re listening for. At the start of the 12-inch, Nick goes, “OK, you’ve got 10 seconds to express yourselves,” and then he passes the microphone into the audience. There are a few yelps and roars, and then this deep bass voice cuts in, real bottom end: “Danger zone in the heart of the city/Danger zone in the heart of the town”. It’s me, wrestling for control, live at The Venue (Victoria). I still have no idea where the lyric is from: a few weeks earlier, another Birthday Party fan had lept up on stage just before they went on, and sung the lines down the mic.
Alternative CTCL #6 cover: Steve Gullick