Personal MIB moments

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shah
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Personal MIB moments

Post by shah » 16 Mar 2007, 06:38

I was listening to the Kid Jensen session again last night with my son and when Nuke went into Genetix it brought back a huge thrill that went through my body recollecting when I was glued to the receiver back in 1982. The thrill was a) the MIB on radio b) in FM c) Not just all La Folie tracks as most bands played their latest stuff only and d) and most importantly, they went straight into Genetix and made it an 8 minutes and 12 extravaganza - this being the first time we'd heard that combo apart from at gigs.

So it got me to thinking what are my top 10 Stranglers moments that will always mean something special to me. Moments that seem inane perhaps but to us were hyper-special. I'd love to hear yours, mine are as follows and in order:

1. Seeing the '5 minutes' video on TOTP.
The lack of the boys on tv, no internet, no VCR, just NME pictures and articles made every piece of celluloid special. When this came on in Jan 78 it blew my tiny developing mind. I remember sitting in front of the tv, on my front, trying desperately to block out every other sense apart from sight and sound and wanting the moment to go on forever. That 3 minutes and 20 seconds is the greatest, meanest, coolest, most forbidding, most convincing piece of Stranglers footage ever. Suddenly all was black and menacing, wires and smoke, white light and shadows. A black Fender Precision, little tv's pulsing, Cornwell on something, Black quaaluded into scariness. And what a fucking song. And when JJ looks left at the end...oh my god! he's looking at me...tick tick tick tick...immense moment.

2. Hearing Something Better Change on the radio in July 1977
This was the song that turned my head and made me follow. The swirling guitar and the easy to follow keyboard runs and, again, Burnel's brilliant vocals. Just about punk but wonderfully melodic and interesting.

3. Taunton Odeon September 21 1979
First time I saw them; day of release of the Raven; six kids in a Cortina driving up to the A38 - all I remember is the thud of the drum to 5 minutes, the spectacular Raven backdrop, the red light from the eye during Raven; the white lights; the weird new songs; it all being over too quickly.

4. Getting a long letter from HAC from Musicland 1980
Could not believe it when that landed on my doorstep in July 1980. I'd written to him when he was in jail - never expected a reply. But he did. Answered all my questions; told me the new LP would be out in September. When he addressed it 'Musicland 1980' I thought it was just a fun throwaway idea...it was only years later that I read that Musicland was the Studio in Germany where they blew up the console - so e wrote to me from the studio. Just a fab thought. He signed it Hugh Strangler which was so cool.

5. Listening to the John Peel session in May 1978 when he played the white side of B&W a week before it was released. Radio tucked under the pillow, fighting off the sheep, Peel didn't get around to playing the White side until 11.35pm! Amazing thoughts listening to it - particularly Sleazy and Toiler. This was a new Stranglers.

6. Getting the 3-D raven lp and listening to it for the first time.
The cover was magnificent, the music was astonishing - so complex, so melodic, so slow, so jagged, a plethora of minute long instrumentals before vocals or a complete change in the song, just mind blowing.

7. Seeing 'Rockstage' on TV.
Late night, again no video, devouring every minute of this show that was on at 11.30 having begged my parents to let me stay up to see it. Shah into Ice - wow! The strobe in Tank flickering up images of the black puppets in dance beneath the gaze of The Raven- just MIB nectar. Thrown Away absorbed before its release, just a magic pulsing, thrusting little pop song - the finest recording of that song ever I dare to say. Toiler just mind blowing in its ferocity.

8. The 1982 Kid jensen session
Just a wonderful surprise selection of songs - in FM quality!! New takes on old gems.

9. The Tube Jan 1983
Again, media manna in a dry land. Never heard MSD before and the clever transition into EF. Again, a new corner turned by the band. Then 'quiet, this is serious...an un, oo, a un oo ee oar - bang! bang! - WWTW? A lovely surpise and great camera work on JJ's bass - which was new to us ( we hadn't seen 'off the record 1982" yet)

10. Meeting, sitting next to and being given a drink by JJ in the Hallam Towers hotel bar in Sheffield 1985.
Just sitting there shoulder to shoulder, by chance - there was room, he came over, he sat down - and talking nonchanantly was just surreal. I kept looking forward at all these fellow MIB looking at him next to me, me thinking...what about that, I'm just sitting here passing the time sitting next to jean jacques burnel...FUCK ME! I kept taking the odd glance and he looked odd so close up with his little Gallic nose and curly Aural Sculpture hair cut, his head looked bigger than normal; his wooly black jumper smelt of pot; his spindly Doc covered legs stretching out beyond mine, but touching from thigh to knee. Just like mates. And him laughing and agreeing with one of my comments as if we were mates...just normal, enthralling and synapse snapping at the same time.

There you go. I enjoyed that. Great memories. Important ones.

Shah
shah shaaah...go go...
shah shaaah...go go...
shah shaaah...

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gizzard
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Post by gizzard » 16 Mar 2007, 08:30

Excellent read. Nice one Shah!

:grin:
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PaulinLondon
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Re: Personal MIB moments

Post by PaulinLondon » 16 Mar 2007, 09:09

shah wrote: He signed it Hugh Strangler which was so cool.
Brilliant ! :grin:

Excellent post. Looking forward to a bottle of red and some time to reflect on this.
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Re: Personal MIB moments

Post by Alias » 16 Mar 2007, 10:56

Fantastic read mate, I enjoyed that! I'll have a think about this one.
Oh, any you're not Welsh are you? :lol:
shah wrote: Radio tucked under the pillow, fighting off the sheep
I'm a comedian and poet, so anything that doesn't get a laugh is a poem. B.Hicks.

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'Why are you so edgy, kid ?'

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themaninblack1963
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Post by themaninblack1963 » 16 Mar 2007, 13:42

Brilliant!! great memories :grin:
Come on you Warriors!!!

aib
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Post by aib » 17 Mar 2007, 00:31

Shah, what an excellent post.

I wrote to Hugh, as well, when he was in prison but I had to make do with a reply from his secretary.

I also remember staying up late to watch Rockstage and was enthralled by their performance (I must get a copy of this).

My earliest memory of the Stranglers was sometime early in '77 when my big brother played the 7'' copy of peaches/go buddy go. Their sound immediately caught my ear and they've got my attention ever since.

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MULLY
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Post by MULLY » 17 Mar 2007, 03:06

Great post, Shah
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Post by Claireinblack » 17 Mar 2007, 21:59

Iwas at my first "adult" new years eve party. We had Abba, the eagles, and then someone put on "Rattus", and i was lost.

I still get shivers down my spine everytime i hear the opening bars of "sometimes", and i'm right back there at that party.

magic moment, never to be forgotten.
Claireinblack
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Post by PaulinLondon » 18 Mar 2007, 00:04

A very special moment for me was the Livingstone gig on the 1989 car tour and being outside the venue with Adrian, Mully and others to see Hugh, JJ, Jet and Dave turn up for the soundcheck. We were all tired after a long drive up to Scotland for the first of three gigs on the trot but I will never forget the buzz that we all felt as the guys arrived.

Very special moment. Something, that as a Stranglers fan, stays with you for life.

Bit like hearing Golden Brown again on Virgin Radio. You know the song. That's fine. But its The Stranglers on national radio and its 2007. For a few minutes, nothing else matters.......
"Madame, Be in no doubt as to the seriousness of your position". The Day of the Jackal, 1973.

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Post by MULLY » 20 Mar 2007, 21:43

Now I've had a bit of time to consider the importance of this thread, here are a couple of my 'Strangler moments'

1. Go Buddy Go on TOTP - talk of school the next day. IMMENSE 8)

2. Ulster Hall, Belfast '78 - first Strangler gig.

3. The (infamous/notorious/legend in it's own lunchtime) '89 Car Tour :wink:

4. Ally Pally - :(

5. Soundcheck/Gig/Backstage @ Purple Helmets gig Marquee. London - MEMORABLE :smile:

6. Limelight, Belfast - Acoustic/Electric set - rediscovered the Stranglers after a 15 year 'sabbatical' :oops: Walked out of the gig, only to see JJ sitting on the steps of the tour-bus - autographed ticket & chat 8)

Probably many more - and long may they continue....
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Post by yellowcakeuf6 » 21 Mar 2007, 04:51

Claireinblack wrote:Iwas at my first "adult" new years eve party.
:shock: Come on............spill the beans??? :lol:
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Post by Scoot » 21 Mar 2007, 17:33

Hi, too many musical moments but my first gig at the 'Roundhouse' in 77 stands out as does the Dartford 'acoustic' where I met up with Dave and Baz round the back of the bicycle sheds, so-to-speak! But the biggest highlights have probably been the conventions, particularly the 'Marriage of Convenience' attended by Dave and Jet and, especially, the Peterborough weekender - five-a-side football with Paul, Jet's legendary question time, the auction etc. Pure bliss! Oh, and meeting Hugh at Dartford a couple of years ago, and getting married to 'Always the sun' and having a silly letter printed in 'Strangled' .... Biggest regret? Missing Battersea! Scott.

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