One of My Favorite Shows – The Gun Club August 8, 1984
I saw them twice at Scorgies, once in April of 1982, and again in 1984. The first show was a few months before the release of the Miami album, and the set was peppered with songs from it. There is a tape of that show that is still floating around on the internet somewhere and it’s great. Raw & fast, with a live sound as piercing as the Miami album would be. New Math opened that show.
But the favorite Gun Club show I saw was in 1984, when The Las Vegas Story came out. It’s still one of my all time favorite albums. A bunch of us in the New Math crowd were nuts about them by then so we were all excited when they rolled into town. Kid Congo was back in the band, fresh from his stint in The Cramps, the already legendary Pauline Morrison was on bass, and this time around Jeffrey Lee Pierce played an old dented boy scout bugle looking trumpet kinda thing, really beat up & bent. In reading the history of the Gun Club, this brief “trumpet period” is considered a really special time to have seen them. Jeffrey would dedicate solos to dead jazz trumpeters, and then launch into blowing the horn in a style that could be politely called primitive. He didn’t play it for many shows. He told us he’d just gotten it the day before, but who knows what he considered to be ‘the day before’. Congo complained that Jeffrey played that thing in the car all the way from Niagara Falls.
Kevin recorded the show on his little mono tape recorder, and its the only show he ever recorded. Heres a chunk of it from the middle of the set. This might be a big one to load but worth the price of a cable modem. Also worth it to make sure you can play it thru something with some power. It starts with a trumpet solo dedicated to Fats Navarro, then launches into a blistering version of Preachin’ Blues, & followed by Calling Up Thunder.
I asked Kevin why New Math didnt open the Las Vegas Story show & he said “After seeing how good they were the first time, I wasn’t gonna make that mistake twice.” He & Congo ate a whole chocolate cream pie after the show.
If anyone has good pix of the show, email them to me & I’ll post ’em firstname.lastname@example.org
Gun Club Live at Scorgies