Agora Ballroom, USA
24th April, 1980
1980 US "Tour"
Keith Levene: Guitar
Jah Wobble: Bass
Martin Atkins: Drums
Fodderstompf / Careering / Chant / Annalisa / Poptones / Attack / Low Life / Public Image / Death Disco / Memories
A fledgling Michael Stipe was in the audience, and was said to have been blown away from what he saw.
Audio bootleg recorded
review by Caroline Martin, 2004
© 2004 Fodderstompf.com / Caroline Martin
This was a fantastic gig, probably the best of the three PiL
gigs I saw. To give some context, this was taking place in Atlanta,
Georgia; part of the conservative Bible belt South and was one of the
few big-name punk or new wave gigs that would come through all year.
Therefore, it was like a real gathering of the safety pin-baggy trousers-pointy
toe eyeliner tribes from the entire region.
The opening acts were local bands from Athens GA, Pylon and Vietnam, both of the same
funky-avantgarde-noise vein. Pylon made some excellent records later released on the Athens indie label DB Records, the B52s' original label.
Vanguard punks and Pistols fans came from all over the Southeast. I met my future boyfriend there; his gang had driven all the way from Orlando, FL! (for those who don't know that's at least 10 hours). They were promoting their local Florida punkzine, 'Dogfood.' We were all of 16 years old and all had to pass off fake IDs to get in to the liquor-serving club. Back then, the US driving age was 16, but the drinking age was 18, before it was raised in the "just say no" 1980s to 21 years. As precocious 16 year olds we could pass fairly well as 18. Looking back on it, I don't know how we did it. It would never work now in these days of photo IDs and police crackdowns; on that occasion I think I used my elder sister's birth certificate, manual typewriter print on a yellowed sheet of paper!
In the Agora lobby there
were the classic vendors selling badges, indie vinyl 45s and
punk fanzine's, exotic goods to a girl from Tennessee. The Hotel Essex
with its restaurant and bar was directly next door to the Agora and
all the bands stayed there. After the gig, Johnny was not socializing,
but Jah Wobble tried to pick me up in the hotel bar; suggesting going
back to the room and making movies (I declined).
The next morning who should step into the hotel elevator with me than Johnny! He was groggy before breakfast. Five floors' elevator ride alone with your hero; a punkette's dream!
In my mom's basement I still have black and white photos I took of this gig. That was before they were so tough on bringing cameras in. At one point Johnny threw fistfuls of those tiny PiL badges into the crowd and we all scrambled, somewhat dangerously, to get them.
Picture Credits: (Top to Bottom)