rock summer festival, tallinn, estonia, USSR,
august 26th, 1988
John McGeoch: Guitar
Lu Edmonds: Keyboards & Guitars
Allan Dias: Bass
Bruce Smith: Drums
Public Image / FFF / Seattle / Home / Bags / Rise / Hard Times / Religion / Rules and Regulations / Angry / Open and Revolving / Holidays in the Sun / The Body
This was Lu Edmonds last gig with PiL. The show was broadcast live on FM radio by Finish Radio One.
Finnish TV Channel YFE broadcast two special shows on the legendary Glasnost Rock - Rock Summer 88 festival in September 2011. A documentary featured a new interview with John Lydon. Along with a live compilation show featuring previously unbroadcast footage of PiL performing 'Public Image' and 'Rise' from Rock Summer 88; plus further interview footage. The documentary also features clips of 'Public Image', 'Home' and 'Rise'. Stunning footage from a monumental life-changing concert.
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PiL headline the first day of the Summer Rock Festival in Tallinn, Estonia playing to over 130,000 people! This is no ordinary rock festival or venue by any means… Organised by Juri Makarov, 'Glasnost Rock 88' was the biggest ever rock festival played behind the Iron Curtain. The "Lauluväljak" venue is a massive coral, concrete 'Song Stage' where traditionally a choir of up to 15,000 would sing from!
At the time the "Soviet Socialist Republic of Estonia" was still part of the USSR, and Public Image Ltd records, along with the Sex Pistols, were officially blacklisted by the authorities. However, somewhat surprisingly, Kremlin chiefs largely turned a blind eye to the event. Partly due to the festival organisers policy of inviting bands from outside the USSR as late as possible.
PiL are under no illusion that they have pulled the wool over anyone's eyes, and just prior to the show they freely admitted they knew very little about Estonia. However, John Lydon is so overwhelmed by the day's events, the people they encountered, and the crowd's reaction, he comments that he considers it PiL's "Major achievement so far… " Fittingly, the band play 'Holidays in the Sun' in their set.
The official Rock Summer website features photos and video from the show.
Some extremely rare images from the PiL show are featured on this Photo Gallery by photographer Kari Kuukka
Picture Credits: (Top to Bottom)
PiL live in Estonia, Sounds, August 1988 © Brian Aris