New York, Gildersleeves, USA,
April 22nd 1980

1980 US "Tour"
John Lydon
Keith Levene: Guitar
Jah Wobble: Bass
Martin Atkins: Drums

Set List:
Careering / Annalisa / Poptones / Chant / Public Image / Attack / Another / Lowlife / Bad baby / Memories / Fodderstompf / Public Image

This was a special low-key gig at a small club in the Bowery, New York City (capacity 300). Arranged by word-of-mouth a couple of days after their Palladium gig. Apparently the gig was arranged due to the fact the band were making no money from the US tour, Levene later claimed they had done other similar shows during the tour...

5 songs from the gig were filmed by local filmmaker / producer Paul Dougherty; who edited the footage down to a 25 minute video film. The untitled film, simply known as the 'PiL Tape', was later presented in public by Dougherty in 1981. Although Dougherty had full permission to film the band, it was never intended for an official release (and subsequent bootleg recordings of the video were leaked without his permission). For full info on the Gildersleeves video footage, read our Paul Dougherty interview.

The "metal" bands on the bill that night were Spellbinder & Tattoo.

Complete audio bootleg recorded


Gig Review #1

review by John Hanson, August 2005
© 2005 / John Hanson

Gildersleeves FlyerI was at the Gildersleeves show. Our understanding at the time was that it was put together quickly in response to the awful show at the Palladium two days earlier. The story we heard was that Wobble was terrified of Americans and that as a result, the band cut the Palladium show very short. Within a day we heard the band would play a "secret" show at Gildersleeves in the Bowery. At the time the club booked mostly heavy metal cover bands, and the PiL show took place after the groups that had already been booked had played and left the stage.

It wasn't until the date of the show that we found out the details. I was working at my job as assistant manager of a hobby shop and had to make the trip from Long Island into the city in my work clothes. As a result, while most of the audience were in full scenester regalia, I was wearing a light grey sportcoat and polo shirt. A friend of mine and I got to the club early while the metal bands were still playing. As soon as they were done we parked ourselves in front of Lydon's mic. We had a look at the guest list on the way in and Mick Jones and perhaps Robert Smith were on it, but I don't think either actually attended.

The show itself was fantastic. Wobble seemed to have gotten over whatever was bothering him. I vaguely recall we were shouting something along the lines of "Don't be afraid" to him. In your review of the video you mention Lydon spends much of the time crouching in front of the stage. He's actually picking things up. For some reason, people in the crowd were tossing coins, and odds and ends from their pockets up on stage and John was having fun picking it all up and putting it in his pockets. We had some catsup packets from McDonalds we tossed him. I was directly at the stage in front of Lydon. I think he was amused by the wanker in the sportcoat screaming along with all the songs.

When the band did 'Public Image' a second time as an encore, he pulled me up on stage and we finished the song together. I've never seen the video that circulates, so I thought I'd ask if there are any audience shots showing a guy with blond hair and a grey sportcoat standing next to a taller guy with dark hair and a black coat directly in front of Lydon.

John Hanson


Gig Review #2

review by John Demassi, May 2001*
© 2001 / John Demassi

Gildersleeves Video Grab © Paul DoughertyI thought Wobble and Keith worked phenomenally well together, so maybe they can patch things up and work together someday on a project. Then again, we'll probably see a Beatles reunion first...

I saw both the Palladium and Great Gildersleeves shows Keith refers to in the Perfect Sound interview. It was April 1980. The Palladium show was a bit of a disappointment. Keith was having trouble with his guitar and walked off the stage in disgust after about 1/2 hour. John followed him off. Wobble and Martin Atkins (drummer) play dubby style music for a while to try to give the crowd something for their money, but all in all, this show was not what I had expected.

A few days later I heard PIL would be doing a secret show at the Great Gildersleeves, a small, seedy club on the Bowery in Manhattan. People in the music industry knew about the gig, which is how I heard, through a friend of a friend of a friend. It was simply the greatest live show I have ever seen, bar none. As Keith said, it was a "bad, killer gig." The band played perfectly and seemed really happy to play in this small club where the crowd really appreciated them.

As I referred to in an earlier post, it was at this gig where Wobble threw the pie in the face of some guy (tour manager?) before the gig actually started. He was always taking the piss out of someone. This gig was recorded with some high tech video/audio equipment. The camera was positioned not far back from the stage, and since this was a great gig, it must be the most amazing concert video.

John Demassi

* Note: First published on Jah Wobble discussion list May 2001. Used with permission.


Picture Credits: (Top to Bottom)
(Thanks to Paul Dougherty)
Gildersleeves Flyer
Gildersleeves Video Grab 1980 © Paul Dougherty
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