New York, Palladium, USA
April 20th, 1980
1980 US "Tour"
Keith Levene: Guitar
Jah Wobble: Bass
Martin Atkins: Drums
Fodderstompf / Careering / Annalisa / Attack / Low Life / Death Disco / Memories / Public Image / Another / Poptones / Instrumental Jam
In his 2001 'Perfect Sound Forever' interview Keith Levene stated this gig was broadcast on NY radio. Although this has never been confirmed.
Audio bootleg recorded
Gig Review #1
review by Douglas Clubok, 2000
© 2000 Fodderstompf.com / Douglas Clubok
I attended the April 20th,
1980 show at the Palladium, and wrote down the setlist; which I saved.
So, here is what they played:
1. Bass/ Drums (intro to 'Fodderstompf' as the band entered)
5. Low Life
7. Swan Lake
9. Public Image
12. At this point Johnny and Keith left the stage and the audience continued to sing 'Poptones'. Then Wobble and the drummer returned and continued to play.
13. Bass / Drums instrumental
14. Bass / Drums instrumental (I think they were playing 'Socialist' … but can't be sure)
So, it wasn't such a short show, and clearly was longer than 30 minutes as was stated in the review of the Great Gildersleeve show. In fact, I'm sure they played for over an hour.
I personally thought they were fantastic and didn't feel cheated by the length of the show.
review and by Rob Pistella, May 2009
© 2009 Fodderstompf.com / Rob Pistella
A Brilliant Chaos
In 1980 I was a 20 year old rock n roll photographer; I had pictures published nationally, and I owned a mail order photo business called Front Row Photos which I operated for over 15 years. I took thousands of pictures of hundreds of bands over the years.
Having a bit of experience in assessing the vibe and music at hundreds of shows, PiL's first appearance in NYC was a huge event. Remember, the Sex Pistols avoided playing NYC, and this first NYC appearance was the official homecoming of the new King of Rock and Roll, as Neil Young once wrote.
I arrived at the show a few hours before show time because as a photographer, I intended to scalp (buy) the best seats I could find. After a few on the street inquiries, I had the great fortune to buy 2 front row seats for $50. The scene on the street was very excited, very drugged up, very crowded, very speedy... There was a pent up violence simmering right below the surface. It was the same vibe as when huge bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones appeared in NYC.
We went in and huddled down with others in the front row, cutting off the aisle and protecting our turf... We didn't want drunk and fucked up yahoos vomiting on us, or worse.
I don't remember if there was an opening band... I was extremely excited to be seeing my favorite band at the time. When they came on, pandemonium ensued. The Palladium is a grand old theatre with a huge balcony. The entire place put out so much pent up energy it was as frightening as it was exciting and compelling.
Johnny graciously accepted the NY anointing and wore a NY Yankees shirt as a sign of his affection.
The show was one of the most brilliant performances I have ever had the pleasure to attend. I shot a lot of film, and I'll try to post more of them here soon.
The scene was very chaotic; People were spitting, jumping on the stage, violence all around, and Johnny was giving it right back to them; Yet, we were protected more or less huddled in the front row, and Johnny would crouch down often, made eye contact and more with us throughout the show. He was charming, sensitive, even gentle! It was this dichotomy that I'll remember most about the show - not unlike 'Chant' going into 'Radio 4'.
The band were spot on I thought. This was the classic line up and everyone shined. Other observer's set lists are accurate; I didn't think it was a short show at all, certainly not a 1/2 hour...more like 70 minutes or so. What can I say? This line up of PiL could do no wrong in my eyes, and they were just brilliant, original, dangerous, loud, and mesmerizing.
Reviews in area newspapers a day later would say much the same thing; Newsday said 'this was the first true (new and interesting) concert of the 1980s'.
At a certain moment, Johnny whispered something to Keith. The song ended, and they ran out the side door into the streets, which I could see very clearly from our vantage point! Holy shit, we thought, they actually left the building! Meanwhile, Wobble and Atkins continued to play, clearly not knowing what was going on. Most if not all of the audience was waiting for Johnny and Keith to reappear not realizing they had not only left the stage but the building as well. After what seemed like two songs, the two remaining musicians left and the lights came back up.
People were dazed and stunned; They weren't really sure what had happened, and why it ended so abruptly.
But rather than feeling like we've been had, we realized that we had seen a brilliant chaos.
PiL NY Paladium 1980 © Rob Pistella
Picture Credits: (Top to Bottom)
PiL NY Paladium 1980 © Rob Pistella