Perry Farrell on the cover of Melody Maker, 21st January 1989. Photo by Joe Dilworth

I just never got Jane’s Addiction. I really tried with Ritual de lo Habitual but it just didn’t click.

But then there was a time in L.A. around 2000, when, hopelessly stoned and locked away in the 4×4 for my own good, Perry Farrell spoke to me. Sang to me. Communed with me. However long it lasted I can only compare it to a religious experience. And then I sobered up and the music sounded shit again. Drugs eh? Who needs em?

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Ted Mico reviews The Pixies live in Boston and Caren Myers reviews The Sugarcubes live in Yugoslavia, 9th December 1989

Ted Mico reviews The Pixies live in Boston and Caren Myers reviews The Sugarcubes live in Yugoslavia, 9th December 1989. Pixies photo Mike Morton.

Black Francis with hair. Read the review and tell me you’re not jealous that you weren’t there.

And The Sugarcubes in the former Yugoslavia. Various rumours and reports that Einar’s off-key yelping at this gig was a major factor in the break up of the former Yugoslavia still persist to this day.

A prize for anyone that can tell me in the comments who or what the black butterfly was a teaser ad for.

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David Stubbs interviews Mark E Smith, 12th November 1988

David Stubbs interviews Mark E. Smith, 12th November 1988. Photos by Joe Dilworth.

After the Loop interview something more conventional. David Stubbs is persuaded that Mark E. Smith is maligned only by idiots. Should probably also hilight the reference to the fanzine When Saturday Comes in the fourth paragraph, as I know some of you take an interest in such matters.

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Everett True interviews The Cranberries on the release of their debut single, 26th October 1991. Photo Joe Dilworth

Compare and contrast the obsequious piece above with this below (taken from this forum), originally printed in the Melody Maker, April 27, 1996. Proof that 5 years is a long, long time in pop and that you can disappear up your own arse in the blink of an eye.

Some people like THE CRANBERRIES. EVERETT TRUE and TAYLOR PARKES don’t.

THE CRANBERRIES
TO THE FAITHFUL DEPARTED

Reasons to hate The Cranberries.

1) Dolores O’Riordan. Her arrogance. Her petty small-mindedness. Her redneck worldview. Her incessant preaching. The fact you can actually see the mean-spiritedness of her thoughts imprinted on her pinched little face. Those American flag jumpsuits. Her cold love of money. The way she’s Sinead O’Connor for people who can’t confront even elementary contradictions. Her anti-abortion stance. Her absolute lack of self-irony. The way she makes even the most fundamental and wonderful emotions sound trite. The way America loves her cliched, stereotypical take on Ireland. Her reduction of serious political issues to 10-second sound-nibbles. Her dress sense. The obscene way she made legions of students slow-dance to the most crushingly banal political lyric (“And their tanks and their bombs and their tanks and their guns…”) since Paul McCartney’s “Give Ireland Back To The Irish”. That wedding.

2) Dolores O’Riordan. Her smug conceit masquerading as concern for all mankind.

3) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. The fact that no one in her obviously highly technological camp has bothered to buy her anything more than a Second Year rhyming dictionary. The fact that she sees fit to write a song about John Lennon – a bigoted, misogynistic, self-loathing, tantrum-prone asshole who also happened to write some great songs – 15 years after the event, and gloss over all his faults. The fact that she does so by writing the infantile lines, “It was a fearful night of December 8th/He was returning home from the studio late/He had perceptively known that it wouldn’t be nice/Because in 1980 he paid the price…With a Smith & Wesson 38/John Lennon’s life was no longer a debate.” The fact that every person in her camp is clearly so in awe of her (temper? Power? Capacity for retribution? Fragile ego?) that they didn’t take her gently to one side and go, “Er, Dolores, perhaps it’d be better if someone else wrote the lyrics…”

4) Dolores O’Riordan. Her videos. You know how much Dolores hates to be typecast as a “thick Paddy”? Has she actually watched any of her own videos? The way they reinforce received notions of Ireland as a backwards country populated entirely by broken-toothed, bowl-headed, crying schoolkids in grey V-neck jumpers dancing around streets lit by the occasional Armalite flare? And the odd horse – y’know.

5) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. Guess whose only contact with “real life” has been MTV news and the occasional venture onto the street outside the Four Seasons? Check “War Child”: “I spent last winter in New York and came upon a man/He was sleeping in the streets and homeless, he said ‘I fought in Vietnam’…” You ****ing patronising, prematurely middle-aged cow.

6) Dolores O’Riordan. Her music. The opening song here (“Hollywood”) starts like Stiltskin. Only not as good. Then we’re onto Foreigner territory. With the odd mandolin thrown in, for “local” colour.

7) Dolores O’Riordan. Her lyrics. Check “I’m Still Remembering”: “They say the cream will always rise to the top/They say that good people are always the first to drop/What of Kurt Cobain, will his presence still remain?/Remember JFK, ever saintly in a way….” (Yeah, and an adulterous ego-maniac who started the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War, in another way.) Check: “Bosnia” (no, seriously, folks) – “Bosnia was so unkind, Sarajevo changed my mind…Rummmpatitum, rummmpatitum/Traboo, traboo, traboo…” (We’re quoting from the official lyric sheet.) The theremin and musical box used (spookily!) to spice up the music have the unfortunate effect of making the song sound like something from “The Twilight Zone”.
The situation in the former Yugoslavia seems to have particularly troubled Dolores while she was writing the songs for this album (what’s wrong, dearie? Nothing better on TV?). After all, as she helpfully points out in the heady, emotive (all right: we’re lying) “Free To Decide”, “You must have nothing more with your time to do/There’s a war in Russia and Sarajevo too.” This is, incidentally, the most perceptive insight she offers throughout. (Who are the people who take this woman seriously? Where do they live? Where do they go to at night? Please don’t invite us.)

8) Dolores O’Riordan. Her voice. The way she turned what was a dazzling, intoxicating gift into an atonal corncrake skree by infusing it with her personality. Now it emparts no emotion of any kind, save for pettiness, bitterness, self-righteousness. She tries to suggest such broad sweeps of emotion with her songs but, somehow, they always end up sounding so ****ing small.

Not that we’d want to belittle her.

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Jonh Wilde interviews Fish, 28th October 1989. Photo by Joe Dilworth

This is for Taylor Parkes….”a fucking flute!”  – thanks Taylor, I laughed my head off.

It doesn’t get much more rock and roll than press shots in a freshly plough field propped with a tractor and a German Shepherd now does it? And I’m sure everyone can remember where they were when Fish split with Marillion – the cider flowed freely in the leafier parts of middle England that night I can tell you.

But the last I can remember of Fish was seeing him on telly in a spliff rolling competition with Tony Banks (the M.P. not the exulted Genesis keyboard player) about a hundred years ago.

What is Fish up to today I thought? Well he’s a Sony award winning Radio DJ and has churned out a steady succession of solo records since 1989 to the present. So there you go.

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