Better Than Can
I wonder if Jeff read this before he died.
Johny Brown (a.k.a. Fusion) on the Invisible Jukebox
Within Wire magazine, the Invisible Jukebox feature plays tracks to various musos/artists and gets them to guess the band and chat about them. Here’s what Johny said about us (and Jeff in particular). Jeff would’ve liked some of what was said.
Apparently, Fusion was played tracks by Bertolt Brecht, Test Department, Little Annie (Annie Anxiety), Crawling Chaos and others. Here’s what he said about “Berlin”, as transcribed to me by Martin Blank.
‘Cabaret Voltaire? Crawling Chaos? Thank God. I knew this but I hadn’t heard it for 25 years. Wow, can I just listen to it? Excellent. Very Can isn’t it? The vocals are very Cabaret Voltaire. A disembodied, Northern downer sort of voice. A lot of their gigs went on in various doss houses around Whitley Bay. They had this attic studio on Front Street in Tynemouth, which is a very quaint road by day and an absolutely violent strip by night. Very psychedelic, Crawling Chaos, in a driving, forceful Seeds – and Can – like manner. I knew Jeff (Crowe) the guitarist really well. Jeff was a real Canhead, and he loved his hallucinogenics.
I don’t know how they got a deal with Factory, but the minute they started getting any sort of success they destroyed it. They weren’t in it for fame or success or any of those reasons, they were in it to create some serious noise damage, some magic, and get out. They’d either do totally inspired gigs or they’d be completely, nauseatingly bad, and they’d do it on purpose sometimes, just to provoke a reaction. They could be quite stuck up and bratty, but when they got into a groove and got trancey, they could be the best band in the world, better than Can.’
A fine termination in my view. Some comments would’ve annoyed Jeff for sure, but I’m not saying which. They’d have annoyed me, once. Those who actually knew us will know exactly which ones! But “better than Can” – Jeff would’ve liked that.
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