NewOrderOnline.com is supported by its members. Donations are always welcomed and appreciated.

Send a donation...


Sounds 23/7/83 Cover picture (70kb)
Interview by Mick Middles



'You just can't believe me when I tell you what you mean to me'.
(New Order, 'Confusion')
"Hello shitheads."
(Pete Hook addressing audience in Washington)

The week the image cracked.
Two days before New Order arrive in New York - and you can feel it.
The anticipation this band generates is phenomenal, unrivalled.
Understandable maybe, if a general lack of activity prevails in these
preceding days, but quite the reverse is true.
This is a big week. Just about everybody seems to be here.
A dreadful 48 hours of brash and unashamed ligging is taking place in and
around the New York Hilton under the false moniker of 'New Music Seminar
If British record company employees turn your stomach with their
proverbial "'Tastic, 'tastic, must have lunch" attitudes, then the Americans
caricature this into something totally grotesque.
Almost obscene to the casual onlooker. These people are convinced that
product comes first, is invented by themselves and only later sold to the
audience - and the audience moronically swallows every piece of garbage
thrown at them.
In America, perhaps they do. Which is where New Order come in. No band is
better equipped to ridicule the American system than New Order.
Above and beyond, their careers do not depend on being nice to people they
have no respect for. With a natural Mancunian brashness they smash the
polythened American rock package wide open. Often verging on pure bar room
vulgarity, they leave a thousand mouths wide open with disbelief.
"Hey, Pete. Will you sign an autograph for this girl out here?"
"Has she got big tits?"

So New York awaits the arrival of New Order. The climax to a week of
free Toto Coelo cocktails. Hanging out on the elitist Danceteria rooftop
with Aztec Camera, Funboy Three, JoBoxers, Haysi Fantayzee, Bob Geldof,
Malcolm McLaren. The list is endless. Gigs happen all over the place from
the best (Aztecs at Danceteria) to the worst (JoBoxers at the Ritz).
Supported by a multitude of dreadful English apeing US outfits and Billy
Idol videos.
"Hey, my God, have you seen Billy... He's so HOT!"
I kid you not.
Staring down on these falsely flamboyant styleless masses. Like a constant
solemn reminder of the week's true (and only) event. Rows of Saville-ian
stark New Order posters, as if surveying with distaste the goings on below.
The heat is unbearable, wet and enveloping.
The best action in New York is on the street corners where the truly great
walkmans stand guard blasting out the wonderful WBLS radio station (a
constant non stop disco mix where the DJs just sit and mix and segue the
songs together, never speaking - Peter Powell take note) and black kids of
no more than twelve spin, twist and wriggle to 'IOU', 'Buffalo Bill/Gals',
'Wikki Wikki Wikki', 'Billie Jean/Do It Again' and, you guessed it, 'Blue
As if to sense the real action, New Order have recently been working in
New York with producer Arthur Baker. The finished result is 'Confusion'. A
song which, strangely enough, parallels Freeez's 'IOU', also produced by
Baker and, it seems, simultaneously.
'Confusion', a mix of lively computed disco chants (?) and Barney's
(Bernard Sumner's) drifting vocals, is heading dircetly towards those giant
walkmans and directly away from the hospitality suites at the New York
I hear the almost finished product before the band arrive. Countless plays
finally assure me that it is their best work to date. Light years away from
the rather dull (I thought) days of 'Everything's Gone Green'. The days of
grey despondency now cast into history and forgotten. Prosperity and
integrity could easily be their motto.
If Johnny Waller's Uriah Heep were indeed guilty then New Order must be
innocent. No record company paid for this Sounds venture into foreign
"We don't like doing interviews simply because the questions asked have
already been answered a thousand times and can be looked up so easily. There
is really no point in going over all that groundwork again. But we will talk
to anybody, really. We don't strive to be aloof and we DO in fact quite
often politely answer the same questions. We only become angry when we're
tired and bored."
Which, of course, is fair enough and in fact a policy which helps keep New
Order articles, rare as they may be, interesting. Here's hoping.

Wednesday and New Order finally arrive in New York. Tired and drunk, the
entire party floods into a dangerously packed Danceteria as Aztec Camera and
Malcolm McLaren perform in their various ways.
'Confusion' is actually played to the dancefloor and nobody from New Order
notices it, still claiming they haven't heard it yet.
Barney slinks on the bar, eyes glazed, worlds away. The rest of the band
stagger through the crowds of biz people and fall asleep, or whatever.
People still talk of New Order.
Only manager Rob Gretton is at his best as the eternal football hooligan
bringing a welcome pocket of down-to-earth humanity to the proceedings.
(Note. Gretton used to be the scourge of the Kippax in his youth. Actually,
he probably still is).
"It's like Woodstock, all these people here for something and they don't
really know what it is," observes a reasonably sober Steve Morris.
"What do you think of New York then, Mick? It's a shithole isn't it, this
place and all of New York. It's better on the West Coast, we enjoy it much
more over there.
"We've enjoyed this tour very much though, so far. Been a laugh actually.
Chaotic, completely chaotic, as you will soon find out."
Day two begins at 3pm in the plush Holiday Inn lobby of New Order's hotel.
Rob, Steve and Gillian, all suntanned to the point of embarrassment, await
their hire car for a drive to the soundcheck at Paradise Garage. Steve
drives. "I've driven for ten minutes in this city and my bottle has
completely gone."
We make it, through the traffic and Rob's confused navigating.
Paradise Garage. Simply a huge garage, sagging under the weight of masses
of disco lights. Decorated in black and grey corrugated metal, like a huge
Hacienda minus any sense of style, and plus the best PA system in the world.
Today though, is not just another soundcheck. The video crew stand in the
wings awaiting their chance to film 'Confusion'. Aptly titled, chaos reigns.
Hookey is missing. Barney goes to find him. Hookey returns, Barney is
missing, and so on.
Manchester exile, ex-Certain Ratio singer Simon Topping, walks briskly in
(tonight playing congas for the excellent support act Quando Quango), his
appearance halting the action onstage.
"Fooookin' 'ell Simon, smart haircut or what!" bellows Barney, and
everyone has to stop mid-soundcheck (already running hours late) whilst old
friendships are rejuvenated.
"Are you bastards going to soundcheck or just have a party?" screams a
frustrated Ossie (New Order's fifth touring member and best soundman in
'Love Will Tear Us Apart' booms out of Hookey's bass and sighs of relief
are heard all around. The film crew move in. Take over. Tell the band to
spray water over each other for sweat effects. Red rag to a bull. Chaos
regains its accustomed hold.
'Confusion', though, is stunning. With sound effects and chants, the live
result is an overwhelming mass of disco punctuation. Great entertainment,
nothing more, or less.
New Order's only arrogance is their correct belief that they are extremely
good at their craft. People meeting the band for the first time often go
away thoroughly confused, perhaps even upset and annoyed if their humour
does not connect with the group's. In America especially, this is the reason
why they are so incredibly misrepresented in the rock press.
New Order are, personality wise, as arty as GBH. Less so thatn Blitz.
Anyone expecting the presumed aura of cool will find themselves torn apart
by six or seven sharp tongues.
The scene on the Paradise Garage roof is typical. Gretton sunbathes with
mock apathy while a Rolling Stone photographer and his three assistants,
spend, literally, three hours setting up umbrellas and lights for a quickly
arranged photo session. Gretton is irritated. Two hours later the band agree
to appear, but don't.
"Where are they then? Are they up here yet?" exclaims the now angry master
of photographic ceremonies.
"Can you see them?" replies Gretton.
"No I cannot."
"Then they are not fuckin' well 'ere then."
"Will you please go and get them. You are the manager."
Yet again, downstairs, the band agree to go up but only Gillian appears
and for five minutes before yawning her way back down. Barney has gone for
an orange juice.
"Will you pose for us?" says the photographer to a startled Kevin Cummins.
"You lot."
Points to me.
"Pretend you are New Order. No-one will know. They are faceless, are they
not? You won't? Well, I'm going. Tell them they are the most unprofessional
band I have ever met."
He storms off.
We tell New Order.
They squeal with delight.

Paradise Garage fills to capacity and then some. Outside, the street is
crawling with the unlucky, scavenging for tickets. The disco inside is hard
and loud. Again dangerously packed.
Quando Quango run through a rhythmic short set of sax-funk (see future
Sounds). Impressive and stimulating, even to a crowd with no apparent wish
to be stimulated. They clap politely at the finish.
After their set and in the New Order dressing room, Simon Topping is
conspicuous by his absence.
"Miserable bastard," moans Ossie.
But the tension is mounting and the band sit around, relatively quiet.
Gretton is continually hassled by a heavy club management wishing to hurry
the show along. Three times they storm into the dressing room, genuinely
threatening. Eventually, under considerable stress and in fear of the
consequences, Gretton ushers the band onstage.
The excellently massive house PA gives us New Order at their best.
Without doubt, and for a change, everything runs perfectly. 'Ceremony',
'Your Silent Face', 'The Village'. Their pop set.
They tend to vary to suit the mood. Tonight, happy.
Hookey's bass is now held ridiculously low, almost at his feet, in an
unintentional parody of J.J. Burnel. But as he blasts out the strong,
distinctive opening riffs to 'Age Of Consent' it becomes clear that tonight
is special. Ossie's control over the sound effects, weirdly superb. The
crowd, incredibly, fail to recognise this. Barney is annoyed. He shows it.
"Just about the most unresponsive crowd we've ever played to. Yank
The opening seguencer to 'Blue Monday' brings cheers, but still the words
are altered by Barney's ad-lib:
"How does it feel - to stand in front of bastards like you."
It's a highly danceable set as well, although, to be fair, the sweaty
claustrophobia doesn't exactly entice me into dance either. The music is
compelling, indicating perfectly the class difference between New Order and
would-be similar outfits.
"Oh you've got green eyes, Oh you've got brown eyes, Oh you've got grey
'Temptation' gives the perfect ending, with a catch. Both sequencer and
drum machine left running to complete the set without the band. A full four
"Hey, did you see that! A fake, the band just walked offstage and the
music kept playing!"
"Yeah, hah, that gets them every time," says Steve Morris.
Obviously, no encore.
The dressing roomed, tired band wait patiently for the disco to re-start,
alleviating the tension. It does. New Order win the evening.

Do you enjoy all of this?
Gillian: "Yes, I do actually. I really enjoy it, every minute. Why? Do I
look miserable?"
You look as though you'd be glad to get back home.
Gillian: "No, not really. I would in the sense that we are moving soon and
have things to do but, still, it's good fun really. I've got a good tan out
of it."
Steve: "We are going for a long holiday in Italy, anyway."
Barney: "Just three more dates to go and then, at last, a rest."
You've still got the Hacienda to play.
Barney: "Shit, shit, I'd forgotten about that. I've got to admit to being
totally wrecked. I'm now used to going to sleep at seven in the morning and
waking up at... Well this morning I was watching cartoons at eight-thirty,
that's how much sleep I get."
Have you really not heard the finished 'Confusion' yet?
Barney: "No, I'm scared to hear it yet. I really am. It seems, if we all
agree, that it will be the next single and that's why we are scared to
listen. Have you heard it? What do you think?"
The best thing you've ever done. I prefer it to 'Blue Monday' (actually,
by a long chalk). The vocals are a bit low, though.
Barney: "Everyone has said that, but that is only a rough mix anyway."
How did you meet Arthur Baker?
Barney: "Through Michael Schamberg (the video king in New York and, it
appears, controller of Factory's New York office). We went into that studio
in New York with no song whatsoever. We've never done that before so it was
in fact a completely experimental thing with a producer we didn't know. He
was working on Freeez at the same time which is probably why it sounds
similar, although the songs are very different really. There is, I belive, a
mix already been made of the two songs together, which is interesting."
Why did you stop working with Martin Hannett?
Steve: "We learnt everything from him. We have no qualms about doing it on
our own. Actually that is not strictly true, something about the album that
isn't quite right. I don't know if we will be working with Arthur Baker
again, depends..."
There is a planned Channel Four TV film about to be made...
Steve: "Yes, the people from Whatever You Want. It's about the band and
they plan to make it half band, half social comment which... I don't know
whether they will be able to combine the two. Maybe it will work... maybe
"I'd prefer to make a proper film. Not musical and not about the band, but
I suppose you have to start somewhere. We do tend to run ourselves in an
unplanned sort of way, like day-to-day, there never seems to be time to
actually sit down and plan something. No great master plan. We are all too
knackered all the time."
Knackered New Order sneak slyly away from Paradise Garage, searching
hopefully for food and sleep. The Paradise Garage mafia smile, sit back, and
count the takings from the fullest night they have ever had. Somewhere else
in New York, the booker from Roseland wonders why on earth he turned New
Order down on his belief that they couldn't fill the place. The kids wonder
how instruments can play themselves.

2.30p.m. New York, Newark Airport and Barney sleeps on the concourse
amidst a huge stack of luggage and unaware of the glances cast by nervous
travellers as they hurry past him as they would hurry past tramps in the
Bowery. Tour manager Ruth Polski (darling of the New York hip set and booker
of the Danceteria, on loan to New Order) seems in a bit of a panic. Seven
minutes before the flight to Washington and no sign of Rob or Steve. Hookey
is ill, hungover and apologetic for being so. He decides to go and find
Steve with the hire car.
Barney: "We are early. Usually there is only one minute before take off
when we arrive. I hate airports, always fall asleep, twelve times on this
tour so far."
2.40p.m. Our plane, for once typically, leaves on time minus the threesome
of Rob, Steve and Hookey.
"I bet they are getting pissed somewhere," muses Barney.
Ruth Polski fights hard to contain her worry, uneasy in the knowledge that
Barney may indeed be right. We fly south, over farmlands and what looks to
be a welcome contrast to the insane vortex of New York soon appears beneath
us. Washington D.C.
As we land, back in a Newark bar, Rob, Steve and Hookey are just sinking
their first of eight Melonball cocktails.
The real drama has yet to happen.

How I wish you were here with me now".
(New Order, 'In A Lonely Place')

The 737 from New York to Washington fills with groans from the rear as Hookey
completes his third sick bag.
Rob Gretton, New Order manager, and Steve Morris are unconcerned about this
and the fact that they are three hours late - the effect of eight Melonball
Cocktails carries them away on a separate, astral plane.
In Washington, the local promoters are apprehensive and tour manager Ruth
Polsky is panicking as Barney and Gillian complete the band's soundcheck alone.
There has been no phone call from Rob.
Outside the venue (a large Spanish cinema, the only seated venue on the tour)
the queue is already 100 yards long - people are becoming increasingly angry at
the delay.
Ossie (soundman and fifth member) is struggling with a PA half the size of the
previous evening's and a venue twice as big. Onstage, an attempted run through
of 'Your Silent Face' breaks down for the fourth time.
"Oh, don't tell me," screams Ossie in mock effeminate tones, "the sequencer
won't work properly... you fuckin' puffs."
Things move downhill from here.
Soundcheck complete, Barney and Gillian head back to their Holiday Inn. As the
crowd pour into the steamy auditorium I wait in a deserted dressing room for the
arrival of the absent threesome.
Eventually Hookey falls through the door, curls up underneath the table and
falls asleep.
"He's pretty bad," says Steve. "I've never seen him as bad as this."
Outside in the hallway, Rob is in the midst of a wrestling match with a member
of the road crew. Amazingly perhaps, Rob is losing. The huge bouncers gaze down
warily, a hint of disgust.
"Melonballs," says Steve. "It's amazing what they do to people."
Downstairs, support band Quando Quango, complete with a revitalised Simon
Topping, bounce their way through another rhythmic short set and create an
New Order are happy to use friends as support. They have had trouble with
American support acts on this tour. In Texas, a one-man synthesiser act began to
re-arrange New Order's stage set-up in order to give himself 'a better
ambience'. This resulted in nothing more than Barney walking to the foot of the
stage and telling him:
"I'm going to teach you two English words. One of them is off and the other
is fuck."
"He was one of those arty bastards," says Rob.
He should talk.
Hookey has woken, looks better. Lunges for me in the hallway.
"Hey, Mick! Get pissed tonight will you? Let your hair down. If you want to
know where to go, just ask me and, er, I'll tell you how to get there..."
He staggers downstairs and out of the club. Ten minutes later Barney and
Gillian are back, awaiting their set. Ruth looks at her watch, still unhappy,
with five minutes to go and a missing bass player.
"Why couldn't one of you have chained him down?" she says.
"Stop panicking, Ruth," says Rob, "and have a sandwich."
But after half an hour the situation hasn't altered. The crowd are restless
and, unlike New York, seem to have no qualms about showing it. New Order sit in
the dressing room, interrupted only by constant threats from the management.
They make a decision. To my amazement they decide to restructure the set and go
onstage without Hookey. Rob will go onstage and play syndrums. "No one will
notice," they conclude.
I doubt this and the prospect of seeing New Order minus those driving bass
lines drags me downstairs and into a prominent position. No amount of Budweiser
is going to make me miss this.
Onstage, to cheers.

New Order begin a set which is the total antithesis of the previous evening's.
The electric excitement of their pop set is replaced by the low key and the
meandering. 'In A Lonely Place', an amazingly 'down' song, opens the set. Rob,
back to the audience, punches syn-drums at regular intervals. A loosely
structured sound, Steve Morris works hard, hands skipping across the toms, to
replace those missing bass lines. True enough, nobody appears to notice. 'Your
Silent Face' is weird and patchy but not lacking in intrigue.
"You caught me at a bad time, so why don't you piss off," sings Barney,
aware, I'm sure, of the irony.
The crowd is hesitant and the bouncers sneer with distaste, unaware of the
drama. Without any obvious reason and mid song, Rob casts his drumsticks to the
ground and strolls casually offstage. Barney seems to be having a conversation
with Gillian and only the sweat of Steve Morris pushes the song to its finish.
The band hide behind an almost Public Image style aloofness. The crowd,
masochistic as always, enjoy this, beautifully unaware of the unplanned nature
of the set.
Then they spot Hookey, charging down the left hand aisle, looking, for the
first time in his life, slightly worried.
"Hello shitheads." Hookey to crowd.
"Oh, the black sheep returns." Barney to Hookey.
Straight into 'Age Of Consent', immediately lifting the atmosphere, releasing
the tension as things settle down to a comparative normality. Sound problems
persist though, making the gig more interesting but far less exciting than last
And off.
So suddenly.
Four people charge into the dressing room. The door slams shut. Absolutely
nobody backstage for ten minutes. A meeting.
The crowd really are unhappy this time. Cries of "rip offs" and even "Snotty
English bastards" are heard in full as the management turns the disco off. The
bouncers rush in and the scene becomes ugly as they literally push the
complaining crowd through the doors. Seats are kicked, doors are kicked, but
little that is human is kicked. Good luck prevails and a minor riot is avoided,
but only just.
In the dressing room things soon cool down. Surprisingly, the band are happily
signing autographs as I return.
"Look, er, could you sign this one with the red pen and use the silver one for
the album sleeve? Oh and sign 'Closer' with the black pen please."
Confused, maybe even dumbfounded, the band struggles through. Gillian has been
kidnapped and taken into the adjoining dressing room for a radio interview. A
12-year-old black kid sweeps the floor as the remainder of the beer is hastily
"They are literally throwing people out downstairs," I tell Rob.
"So they fuckin' should do too, kick 'em out. That's what I say."
Careful Rob.
I think he's joking. Not sure though.
"You're a star Rob," I tell him in reference to his instant percussion act.
"Always have been, Mick. Always will be. Forget those bastards."
Back at the hire van, appointed driver Kevin Cummins (yes, if we hadn't turned
up, New Order would still be drunk in some downbeat Greenwich Village bar) hands
Rob two parking tickets.
"I'll put them with the others. That makes ten, so far."
Gillian and Steve scramble into the van, quiet, tired and a little concerned
at the evening's below par performance. Only Rob is in top form, spouting a
steady stream of insults.
We head for a nearby hotel bar. Forced to buy a ridiculously expensive round
("I don't get paid three thousand dollars a show and turn up late," I inform
them), I perch next to Steve and Gillian. I mention the hostile crowd reaction.
"I don't blame them really," says Gillian.
"I think we were shit, tonight. I'd have been annoyed if I'd paid ten dollars
for that show, I really would. Perhaps, for once, we should have played an
encore. It wasn't very good, was it?"
Steve: "I don't think it was so bad. Not as good as last night, but there was
a bit of tension which, I think, made it very interesting."
The subject matter returns to New Order's usage of computerised instruments.
In particular, Tony Wilson's recent claim that New Order's computerised music is
the sound of the future. However, to these ears, 'Power, Corruption And Lies'
sounds remarkably straight, almost rocky and (the old M.U. question) do
computerised sounds strip away the personality of a record?
Steve: "That's a load of bollocks, all that computer noise shit. Firstly, all
Tony Wilson ever says to us is, 'Great lads, love it, love it'. That's about the
extent of our conversation with him lately. Secondly, the machines we used were
American so they never worked properly anyway. They are supposed to be great
leaps forward in technology, the KGB are probably stripping them apart at this
very moment. The truth of the matter is that they are a load of shit. Boxes with
flashing lights on them and instructions that are impossible to understand and
which don't mean anything anyway, in the end. We should have bought Japanese.
They have not altered our basic songs in any way and never will.
"Sure, we use effects onstage, but so what? Who doesn't? I often think we
should just tape the entire thing. It would make life a lot easier, but perhaps
very boring. The same set every night. We could use different tapes for
different nights, we tried something like that once but it didn't work, so it's
always back to basics, really."
Gillian and Steve and new-found driver Kevin retire to bed, to prepare for
tomorrow's long trip to Trenton, New Jersey. Rob and I go out on the town, eat a
meal, watch the street fights and finally crawl back to the hotel.

The next morning is so sunny and bright we could almost be in England. New
Order are lying by the swimming pool, their relaxation interrupted only by the
never-ending clicks of Kevin's camera. Gillian and Steve spend their time
choosing cheap gifts and mementos. Hookey goes with Kevin to see the White
House. Barney falls asleep by the pool.
"I'm getting worried about him," quips Steve. "Milk deficiency, I think. Some
kind of deficiency, anyway. He falls asleep everywhere. He's missed most of this
Gillian doesn't want to go home. Just two more gigs.
A helicopter prowls the hotel. Sirens wail.
Steve: "I hope there isn't going to be a shoot out. Shouldn't think so, not in
Washington. In Detroit, it was really scary. They have this curfew where nobody
under seventeen is allowed out after eleven o'clock. It's to stop the city's
youth getting blown away."
"It is, genuinely. Shots, you hear them all the time down there. Really heavy
atmosphere, frightening."
Like Liverpool?
Two vehicles drive our party to New Jersey. A long, sweaty journey. I'm in
with Barney, Rob, Quando and Kevin the driver (are they paying him for this?).
Barney falls asleep. 150 miles down the road, we stop at a services. It's not
Watford Gap, though. A kind of cross between a chip shop and a cathedral.
Barney has woken up and delights in insulting us all - giggling, boyish, the
opposite of his public persona. Kevin finds a plectrum, suspiciously hiding in
his cheeseburger. The waitress is overcome, apologises and scraps the bill. How
can she be so...
"An old Salford trick," mutters Barney.
"It's stealing really, isn't it?" observes Kevin.
"Yes, but try explaining that it was a joke to her," says Rob.
"They just won't understand. No sense of humour these yanks."
On to Trenton. Through miles and miles of featureless scenery. Poor scary
black neighbourhoods, rich boring white suburbs. The journey is broken only by
Barney's pornographic cassette tapes and Rob's newly bought 'Smoking Monkey'.
America's downmarket commercialism is an endless source of amusement on journeys
such as these. The atmosphere is, most conclusively, one of rock 'n' roll (sic).
Some things never change. I could be with the Damned or Def Leppard or Herman's
Hermits. The 'Bad News' tour.
"I'm with New Order," I constantly remind myself.
Just to add fuel to the cliche, we are lost. Typically, not in one of the rich
boring white suburbs, but in a poor scary black area. We pull in at a roadside
cafeteria to ask for directions. We drink caffeine-free Diet Coke (for health)
and suck on caffeine pastels (to stay awake). We stare at the cafe from the
safety of the van as we digest these two symbols of American madness.
"It looks awfully black in there, doesn't it," says Barney.
"Go on Kevin, go and ask for directions then," taunts Rob, somewhat betraying
his hooligan image.
Wimpily, we pull out. An hour later we find the venue. A pity.
Hookey is oblivious to everything, sunbathing on the roadside. Behind him is a
graffiti-daubed monstrosity, looking for all the world like the Electric Circus,
Manchester, ironically the place where New Order (then named Stiff Kittens)
began their career some six years ago.
The local radio blasts 'White Riot'. The radio DJ is also the DJ for this
evening. We climb out of the van, stare in disbelief. Like stepping out of the
Tardis. Rub our eyes and stare again. The vision remains, complete with
subsequent deja vu.
Who booked this place?
We are just 40 miles from Times Square and six years behind in time.
"Don't worry. America is always like this," says Hookey.
"Varies from town to town. Disconnected. A mess."
I light a cigarette. Take one more look at this absurd phony 1977, lie on the
grass next to Hookey, and sunbathe.
"I hope the birds wear suspenders and men's shirts down here," somebody says.

Thisis, actually, where it ends. In three hours I will be on board a cramped
Jumbo and headed for Gatwick. The scene before me is genuinely weird. If I were
a cynic I'd say the Americans had bought the Electric Circus and transported it
brick by brick to New Jersey. In some respects I suppose they have. A museum of
English music, 1977.
Tonight, what the audience expects and what it will get are so obviously at
opposite ends of the spectrum. Without doubt, New Order will professionally
exploit the bewilderment of the onlookers. They should be at their best. I envy
I think of one last question, a good question, the answer to which should put
this entire two week piece well and truly into perspective.
Excited, I turn to Hookey.
Hookey is asleep.

Last updated on 2005-03-07 9:47:00 PM - 9:47:00 PM
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.