If there's one thing TSOM fans are suckers for, it's new merchandise, and the sad recent news that the MAM store is now longer seemingly trading reminds me of the halcyon days of the Reptile House mail order service in the UTR era. Nowadays it's mugs, tote bags and the like which the ageing goths who make most of the current 'live' audience seem to lap up (surely the first MR zimmer frame is not far away), but amongst my Sisters junk I found one of the flyers given away by Acme in the band's first foray into megabucks merchandising at the Merch stall on the Black October tour. These flyers were intended for those whose post-gig arrangements were too chaotic to get that Ruth Polsky poster home in perfect condition, or who had spent their last 72p on a pint of lager and black (guilty as charged, m'lud) and would need to save next week's giro to buy a fashionably unfashionable white t-shirt. I still have the set of three badges which I bought at one gig (the last of the big spenders), but I never did manage to save up the twelve quid needed to buy the tour shirt, although I'm not really sure where I was planning to wear it.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
Recent correspondence with other fans of TSOM's earliest incarnations has prompted me to have a rifle through what I sometimes rather laughably describe as my TSOM "collection", which is in fact a few old carrier bags stuffed with a variety of press cuttings, flyers, artefacts etc (but also containing old family photos, football programmes, random souvenirs etc etc), hidden deep in a pile of garage-bound boxes which we always intended to sort through when we last moved house over a decade ago.
Anyway, the first find I thought might be of interest to some is a photo (one of several) which I took at the legendary Sheffield Uni gig in June '83 (see blog post entitled "Sisters For Free Part Two" for further details).
It's never easy trying to take photos at gigs, and that was even more the case in the early 80's, as this shot was taken on a 110 Instamatic of East European origin (via Argos) whilst I was bobbing around in the moshpit trying to avoid being crushed by the toppling upper layers of the human pyramid from Wakefield. Then there was of course the lengthy wait for the return of the film from the processing factory somewhere near Watford to see if you'd actually managed to get any decent shots at all, or just twenty-four of your own left ear having held the camera the wrong way round.
Seeing some of the spectacular shots posted online of the recent 2014 tour puts this grainy, badly-lit shot of Von to shame, but at least you could see the band in those days and lightshow didn't burn your retinas.