The Church - Live in Turin, Italy (1985)
I was very excited one chilly and wet fall night in 1984. I was on my way to pick up my buddy Doug and we were going to Bunky's to see The Church! I've already chronicled the severe disappointment that followed. Big sigh still today about that. (Years after that night I befriended Eric, an elfin record store clerk and multi-instrumentalist of great talent who was also the biggest Church fan in Madison. He liked to go on and on about how incredible that show was. I could've killed him).
I found this one in the vaults yesterday, half a mile beneath the prairie grass and protected from nuclear blasts, prairie voles (if such exist) and owner stupidity. I'm only allowed in when well caffeinated. I don't remember getting it in trade or ever listening to it, so it's new to all of us. Soundwise, not bad but could be better. And I have much worse. May even be from a radio broadcast. I couldn't find a setlist and it's not listed on any Church gigography I could find.
In terms of performance, this is great - the band is at their peak with some of the most chiming and soaring psychedelic guitar I've ever heard from tthem, pulled off in inestimable Church fashion. So don't let the sound turn you off. Turn on, tune in, etc, whatever. (Anyone out there have any better sounding early performances you wanna share? I'll be happy to host it here if you do).
And buy shit!
PS I dunno why, but The Church always spins skeins of Pre-Raphaelite imagery through my head. Perhaps they are the aural equivalent of the Rossettis? I'm also reminded again of Thomas Disch, who wrote - with his longtime partner Charles Naylor - the beautiful Neighboring Lives, a luscious novel about a small neighborhood in London and the people who lived there and wrote there and made some of the most beautiful art in the world there during the 19th century. From Thomas Carlyle to Christina Rossetti, they are all between the pages. I doubt it's in print anymore but look for it. It's worth it.