17 Jun 2017
Joy Division's cancelled 1980 US tour 

In a different, parallel universe, Joy Division would have toured North America in May/June 1980 and gone on to be super massive. Sadly in this world it never happened for tragic reasons but there are plenty of artefacts from the time which remind us of what could have been.

One of the many treasures in the AHW archive at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester is a typewritten itinerary for all the days in the trip which was planned 19 May to 10 June. Other variants exist including Detroit Bookies on 26 May (which Rob Gretton's notes in 1 Top Class Manager - which also contains further details on costings, etc - explain there was a "possibility of cancellation"). Days off were built into the schedule and the San Francisco date was to have been either the 6th or 7th of June.

You may wish to view the full typewritten itinerary (including some handwritten annotations).




19th Fly in
20th Day Off
21st New York      Hurrahs
22nd New York      Hurrahs
23rd New York      Hurrahs
24th Day Off
25th Toronto       The Edge
26th Day Off
27th Chicago       Tuts
28th Madison       Merlins
29th Minneapolis   Duffies
30th Day Off
31st Day Off


1st  New York       Pop Front
2nd  Fly to San Francisco
3rd  Day Off
4th  Day Off
5th  Day Off
     San Francisco  American Indian Hall
8th  Los Angeles    Flippers?
9th  Day Off
10th Fly Home

Further suggested reading: Joy Division Central

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A Certain Ratio

"Manchester, 1978. In the beginning there were four: Jez Kerr (bass), Martin Moscrop (guitar/trumpet), Peter Terrel (guitar/effects) and Simon Topping (vocals/trumpet). Four thin boys with a name borrowed from a Brian Eno record, the intense, drummerless quartet initially drew influence from Wire, Eno, the Velvets and Kraftwerk, and gained a manager in Anthony Wilson of Factory Records.

"May 1979 saw the release of their first ACR single, the dark All Night Party, although the sound and musicianship of the band would be transformed by the arrival of funky drummer Donald Johnson (DoJo) in August. Over the next few months the band gigged widely, often with Joy Division as part of Factory packages, and recorded demos with producer Martin Hannett as well as a Peel session. Their support slot with Talking Heads on their UK tour in December 1979 set David Byrne on a new course, and provided the compelling live half of their chic cassette package The Graveyard and the Ballroom. Post-punk, ACR now reflected the influence of Funkadelic, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Bar Kays and James Brown."

- intro to ACR Biography by James Nice (LTM)

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