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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Biting Tongues

In the grey days of late 1970s post-punk Manchester, youth culture was a serious affair: every musical performance was measured mostly by the conviction of its delivery. The term 'New Wave' opened up free vistas where acquired skills could once again be exercised after punk's monochrome blur. It could be applied to anything from a James 'Blood' Ulmer record to the latest Throbbing Gristle release, Magazine to Swell Maps. Move outside that terrain into Sun Ra, Parliament, Frank Sinatra and Martin Denny, and your options were suddenly without limit...

Then came Tony Wilson's Factory Club (at the Russell Club in Hulme) offering an open invitation to experiment that was taken up when Ken Hollings, Howard Walmsley, Eddie Sherwood and a few others decided to make some noise to accompany their 16mm silent epic Biting Tongues. A further performance followed a few weeks later, when Colin Seddon and Graham Massey disbanded their Post Natals project and joined up. The film itself, a flashing series of negative images, became a memory; the name remained.

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