06/12/85 - NYC, NY @ Folk City

Date: Wednesday, June 12, 1985
City: New York City, NY, USA
Venue: Folk City
w/ 4 drummers

I'm Insane
Ghost Bitch
Noise Jam

just sonic youth

Secret Girl
Society is a Hole
Satan is Boring

  • The following passage comes from Alec Foege's "Confusion is Next" book:

    One of the first shows Steve played with the band took place at New York's Folk City on Bleecker Street. One in a series of concerts titled Music For Dozens and arranged by writer-turned-musician Ira Kaplan and Michael Hill, the night was unique, even by Sonic Youth's standards. Thurston, Kim, and Lee stood on the stage, which was in the center of the room; Bob Bert and Steve Shelley each sat at full drum kits in separate corners of the room. King Coffey and Theresa [Taylor] of the Butthole Surfers filled the other two corners of the room with kettle drums. As the band played, all four drummers hammered away -- in the dark. Amplifiers in the rest rooms blared distorted tape loops. Disturbing, gory slides by Richard Kern (a man with a spear through his throat, for example) flickered on a screen. A mesmerized audience basked in the massive, tremerous quadrophonic scape.

  • The text on the fabulous Children of the Corn poster reads: "SPECIAL PSYCHO-ACOUSTIK SET WITH SPECIAL PSYCHO-GUESTS. ****FREE ADMISSION IF YOU'RE NAKED****" Presumably, the special guests were King and Theresa.

    UPDATE 11/01: I had a chance to ask King Coffey about this gig after a Butthole Surfers show the other night, and he was able to supply me w/ a little more information. First off, apparently I'm not the first person to ask him about the show -- since the publishing of "Confusion is Next", he's asked fairly often about "the four drummers show". He says that the Buttholes had been hanging around NYC a lot that summer and SY just invited King & Theresa down for the show. They had about one floor tom each, and the first song played was "Ghost Bitch". The idea was to create a cycle of alternating tribal call-and-response beats between the four drummers. He's positive about "Ghost Bitch", and believes the second song may have been "She's in a Bad Mood" (a song not known to be performed after 1983, which doesn't necessarily mean he's recalling wrong). After two songs, King, Theresa, and Bob departed and Sonic Youth did a full set with Steve behind the kit.

    UPDATE JULY 2004! -- a recording of this show finally verified the set list.

  • Emmanuel Tremblay's tape replay: "the band play with steve shelley live for the first time. the setlist is pretty much interesting, and there are no break except before 'expressay to yr. skull'. the first track 'i'm insane' might have been interesting live with the quadraphonic sound but on the mono recording it's a rather sloppy version with random beats. 'ghost bitch' doesn't sound much different than the normal version. then there is the first version of 'secret girl'. between track 2,3 4 and 5 there are extented noise intro and outro. the band play a jam that is reminiscent of the 'satan is boring' extented jam on the 04-85 tour (especially 04-26) with the 'satan is boring' tape loop and a few lines from the songs, although it could probably be just called a 'jam'. like on the 04-26 show, thurston sings a few verses of 'green light' on this one. it begins with a short drum/noise jam segueing after 'society is a hole'. at the end they play the 'scream tape'. this is the first known version of 'expressway'. this is similar to the final version but more noisy and less climatic. the loud section sounds more like noise jam while steve drumming is still loose, perhaps this is the first performance of the song. this is an interesting performance but particularly sloppy by 85 standards."


  • unknown...


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