Going Underworld

On this day in 1989, we’re in London.  It’s the first time we ever play with the Clean and the last time we ever play with Stephan Wichnewski.  I manage to finagle my way into the Clean’s set as the third guitarist (Martin Phillips is the second!) on “Point That Thing Somewhere Else.”  Three years later, we’re in London again, and again it’s the last night of the tour.  Both Seam and we are opening for the Screaming Trees at the Underworld, and a great time, it is not.  Seam begin their short set concurrent with the doors opening, and if that sounds to you like they played in front of nobody, then like the great Bob Murphy before me, I have successfully painted the word picture.  As usual, we close our set with “Sudden Organ.”  Do I have to remind you that there’s no guitar on that song, that I play organ?  Or that the drums drop out close to the end, leaving the organ and fuzz bass to finish the song?  Of course not.  So on this night, time clearly being of the essence, as soon as “Sudden Organ” begins, Joe and the members of Seam strike my guitar amp.  When Georgia drops out, while James and I play on, she walks off and the drum set is removed from the stage.  I hit one last note, then organ and amplifier . . . gone.  James finishes the set by himself, his bass amp the only remaining piece of gear on the stage.  We weren’t sure that one could sneeringly break down  backline, but much to our satisfaction, it turned out that we could.