Wayne on FALAA, Eldritch and stuff

THE place for your Sisters-related comments, questions and snippets of Sisters information. For those who do not know, The Sisters of Mercy are a rock'n'roll band. And a pop band. And an industrial groove machine. Or so they say. They make records. Lots of records, apparently. But not in your galaxy. They play concerts. Lots of concerts, actually. But you still cannot see them. So what's it all about, Alfie? This is one of the few tightly-moderated forums on Heartland, so please keep on-topic. All off-topic posts will either be moved or deleted. Chairman Bux is the editor and the editor's decision is final. Danke.
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theyoungbrain
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Wayne just posted this on his Facebook feed. Great stuff.

From Wayne: I received an email a few days ago from an iconic band-leader/singer/guitarist/songwriter, someone who I’ve never met before but one of the very few American musicians that I admire (not generally being a big fan of American rock music), who made positive comment on my guitar playing which gave me cause to go back and listen to some music that I’d been involved with through the years. Firstly, I listened to The Sisters Of Mercy’s First & Last & Always all the way through for the first time in almost 30 years and I must say, despite my reticence, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It still sounds pretty fresh to me and although there have since been a million imitators no one has ever really captured the true essence of that music, I feel, in the same way. It still sounds unique. There is an atmosphere, a space, a chime to it that I don’t hear with very many other records. And a lot of it has aged very well to my ears, like a good Bordeaux……..Maybe time and distance has given me an objectivity regarding FALAA that I’ve never really enjoyed before.

I also watched on YouTube our performance on the Old Grey Whistle Test which, again, was pretty unique, certainly for the time. I remember that it was being broadcast live and literally 30 seconds before the show started Gary Marx’s guitar cut out, stopped working, and it was he that was supposed to start the first song, First & Last & Always. With no time to stop and fix it as opening credits were rolling Craig and I improvised by me starting the song playing Gary’s guitar part, Craig coming in and playing mine and then reverting to the bass line when the song kicked in by which time Jez, our roadie, had managed to change Gary’s guitar lead and get him working again. A hairy scary moment but a mixture of youthful bravado and a few hefty lines of speed beforehand saw us through.

Another thing I watched again was this clip. Knocking On Heaven’s Door from The Royal Albert Hall. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dQV_8hhKZg
I’d been out the evening before the show in London with Ian Astbury and Lemmy. Craig and Andrew had stayed in the hotel and gone to bed early…apparently. Anyway, Ian, Lemmy, and I had gone to see Killing Joke at the Hammersmith Palais (sadly now long demolished and replaced by a shopping mall) and Lemmy had introduced me to Jimmy Page, one of MY guitar heroes and my first encounter with a Zeppelin. It’s fair to say that Jimmy was in an even worse state than I was, he being held up by the bar whilst I danced the stagger in front of him. Still, I shook the very hand that had come up with such great godly guitar riffs as Stairway To Heaven and Kashmir. I asked him if he’d produce our next album; he told me to ‘f**k off’. I liked him.

So, the day of the Sisters Royal Albert Hall show and I was so hungover. I couldn’t stand up without wanting to fall over and vomit. I remember Andrew being pissed off with me, nothing new there then, him thinking that I would let the side down come show time. He should’ve known better. A couple of white lines and a stiff drink saw me right and I was ready if not quite right as rain.
I am a huge Dylan fan (another of the very few Americans whose music I love) and I love his version of his own song but I have to say that of all the very many others that have covered this song I think this Sisters version is maybe the best version I have heard. From the monotony of the very simple drum machine, to the neanderthal quality of the bass, to the brooding malevolence of Andrew’s vocal, and to quite possibly my finest ever guitar solo - one of the very few times I actually played it well and thankfully the cameras were there to capture it. It’s such a simple song and so many bands play this and it becomes just hoary old pub rock. We’ve even played it with The m*****n a few times and never even come close to the magnificence of the Sisters version. The problem being, in my opinion, too many musicians playing too much. Bad musicians are afraid to leave silence and space, good ones keep it simple. This version is stripped right out and all the better for it. I’d like to think that Dylan himself has heard this version and given his nod of approval and I’m also pretty damn sure that Guns & Roses used our version as the starting point for theirs which ended up being pretty horrible, it has to be said. We were the antithesis of the pop pablum of the time just as we would be also today. Just as The m*****n has also been throughout our existence. Of that I am proud.

It’s been a good, therapeutic exercise listening to this stuff again. It’s been too easy for me to forget the music and just remember the dysfunctional inter-personal relationships that were a feature of my time in the Sisters. I know both Andrew and myself have bad mouthed each other many times through the years, nary a good word either of us has had to say about the other or even the music we made together. I know Andrew has dissed the First & Last & Always album probably even more than I have and most probably because of my involvement in the record but, hand on heart, it’s a good album and I believe one of the crucial factors in the making of the record that did make it so good was the tension between Andrew and myself.

I’m sure we both prefer to live without it and maybe our lives are easier because of it but, in all honesty, have either of us ever made a record as good since? :D :D
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paul
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Nice reading!
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EmmaPeelWannaBe
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Wow, if :von: deigned to respond (or even acknowledged the existence of Wayne's fb page) what would he say?
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Being645
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rofl ... some people never change, but hell, a person's perception is as individual as their fingerprints ... :P :lol: ...

A short look at The Sisters setlists over the years shows clearly that FALAA is quite appreciated by The Sisters of Mercy.
IFAIK, all complaints were about the production and the sound. Period. ... :wink: ...

Still a nice and interesting read ... :D ... thanks for posting, theyoungbrain ... ;D :notworthy: ...
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That was interesting, and fairly kind from Wayne. I always wondered why they played FALAA that way on OGWT where Marx comes in later and doubles the riff that Hussey was playing.
I’d been out the evening before the show in London with Ian Astbury and Lemmy. Craig and Andrew had stayed in the hotel and gone to bed early…apparently. Anyway [...]
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Nikolas Vitus Lagartija
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WH on Facebook wrote:Knocking On Heaven’s Door from The Royal Albert Hall. It’s such a simple song and so many bands play this and it becomes just hoary old pub rock. We’ve even played it with The m*****n
Finally, Wayne pretty much confesses what we've been saying for years - The m*****n are just hoary old pub rock.
Wonder what brought on the confessional. Money worries ? Nostalgia ? Or is Wayne still just another pawn in Von's game (like the rest of us) ?
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markfiend
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I’m also pretty damn sure that Guns & Roses used our version as the starting point for theirs
:lol: I'm pretty sure he's right about that!
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iesus
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theyoungbrain wrote:Wayne just posted this on his Facebook feed. Great stuff.

...... but, in all honesty, have either of us ever made a record as good since? :D :D

That is a kind of throwing glove in a face, a slap with a big fish ?
This sounds like a challenge to create a better album than FALAA :innocent: ;D
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Jeremiah
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So who is the "iconic band-leader/singer/guitarist/songwriter" whom Wayne has never met but admires?

Any guesses, or is it someone blindingly obvious to everyone except me?
I tried to tell her
About Marx and Eldritch, God and angels
I don't really know what for.
Bartek
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Since most of us (?) agree that Floodland is (still) greatest album written, recorded (and published, which is important in this case) by AE, that last line is a bit, as Jesus wrote, a slap with a big fish.
And if it was planned as challenge or strange invite to record, I'm afraid that not gonna happen.
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Mav787
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Bartek wrote:Since most of us (?) agree that Floodland is (still) greatest album written, recorded (and published, which is important in this case) by AE, that last line is a bit, as Jesus wrote, a slap with a big fish.
And if it was planned as challenge or strange invite to record, I'm afraid that not gonna happen.
I prefer FALAA.

I suppose it depends when you first heard the band. As the band has changed quite dramatically in personnel between 84 and 90 the sound has been quite different.

In most cases your first exposure will be the one you think is best and you'll be a little disappointed that the subsequent album(s) didn't sound more like the band you fell in love with.

I was buying Sisters singles from '83 but it was only when I saw them in '84 with WH that I truly fell for them.

Floodland is a fine album but it could be viewed that there is a little too much Jim Steinman bombast.
Bartek
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Don't judge whole album by 2 songs. :wink:

It's personal matter and choice, you can't be only right or only wrong on this.

First album that I listened by TSOM was VT, then chronologically, yet I prefer Floodland higher that FALAA.
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I think if albums can be said to define a genre F&L&A definitely does that, despite the intentions of :von: A million goth bands wouldn't sound as they do now without it. And that (sadly - as it's a damn fine record - even though these days I'd play Vision Thing more as the VT lyrics were great and very current) is probably how it will be remembered.
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markfiend
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I heard F&L&A before Floodland and prefer the latter. IMO F&L&A is also weaker than the pre-Wayne singles. YMMV
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stufarq
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I don't think it was a challenge or a slap in the face. It was just a personal opinion. He listened to FALAA and liked it. He thinks it's the best thing either himself or Von has ever done. Some will agree. Some won't. Doesn't matter either way.
Any more of that and we'll be round your front door with the quick-setting whitewash and the shaved monkey.
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Even if it wasn't intended as challenge or slap it was a nudge. Other explanation: WH become nostalgic. Unlike AE.
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Joy
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Bartek wrote:Even if it wasn't intended as challenge or slap it was a nudge. Other explanation: WH become nostalgic. Unlike AE.
Von may also be nostalgic sometimes, we just don’t know as he is not present in the social media and he doesn’t share his thoughts. :wink:
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I think it's sort of (semi) expected for him to have a dig from time to time.
Whether FALAA is their best is irrelevant though.
It's just good to see him recognising it as some of his best work & as for the solo on KOHD, he's not far wrong really.
He certainly brought something to the Sisters mix & whether we liked it or not, he clearly did, so fair play to him.

If this was on his farcebook timeline, then I would imagine that last note being an attempt to provoke a discussion. I haven't read any of the responses as I avoid farcebook like the plague, but chances are he got some replies on that one.
:D
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Bartek
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Joy wrote:
Bartek wrote:Even if it wasn't intended as challenge or slap it was a nudge. Other explanation: WH become nostalgic. Unlike AE.
Von may also be nostalgic sometimes, we just don’t know as he is not present in the social media and he doesn’t share his thoughts. :wink:
He doesn't like nostalgia act, he looks into future.
Last edited by Bartek on 08 Sep 2015, 14:08, edited 2 times in total.
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stufarq
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Bartek wrote:
Joy wrote:
Bartek wrote:Even if it wasn't intended as challenge or slap it was a nudge. Other explanation: WH become nostalgic. Unlike AE.
Von may also be nostalgic sometimes, we just don’t know as he is not present in the social media and he doesn’t share his thoughts. :wink:
He don't like nostalgia act, he look into future.
He's been a nostalgia act for the last ten years.
Any more of that and we'll be round your front door with the quick-setting whitewash and the shaved monkey.
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Mav787
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stufarq wrote:
Bartek wrote:
Joy wrote: Von may also be nostalgic sometimes, we just don’t know as he is not present in the social media and he doesn’t share his thoughts. :wink:
He don't like nostalgia act, he look into future.
He's been a nostalgia act for the last ten years.
Agreed.

You can't say someone who relies on playing live a back catalogue stretching back almost 35 years isn't a nostalgia act
Bartek
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And you can't enjoy what he's doing for you and us. But it's not 1983 anymore, face it. It's band for new millennium.
:wink:

Hey, can you stop replying to my post with that drastic grammar errors? Please
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stufarq
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How many of their songs were written in the new millennium? :innocent:
Any more of that and we'll be round your front door with the quick-setting whitewash and the shaved monkey.
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markfiend
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Jeremiah wrote:So who is the "iconic band-leader/singer/guitarist/songwriter" whom Wayne has never met but admires?

Any guesses, or is it someone blindingly obvious to everyone except me?
We didn't get an answer to this. Anyone got a clue?
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Pista
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I'm betting Springsteen.
;D
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