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Acid Test! 1985 SONIC YOUTH Live In The Mojave Desert Now Showing!

Text via Sonic Youth

GILA MONSTER JAMBOREE: This gig, January 5, 1985, 100 miles out into the Mojave Desert, was our first “L.A.” gig, first time we’d played on the west coast, part of an airplane tour from Seattle on south. That picture of us “in the back of a Chevy” on the Death Valley ’69 12-inch is also from this trip. The gig was organized by one Stuart Sweezy, now of Amok Press (check it out!), who had this penchant for strange locations — Minutemen and Meat Puppets on a barge on the S.F. Harbor, another desert gig with Einsterzende Neubauten… your ticket entitled you to a map to the gig site which was not handed out until the morning of the show (to prevent scans). Else you could buy a place on one of the buses hired to transport those transported souls with better things to do than cope with the road. The gig started early in the day with Psi-Com, which featured a barefoot Perry Farrell skanking in the sand and waxing poetic. Redd Kross followed, and by the time we went on it was about twilight. These songs were mostly brand new at the time, from the as-yet-unreleased Bad Moon Rising LP. We’d waited a long time to make it west, and this was a pretty perfect introduction. Bob Bert was on the drums with us at the time. The cover photo, by someone named Alan Peak, all trails and blurr, sums up the occasion quite well. Band portrait by Naomi Petersen. This video was shot by the folks at Flipside Magazine. After us came to the Meat Puppets, who played on into the night as the desert cold set in, under a big ring around the moon.

Sonic Youth

This was a concert video released thru Sonic Death, filmed on January 5th, 1985 in the Mojave Desert (see ticket scan in “Bad Moon Rising” liners). This was SY’s first west coast excursion, and one of the first shows performing the Bad Moon Rising material. It was filmed on 2 cameras by a couple guys from Flipside. It’s actually not quite the entire show — “Ghost Bitch” is missing between “I Love Her All The Time” and “I’m Insane” (you can see Lee w/ the acoustic guitar momentarily).

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