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Flame Throwers & Robots
“Extremely Cruel Practices” 1985 LA Survival Research Labs

The Bournemouth Arts By The Sea Festival 2013. 21 September 2013 Joe Rush and the Mutoid Waste Company stage a spectacular demonstration of their vehicles on the beach next to Bournemouth Pier to close day two of the third annual festival. Photo: © Neil Turner

I remember the night I went to see Public Image Limited in San Francisco at the Fort Manson Center – the year was 1984. Something about that night was special, because over 30 years later I remember that show vividly. One thing that really stuck with me was the opening act, which was not even a band but a performance art crew called Survival Research Labs. They had these robots that were roaming all around the venue, plus fire breathing machines. I said to myself, what the fuck am I witnessing, but in my book they stole the show! Survival Research Labs’ performance was way more gnarly than I could ever put into words. Check out this 1985 performance of theirs…watching them rip a pig apart has been branded into my brain! Thanx to Public Image Limited for choosing such a rad opening act.

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