Last Thursday, July 31st, was a another unlikely milestone for us: the 25th anniversary of our very first show, at a club long-since gone on 42nd St., Manhattan, right next to the Port Authority. And even though there were a few hasty rehearsals first, it being the first time of many that we powered up amps & attempted to 'wow' the non-crowd (also first of many), we count it as the official starting gun.
And typically late to everything, including watch-bestowing self-ceremonies we hold every five years to congratulate ourselves on being even later to breaking up, we didn't get around to posting anything. Heck, I only noticed because I set a calendar alarm. Four years and 364 days ago.
Less-typically but for good reason, it's just been too bonkersHectic trying to finish this record to dash off some pithy blog piece about how hilarious the Bush I years were in hindsight. So taking the less honorable way out and pasting/re-posting our five-year-old "hey, we're 20!" thing from 2009 (note that I don't think the shirt's still available).
Enjoy, thanks as always, and here's to another twennn...[Med-Alert pendant begins sounding rapidly]
It Was Twenty Years Ago Today,…
...Sgt. Peppbla bla’d the bla to bla.
Sorry, by pundit law you just have to use that one if you're in a band that makes it to twenty. Ditto if you’re still at it when you’re sixty-four, so look for more big news from us in four or five years.
Besides, if we'd written the song, it’d have been more like "it was 20 years ago today, that time, a cruel task-hole if ever there was one, taught the band to play”. Covers mostly.
But yeah, according to our best guesses, Kev’s Tawny-Kitaen-A-Day planner, and a hurried but
to-scale rebuild of Stonehenge, we’re able to verify with almost penpoint accuracy that it was exactly twenty years ago today, July 31st 1989, that we played our first show as a band. Sweet holy crap.
Sure, there were a few rehearsals before that and sure, we weren’t called the wrens then, and sure, it was performed on the then-popular lutes with sackbut accompaniment, but it was our first show nonetheless. And it probably sucked.
If you’ve ever perused our bio, (a light bullet-point read with an update pending since 2002), you might think this was the show opening for the Fixx, the very reason for our formation, the very fire within the smithy that forged our band...or whatever.
But actually this was a warm-up for that show, at a club called [edit: no one remembers] on 42nd b/n 8th & 9th, south side of the street, right next to the Port Authority bus terminal, which would seem to put it square on the ground floor of that hottie of art moderne, the McGraw-Hill Building (although in hindsight, that seems weird):
(photo by Kevin, taken on his way to work yesterday. You’re never far from your past when you’re a wren and live or work in New York. Also note the artistic happenstance of the pedestrian contrasting the 'walk' symbol. Nice).
See, this was the ‘80s and anything even a block away from a police station was ‘edgy’, downtown and if not - in debatable order of decadence - a live nude ‘stopless’ go-go, a peep show, a porn theatre, a good corner to buy fake drugs, a good corner to buy stolen calling cards, a bad place to park, the Limelight…then probably a ‘college rock’ venue. And we probably played there.
the fabric of our lives
To better commemorate so auspicious an occasion in light, wearable cottons, we’ve commissioned ourselves to make a new t-shirt, this one emblazoned with our simple credo, ‘the wrens…keeping folks waiting since 1989’, and it’s available in our corner store.
As always, these are lovingly fabricated by the in-house guild of unskilled labor you call ‘the band’, and upon order, carefully & promptly parceled to clothe your waiting thorax.
even the Progress Report isn’t done:
Today being the big two-oh, it seems like a good time to summarize where we’re at with new muzak, the next album, our lives etc. All kinda the same thing, really. But with this one already running typically too long, we’ll post a separate update by the end of the weekyear, babies willing, as our Wrens’ Annual Report to Shareholders.
Relatedly, the quickest of shouts out to Schubas, the club in Chicago where we played last weekend as part of their own ongoing '20th year at it' anniversary. Nice work and nice folks all around.
Happy birthday to us and to you, thanks as always,