Day 10

July 16th 2016
Death of Alan Vega

"Experience really does make you better, man."
– Alan Vega

It was the immediate aftershock of the Trans-Atlantic depth charges of 1977’s Punk Explosion that blasted Alan Vega out from deep within the substrata of the firmament of the Collective Consciousness. Without that opportunity, this LSD-munching fine artist might never have come to our attention, at best securing a fabulous footnote in the appendices of New York Punk also-rans. Ah, but what Punk has to answer for! When the two sevens clashed, all of hell broke loose and the already middle-aged Vega demanded that his time had come. And how! Even Kim Fowley had recognised that he was by 1977 too old for Punk – instead hanging back in the dugout, preferring to field on his behalf an awry array of off kilter LA teen scenesters in the forms of The Runaways and Venus & The Razorblades. Not so Alan Vega. Despite being a full year older than ’60s veteran Fowley, Vega capitalized on his remarkable demos tapes – made throughout the early ’70s with his keyboardist Martin Rev – to blast forth as the Future/Retro duo Suicide, whose lean, impossibly stripped-back sound united minimalist Terry Rileyisms with the Jaynetts' ‘Sally Go Round the Roses’, or Takehisa Kosugi’s CATCH-WAVE with the Shirelles ‘Baby It’s You’. Greedy for it all, Vega squirmed and screeched and simpered and sobbed his way into our hearts.

Tinnitus-inducing and sonically reducing, Vega’s songs were radio transmissions from the Heart of Darkness. If you wanted the Ramones, he gave you Paul Anka on a broken radio. If you wanted Debbie Harry, he gave you the Cold War. Too old to be hoodwinked by the gauche tabloid cash-ins that too soon afflicted UK Punk, the defiant Vega even wore red flares to perform in front of a Clash audience – how he paid the price! At various times in his career claiming to be both Jewish, Catholic, AND fifteen years younger, Alan Vega – along with his avant-garde Boy Wonder Martin Rev – demanded such parity with their co-Revolutionists that their maniacal/mystical/diabolical duo Suicide actually became an instant blueprint for D.I.Y. Futurists. Without Suicide? Unimaginable. That Vega died during the first year of the SydArthur Festival only confirms that this Great Opportunist knew precisely his place in the Cosmos – today our hearts are full!

Sun Sunday
Mon Monday
Tue Tuesday
Wed Wednesday
Thu Thursday
Fri Friday
Sat Saturday
Day 1: Sunday Jul 7th
Day 2: Monday Jul 8th
Day 3: Tuesday Jul 9th
Day 4: Wednesday Jul 10th
Day 5: Thursday Jul 11th
Day 6: Friday Jul 12th
Day 7: Saturday Jul 13th
Day 8: Sunday Jul 14th
Day 9: Monday Jul 15th
Day 10: Tuesday Jul 16th
Day 11: Wednesday Jul 17th
Day 12: Thursday Jul 18th
Day 13: Friday Jul 19th
Day 14: Saturday Jul 20th
Day 15: Sunday Jul 21st
Day 16: Monday Jul 22nd
Day 17: Tuesday Jul 23rd
Day 18: Wednesday Jul 24th
Day 19: Thursday Jul 25th
Day 20: Friday Jul 26th
Day 21: Saturday Jul 27th
Day 22: Sunday Jul 28th
Day 23: Monday Jul 29th
Day 24: Tuesday Jul 30th
Day 25: Wednesday Jul 31st
Day 27: Friday Aug 2nd
Day 28: Saturday Aug 3rd