1989-xx-xx - BONG (USA) - Vol. 1 Issue 3
[Taken from the now-defunct website www.sacreddm.net
MODES ON THE ROAD
[From Bong USA Edition: Vol. 1, Issue 3, Summer 1989. Words: Uncredited.]
Summary: An update on the showings of the 101 film across the USA and Canada, some of which were attended by members of Depeche Mode. [618 words]
It is always exciting when Depeche Mode come to the States for publicity, but unless you live in New York or Los Angeles, your chances of actually meeting them are one in a million. That’s why BONG is always informed of where they are, and what they are going to be doing while they are in the United States. We sincerely wish we could let you know where they are going to be before the time comes, but most of the time we don’t know when they are coming until a few days before their arrival.
Depeche was in the United States, and Canada at the end of April. Their visit was for the purpose of making a series of public appearances to promote their new movie. If you live in Toronto, Los Angeles, Houston, or New York you should already be aware that they were in your city, and we hope you had the chance to say hello to them. If you don’t live in one of those cities, we’re sorry you missed out on all of the excitement. On the other hand, at least you have BONG to let you know what happened.
It all began in Toronto, Canada on Friday, April 21st. Before the start of the movie, Depeche spent some time doing various interviews with local T.V. and newspaper reporters. The movie was scheduled to start at 7:00pm, but due to a mix-up in scheduling, it actually started at midnight. After the movie ended, Depeche spent a few minutes signing autographs and saying goodbye to their fans.
The following day, Depeche flew to Los Angeles for the second and most important part of their publicity tour. They spent the remainder of the weekend relaxing and getting re-acquainted with their favourite city. On Monday, the entire day was exhausted doing interviews, photo sessions, and radio appearances. We arrived in Los Angeles on Tuesday to see the movie, and we were quite amazed at the number of people waiting outside the AMC Century 14 in Century City. By the time the band arrived, there were at least five hundred fans waiting outside. Staged behind glass doors at the front of the theatre lobby, Depeche Mode did a few interviews while anxious fans looked on. Later, they quietly slipped away to avoid crazed fans while the people were led into the theatre. There were three theatres in the AMC Century 14 theatre that showed the movie, but only a selected number of K-ROQ (K-Rock) radio winners were admitted into the theatre where the band was. After the movie was over, Depeche signed a few records, and said goodbye to all the people who came out to see the show. After things calmed down, Depeche dashed off to a private party where they had a chance to relax and enjoy their final night in Los Angeles.
On Wednesday the 27th, Martin and Andy went to Houston, while Dave and Alan went to New York for the third and final leg of their publicity tour. The premier in Houston was held at the AMC Meyer Park 14. It was similar to the premier in Los Angeles, and attracted almost the same size crowd. The New York premier was much more restricted, limited to special invites only.
Los Angeles and Houston were the first two cities where the public could see the movie. The New York and Toronto shows were only special media screenings. The movie is currently scheduled to open in July. The movie will appear in San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Detroit, Boston, New York, Salt Lake City, Montreal, and Toronto sometime in July. Don’t give up on seeing the movie, be patient; it will be arriving soon.
[From Bong USA Edition: Vol. 1, Issue 3, Summer 1989. Words: Sandy Adzgery.]
Summary: Reprint of an interview of Martin, originally taken from a US newspaper and discussing the idea and planning behind the release of the 101 film. [1775 words]
The following article originally appeared in the April 26, 1989 edition of the Houston Post. It was written by a freelance writer, Sandy Adzgery as an exclusive Houston Post interview with Martin Gore.
On June 18, 1988, Depeche Mode played for its largest audience ever – 70,000 screaming fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. That concert, No. 101 of a nine-month stint on the road, not only concluded the group’s tour, it served as the focal point of the feature film Depeche Mode 101, which opens nationally at Houston’s AMC Meyer Park 14 on Friday.
Filmed by D. A. Pennebaker, known for his musical documentary on Bob Dylan (Don’t Look Back, 1965) as well as 1969’s Monterey Pop, 101 follows the band and the crew across the country while simultaneously recording the adventures of a busload of Depeche fans travelling from New York to the concert in Los Angeles.
Besides the concert footage that is approximately half of the film, the group is seen in less formal situations – talking, joking with each other and just relaxing. Martin Gore, chief songwriter for Depeche Mode, said he believes that is one of the most important aspects of the film.
“In our nine year career, our lighthearted side has never come across for some reason,” Gore said from a London studio where the group is preparing to record its 10th album. “I think we are taken too seriously, so I think it’s good to show us in a more natural way. People always thing that we walk around not smiling and are dead serious all the time, but that just isn’t true.
“I think it’s interesting, because it shows how trivial things are – the whole process of touring. It isn’t very deep; there aren’t any bits where we sit down and try to give philosophies on our music. Most of the time, it is very lighthearted.”
Because of scheduling problems, only Gore and Andy Fletcher will attend the private Houston premiere on Thursday. After its opening, the film will show exclusively Fridays through Sundays for two consecutive weekends before travelling to another city. Much like a concert event, the market-by-market distribution is an unusual move, but Gore said that throughout the project they kept trying to come up with offbeat ideas to avoid the trappings of the average concert film.
“We feel that we should try to do something a bit different,” Gore said. “Just to film a straight concert – it’s really boring, and most concert films have very little appeal to the average person. We thought we’d bring in a few different angles, and that’s why we brought in Pennebaker. You have to accept that you are never going to capture the atmosphere of a live concert on film, but you can have a good attempt. I think the live footage is quite good – he managed to capture the excitement.
“We thought we’d have a different perspective on the project,” Gore said of their choice of Pennebaker. “A lot of filmmakers have sort of standard things that they feel they need to put in every film they do, and we didn’t want that.”
Likewise, there were certain things that the band didn’t want in the film. “We went over to New York a couple of times when the film was nearing its completion,” Gore said. “We sat through it, and there were certain things that we didn’t really like, and we discussed that with him. He did take our opinions quite seriously, and took a couple of things out.
“When you make this sort of film,” Gore continued, “you have to use Spinal Tap as a reference point, and there are certain times when you have to say, ‘That’s a bit too Spinal Tap.’ We said that a few times, and he listened to us.”
Gore said the film Spinal Tap was a very accurate portrayal of a band on the road – the groupies following from town to town, the drinking, the partying, and the band members forgetting the lyrics. Even if those things do happen, Gore said, there are still some things better left unsaid. “It’s just a bit too rock and roll,” he said. “They shouldn’t be there.” 
Gore stressed that the scenes that were removed were inconsequential, and that the film maintained its integrity despite the editing. “The film is quite honest, but I don’t think you have to labour home points. There are still some things that I think shouldn’t be in there. But if I really didn’t want them in there, I don’t really want to call attention to them now.”
After nine months on the road, the last concert, 101, should have been a relief, but Gore admitted that the filming before 70,000 people caused a major case of jitters.
“After you’ve played 100 concerts, and you’re used to going out in front of people – it’s bad to say but you get sort of blasé going out and doing the same thing night after night. But the fact that we were filming and recording the whole thing did make it scary, and we were really, really nervous before we went out onstage.
“I suppose I would have to admit that there would have been that added edge anyway, because 70,000 is quite a bit more than we’re used to, but the fact that we were filming made us much more nervous.”
Gore was pleased that moment was captured by Pennebaker’s camera. “There’s a good bit in the film, where we go onstage and Pennebaker is filming me and Dave from the back and we look totally nervous! Dave is actually laughing, but I’m looking so nervous.” Laughing, he said that wasn’t one of the parts he wanted to have removed. “Definitely not. I think that’s quite good.”
Despite the growth of its audience, Depeche Mode still finds it cult status intact. Although they sell millions of albums worldwide, they aren’t seen as a major money-making industry like Bon Jovi or Van Halen. It could be because they still manage themselves and make group decisions by a vote of the four members. They don’t even have a standard recording contract with their record company.
“We haven’t got a contract as such,” Gore said. “We didn’t have a contract at all up until two years ago when it was pointed out that if Danel (Miller, the group’s British record company president) snuffed it, we might not be paid. There was nothing in writing that said how much we should be paid. So now I think we have one sheet of paper that says the percentages that we should be paid.”
Because of that, Depeche Mode is seen as a group truly in charge of its own destiny. Their fans believe they haven’t sold out, and still see the group as their own little secret.
“We definitely get a lot of radio feedback like that,” Gore said. “They want us to be played on the radio, just not the biggest stations in town. We hear a lot of the anti-top 40 thing and people saying, ‘Don’t sell out.’ It’s strange that we’re seen as a cult band – the last album and tour – we sold a lot of albums and tickets, but we still have this cult image. It’s really strange, but it’s healthy. I think it’s the best position to be in.”
Depeche Mode began making headlines last year when they announced that the “Concert For The Masses” recorded at the Pasadena Rose Bowl was going to be released as a live album. Then, on March 14th, 1989, the concert was released as a double LP, CD, and cassette. The album was titled 101, because the Concert For The Masses was the 101st show in their nine month world tour.
For the people who actually attended the event, 101 will no doubt arouse a feeling of excitement. Just the fact that you were there, singing along with 65,000 other people is enough to make anyone get up and “Shake The Disease”. If you’re one of those who didn’t have the opportunity to attend the concert in Pasadena, 101 is still a great album. The unique sounds and added patterns in the songs bring back that sense of enjoyment that may have been lost several listenings ago. People Are People, Stripped and Pleasure, Little Treasure are among the most energetic songs on the album, and we think you’ll agree that Martin’s vocals on Somebody and A Question Of Lust are by far better than any studio recordings. There are probably a million reasons why 101 is so spectacular, but it is the audience that really puts 101 in the spotlight. Everything Counts, Strangelove, and Never Let Me Down Again are perfect examples. When you have that many people singing and cheering, you tend to experience a sense of revelation.
However, 101 does have its downfalls. For starters, some of the songs on the album have been re-arranged so that Everything Counts is the last song. It would have been better to hear the entire concert in its original form. Second, the songs Sacred and A Question Of Lust are not included on the LP. Only the CD and cassette versions of 101 have these tracks. The only advantage of the LP is the full size, sixteen page picture book. It does come with the CD, but it’s much smaller.
Overall, 101 is a complete success. It’s got very good reviews in almost all of the newspapers and magazines here in the U.S. . The European reviews were not quite as good, since 101 is an American concert. We highly recommend that if you want to put some new energy into your Depeche Mode listening habits, purchase 101. You might want to buy both the CD and the album, simply because there is talk that vinyl is going to be phased out soon. 101 is also the Mode’s first U.S. gatefold. 101 keeps.
For further information about 101 and D. A. Pennebaker, please read:
“You can’t stop the beating of a human heart” by Ted Drozdowski. Musician. October, 1988.
“Modus Operandum” by John McCready. The Face. February, 1989. 
Interview with D. A. Pennebaker by Lauren Swift. Rock And Reel. March, 1989.
“International rock sensation Depeche Mode speaks out on music and film” by Rob Winfield. Daily Bruin. April 27, 1989.
“101 uncovers essence of Depeche Mode music” by Rob Winfield. Daily Bruin. April 28, 1989.
“Depeche Mode Film Strives To Beat Rockumentary Jinx” by Kevin Zimmerman. Variety. May 24-30, 1989.
“D. A. Pennebaker” by Jim Farber. Tower Video Collector. June, 1989.
“On Tour With The Synth-Pop Cyborgs” by Jim Farber. Rolling Stone, May 18th, 1989.
 - This is Martin being as discreet and oblique as ever. Without wanting to be cynical or take an unhealthy interest, the fact remains that Dave's drug use was beginning on this tour. Alan Wilder commented in Steve Malins' biography that during a game of cricket with OMD (two other things not glimpsed in 101!), "there's Dave on the tourbus, sitting under this big hat, and someone said, "You're in next Dave", and he hoovers back this massive line of coke and strolls out. Of course he lasted one ball." It isn't stretching credibility either to wonder if Martin's drinking achievements were a sight for sore eyes on this tour. But then again Martin does certainly have a point. Some things, true or not, are better kept decorously off film. [continue]
 - You can read this article here. I'm still eager to track down any of the others, so if any readers of this page can help me here, I'd love to hear from you. [continue]
[From Bong USA Edition: Vol. 1, Issue 3, Summer 1989. Words: Uncredited.]
Summary: Details of the various formats that 101 and Everything Counts (Live) were released on, intended for collectors building a complete set of releases. [825 words]
Before we give you the run down on what’s new in the collector’s market, BONG would like to help you build your bootleg library. All you have to do is send us a copy of one of your bootlegs, and we’ll send you one of ours. Please include a list of the bootlegs you already have, so we don’t send you a duplicate. If you would like a copy of a bootleg that we have already reviewed in the collector’s corner, please specify which one you want. Send them to the same address in care of bootleg trade.
If you haven’t already purchased a copy of 101 on CD and are thinking of doing so, hold off until you can find the Japanese copy. This CD is hot. Not only do you get the two CDs in one convenient jewel case with the sixteen page picture book, but you also get two extra books. The first book contains a story (in Japanese) about the “Concert For The Masses” plus the lyrics to all of the songs in both English and Japanese. The second books contains some personal facts about each of the members that includes hair colour, eye colour, height, weight, collar size (just in case you wanted to buy them each fitted shirts), parents’ names, birth place, and birth date. In addition to this is a very in-depth history about Depeche Mode complete with very nice colour pictures from the two concerts in Tokyo. The set retails for about $30.00, but it is worth it.
A new collection of interviews from 1983 and 1985 were imported into the States sometime in April. The interviews have been released on a picture disc limited to 3000 copies, a red coloured vinyl limited to 1000 copies, a green streaky vinyl limited to 200 copies, a 5” silver CD limited to 200 copies, and a 5” gold CD in a numbered box with two colour photos limited to 1000 copies. The sound quality on the vinyl is okay, but it’s still typical of most interviews. Your best deal is to purchase one of the CDs, they are a little clearer. Each format contains two interviews in English and one in French, with a total running time of 35 minutes and 16 seconds.
Our friends at Mute have released Everything Counts from the new album 101. The live version from the Rose Bowl is available on the import 12” (12BONG16) along with the tracks Nothing, Sacred, and A Question Of Lust. The 7” (7BONG16) contains live versions of Everything Counts and Nothing. The limited edition 12” (L12BONG16) contains a remix of Everything Counts set to the beat of Pump Up The Volume with the U.S. remixes of Strangelove and Nothing. To finish up the vinyl formats, a limited edition numbered 10” (10BONG16) contains a very modern remix of Everything Counts called the Absolute Mix. The original 12” mix of Everything Counts from 1983 and the US 7” mix of Nothing are on the B side. The live 12” is available on a 3” CD single (CDBONG16). If you really like CDs, the live 12” and the limited edition 12” are available together in a limited edition double 3” CD set (LCDBONG16). Sire Records has also released Everything Counts plus the two new remixes. Wow! Now that’s marketing.
Mute Records has also re-released the albums Black Celebration, Some Great Reward, Construction Time Again and A Broken frame with bonus tracks! If you have all the maxi CDs, and all the albums on CD, don’t bother to get the new CD releases for the bonus tracks. You already have them on CD. We highly recommend this investment. They should be available at a CD outlet that carries a good selection of import CDs. But if you can’t seem to find them, drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do for you.
To finish up this edition of the collector’s corner, we rummaged through the vault here at BONG and found a few old rarities that you might not know about. The first is a US promo 12” of Blasphemous Rumours. The cover of this single is out of this world. All we can say is, it’s very un-Depeche Mode. It contains an edit version of Blasphemous Rumours, but it’s really no different from the original. Second is a Warner Brothers promo of Depeche Mode live from Switzerland on November 30, 1984. This five-cut promo with Aztec Camera on the other side contains the tracks People Are People, Blasphemous Rumours, Master And Servant, Everything Counts, and Just Can’t Get Enough. Master And Servant can also be found on the limited edition 12” of Shake The Disease (L12BONG8) and People Are People can be found on side two of the A Question Of Lust 12” (12BONG11).
In our next issue, we will feature a complete discography of the German 12” coloured vinyls, plus much more. Until next time, happy collecting!