Francisco Shoreline Amphitheater, July 18
It's ten minutes to showtime on the first day of
Lollapalooza and the floorboards in the backstage enclosure vibrate
with the approach of the humungous Boo Yaa Tribe. They are here to
escort Ice-T and to play a short set on the second stage. They pass
us en-masse, their Calvin Kleins pulled up firmly outside their
It's five minutes to showtime and a huge roar goes up
as Ice-T announces the acts. I retire to the toilets for the third
time in the space of ten minutes. And then it's time to go on.
After our set Chris Hunter, Lush guitar tech,
encounters Otis, the bobble-hatted goliath of a man who's working
for Ministry. "Do you know what's wrong with Lush?" he says
menacingly. "No, what?" asks Chris innocently. "They don't do
'Thoughtforms'. If they don't play it by the end of the tour I'm
gonna shit on your head." Fair enough.
Luckily for Chris, since we decided not to do this song at all on
this tour, Otis disappears from the tour overnight. Not knowing
this, Chris tries to take his life later in the day bungee-jumping.
Francisco Shoreline Amphitheater, July 19
Weird scenes backstage. Lifto, from the Jim Rose
Travelling Circus, is sitting eating breakfast, shaven-headed,
wearing stockings, high heels and draped in a kimono. Later on in
the day he will be seen hanging unfeasibly heavy weights from
various parts of his anatomy, in a freak show where fainting is
considered a standing ovation.
Lesley and Fuzz from Silverfish turn up from New York,
where they're sorting out a record deal. They give us and Perry
Farrell (who's God in these parts) 'HIPS LIPS TITS POWER' T-shirts
which we duly wear on stage.
Vancouver UBC Field, July 21
After the sun, sea and silicon of San Francisco, this
is more how I imagined a festival to be. Especially since
Lollapalooza is based on the Reading Festival. It's pouring down
with rain, bitterly cold, extremely muddy and so far only half the
PA's turned up. We retire to the relative warmth of our caravan.
Luckily, by the time we get on stage the rain has stopped.
There's always one person in the audience who distracts
your attention. Even if everyone else is having a good time you tend
to end up focusing on the one ASSHOLE! And there he is, down the
front with the 49ers baseball capon, purple tinted Wayfarers and an
All-American cheesecake grin. "Smile," he mouths, trying to attract
your attention. I eventually do "smile" when his cap and sunglasses
get knocked off accidentally by one of the security guards. His cool
quickly melts as his hand fumble to catch them,
Kitsap Country Fairgrounds, July 22
As we approach the site, coming off the
freeway, we get caught up in a four mile tailback, as there's only
one entrance to the fairground. After waiting 20 minutes, not moving
one inch and forced to endure 'Sweet Home Alabama' and 'Rocky
Mountain Way' in quick succession, we abandon the minibus and
continue on foot. A hundred yards up the road Howard, our manager,
has the bright idea (which we pay him for) to ask a local sheriff
for a lift. He begrudgingly agrees.
"I don't like your kinda music." he drawls, turning up
The Beach Boys on his car radio. I wonder if this guy is a
Republican. Howard sits up front with a shotgun grazing his earlobe,
whilst Miki, Emma, Chris and myself are squashed in on the back
seat, staring through the grating at the road ahead.
Not only does he take us to the site but he drives
straight through the crowd, lights ablazing, to the backstage area.
We hide our heads in embarrassment.
Once Pearl Jam start playing we find that we have no choice but to
evacuate our Portacabin dressing room. Literally everything in the
room starts vibrating to the beat of the bass drum. What's it going
to be like when Ice Cube's on? Don't ask
Fiddler Green, July 24
It's raining again, yet the sprinklers
are on the best mown lawns in the USA. They win every year here, so
our driver tells us. He's taking us from the airport to what is
locally known as the Darth Vader Hotel. This is because somebody
wearing the Star Wars character's outfit officially opened it
recently, and also because it is a huge black obelisk which sucks
the sun out of the sky. As for my room, well, if I was Jimmy Page I
would definitely say "Too rococo".
Denver Fiddler Green, July 25
Waiting to go onstage we watch
Buddy Holly Story in a sub zero air-conditioned lounge. The
moment we walk out into the sun to play we all break out into a
heavy sweat. Unlike the audience.
Louis Riverport Amphitheater, July 27
"To riot or not to riot, that is the question," is scratched on
the front-of-house mixing desk as a reminder of the Guns N' Roses
concert here last year. Early on in their set Axl Rose waded into
the audience to pull a camera off someone and then stormed off
stage. The crowd then proceeded to tear the place apart. Pieces of
Marshall amplifiers were later found in the car-park. But I digress.
We are all somewhat the worse for wear after a long
night in the hotel bar. One hundred and twenty out of 140 rooms were
taken up by bands and crew. The tequila didn't last long. Turner,
Ministry's heavily tattooed bone tech, was sitting next to me with a
small sparrow's skull placed next to his beer on the table. As one
does. The last thing I remember is Matt The Tube from Jim Rose's
Circus Sideshow getting a loud cheer as he pulled a straw from his
nose with a pair of pliers.
During Ministry's set tonight the earth started flying,
along with the bodies. Wrapped in blankets, they're tossed 20 feet
in the air.
Riverbend, July 28
Left soon after we played, but not
before Miki and Chris did an interview with Tommy Vance for the Friday Rock Show. Miki managed to slip in a few "wise words,
Cleveland Blossom Music Center,
Miki's sitting in the corridor of the
corner of the bus trying to reassemble her shorts, which somebody
tried to pull apart when she stage-dived during Ministry's set. Emma
played guitar with them while nine 'dancers' dressed in Blake's
Seven bikini outfits 'vogued' at the front of the stage. They
had been recruited earlier on in the day after having been spotted
out amongst all the mud, pulling shapes. They are along for the
Anthony from The Chill Peppers was seen hobbling around
on crutches today. He snapped his Achilles tendon last night after
jumping in the air and landing on his microphone stand. The first of
Pine Knob, July 31
If Perry Farrell's God, then that must
make Eddie Vedder, singer with Pearl Jam, Jesus. Preaching epistle
to the apostles and anointing them with water (still, not
carbonated). He came back with us, skateboard under-arm, to the
hotel out in the suburbs near Troy, after their customary riotous
reception. He was annoyed about a cameraman who kept stalking his
every move; filming for use on the large video screens positioned on
either side of the stage. He said it detracted from the band's
performance to focus mainly on him.
Pine Knob, August 1
It's kind of eerie. I'm sitting up on a
hillside looking down on Lollapalooza, by a ski lodge which is shut
down for the summer. It’s so quiet I can hear the ski lifts creaking
in the wind and the sound of sand being dragged in gusts over the
parked cars. But not for long, as Soundgarden are due onstage any
En route to Chicago, we stop at a truck stop and come
face to face with Al Jourgensen, head honcho from Ministry and
disciple of Aleister Crowley - and Dennis Wheatley. Perhaps. Sitting
at a counter surrounded by the fulsome figures of the Boo Yaa Tribe,
with his goatee beard and black stetson hat, he tells us about a
party he's giving at his home in Chicago. Outside when we look at
his phone number it's got '666' on the tail end of it. As I say,
it's kind of eerie.
World Amphitheater, August 2
Only one shower for the whole crew
today, and just a curtain divides us from Pearl Jam. It'sa larger
seated venue than usual, over 30,000. During our set I notice a lot
of pointing in Chris' direction. It must be his famous open-mouthed
After we finish we have an interview with JBTV; a local
cable music show which is broadcast all over the country. It is
hosted by a friendly Jerry Garcia-lookalike and a confessed
self-publicist. At any available space in the interview he
name-checks himself and his show.
Stopping at the truck stop in Toledo we get the usual
"Is there a circus in town?" and the most popular, used by children
of allages, "Mummy, that girl's got red hair!" Nice hot fudge
Springs SPAC, August 4
As is the weather's wont, it literally
pours down after our set. All the seats down the front are totally
wrecked in the crush to get to see Pearl Jam. The crowd are held
back by security guards as they try to divert a stream which is
running across the front of the stage. From our dressing-cum-locker
room we can see the audience hopelessly running around with pieces
of plastic sheeting over their heads, trying to stay dry. On the
other side of the perimeter fence there are groups of soaked souls
attempting to climb over or under it.
Molson Park, August 5
A sunny day at last and our first field
since Vancouver. Normally playing seated amphitheaters, our audience
and the Mary Chain's tend to be up the back on the lawns. That's why
the response at these unseated shows is so much more positive.
Emma took us all on a bumpy buggy ride over to the
second stage, until it was confiscated by security. She and Miki
took to the stage again with Ministry, Miki sporting a rockerific
white flying V. If I can remember correctly, Howard our manager was
by this time on all fours with a bottle of tequila clutched firmly
between his mitts - but this is what we pay him for.
Great Woods, August 7
Miki and Chris took up the challenge
today from the Jim Rose Travelling Circus to drink the bile. How it
works is that Matt the Tube pushes a tube up his nose and down his
throat into his stomach. He then pours a concoction of chocolate
sauce, tomato ketchup, beer and Pepto Bismol down it... and then he
pumps it out again. According to Miki and Chris the bile, a lurid
green color, had chunks in it.
Later, when The Jesus and Mary Chain are asked to
perform the same feat, Jim Reid says he'll only do it if members of
The Travelling Circus snort his diarrhea. Funnily enough, there are
The Toxic Twins. Steven Tyler and Joe Perry from Aerosmith, were
backstage, as were a greater part of the population of Boston. You
couldn't move for people.
During Ministry's set, huge clods of earth started to
bounce on to the stage. Off in the distance on the back lawns fires
had been lit which the audience were moshing around. Kinda tribal.
Kinda Lollapalooza. Kinda figures.
Later on we found out the perimeter fence had been burnt down and
the festival is banned here next year.
Island Jones Beach, August 9/10
What a dump! Backstage, it's like
Alcatraz. A small concrete dressing room with a paltry view of the
sea/harbour. It's a seated venue again.
The second day here was certainly a lot more
'interesting'. During our set the sky grew gradually darker and
darker, until by the last number the sky was as black as the ceiling
of the Camden Falcon. And that is black. Before we launched into
'Leave Me Cold', Miki innocently said "This is our last song before
The moment we walked offstage there was a clap of heavy metal
thunder and the heavens opened. From our dressing room we could see
the typhoon winds drag most of the marquees, and the second stage,
into the sea. On the horizon there were huge cracks of lightning in
the sky. The audience had been told to disperse to their cars to
take cover. The stage was by now swimming in a couple of feet of
Al Jourgensen was to be seen running around backstage,
shouting out such helpful commands as "Batten down the hatches", and
"Spice the mainsail"; stopping every minute or two to proudly show
off his new tattoo. It looks like most of Pearl Jam's equipment is
ruined. Somebody's been blown off the lighting rig and the road crew
are running around trying to get all the remaining equipment
covered. Its chaos. Within the hour the show is cancelled and
everyone returns to the hotel to drown their sorrows.
Lush, however, are in a celebratory mood - we were the
only band to be paid and boasted all night that we'd actually
Pittsburg Starlake Amphitheater, August 16
"ARE YOU READY, LOLLAPALOOZA? I SAID,
ARE YOU READY LOLLAPALOOZA?!" Marky Ray, Ministry's guitar tech and
Lee their sound guy, are introducing us onstage. And it goes
something like this. In fact, it goes exactly like this. "Coming at
you at a hundred miles an hour, all the way from the beautiful UK,
4AD recording artistes, LUSH!"
Bill, Ministry's drummer, has donned Emma's black
dress, Miki's fishnets, put on some lipstick and shader, and is
going to play guitar on 'For Love'.
During our set I see someone in the audience wearing a
Rush T-shirt. Surely some mistake?
In return for Bill coming on stage with us, Miki and Emma, dressed
up as men, looking like the Thomson Twins or as Chris said, Laurel &
Hardy, and joined Ministry onstage for 'So What'. It was the
dancers' last night so they were doused by Turner, the bone tech,
armed with high-powered water pistols, and wearing diapers.
Ice Cube was spotted backstage playing basketball with
members of Pearl Jam
North Carolina, August 24
There are a couple of guys in the hotel
lobby wearing boards around their necks, offering to show anybody
from Lollapalooza the sights of the city for a gum. There's talk of
a naked volleyball competition involving Ministry. We graciously
decline, and instead go to the cinema. Some of us to see Single
White Female and others. Well OK, other, to Night on Earth.
The only other people in the cinema are Jim Reid and his girlfriend.
Al Jourgensen is seen running around the hotel foyer
hugging a wooden duck, used to frighten off local wildlife. He is
closely followed by the local police shouting, 'Drop the duck and
put your hands in the air."
Later he is spotted standing at the edge of the
swimming pool, bent double, taking bets on whether he is going to
throw up or not.
I'm kept up 'til early morning by the sound of people
in the next room chopping up lines. Snorting. coughing, ad
infinitum, until finally... silence.
Blockbuster Amphitheater, August 25
The venue is owned by Blockbuster
video. Luckily Chris had his card from the Camberwell branch. Access
Lots of problems today. Jimmy, our monitor guy, fell asleep on the
bus and couldn't be found at the start of our set. So we had eight
people huddled over the desk arguing about the sound. The bass was
booming, the vocals were feeding back, Emma's guitar kept cutting
out. And this was when Jimmy was there. Chris had to stop 'Nothing
Natural' as the beater fell off his bass drum pedal.
The crew left immediately after the show. 1,200 miles
to Minneapolis. We're getting on the plane tomorrow.
Pearl Jam trashed their guitars and threw them into the
audience. Who do they think they are, Birdland?
It's l0am and the Mary Chain's crew are
having a quiet breakfast on the sun-drenched veranda of the hotel.
Tucking into buttered scones and a huge pot of tea. Out of nowhere
an amplifier, a Fender amplifier to be more precise, whistles past
them and smashes into the concrete concourse in front of the hotel.
They look up from their table to see what all the commotion is
about, and then continue to eat. Another ordinary day on the
The owner of the Fender had been Chris Cornwell, singer
with Soundgarden, who is a guest located on the 15th floor, They say
he expected his tour manager to catch it. Well, that's what he's
In the evening we ate at an Indian restaurant opposite
the hotel. On the walls were photos of Mick Jagger, The Moody Blues,
Ride, The Soup Dragons... and the Dalai Lama. So what band's he in,
Atlanta Lakewood Amphitheater,
Midway through our set there is a fight
on the grass at the back. Within seconds a huge crowd gathers, and
from the stage we can see the police and security running towards
the incident. Everyone in the audience turns round to stare. This
must be what it's like to play a variety club on a Saturday night.
New Orleans, September 2
Expectations are running high. It's the
Lollapalooza end of tour party tonight (and there's still two weeks
to go!). Judging by accounts of year's knees-up it's going to be a
night to remember - a carnival of flesh - a drink and drugs frenzy.
There's actually been a gig pulled to give everybody a day off to
But don't count your chickens. It's a pile of crap.
We've had better nights down the Rock Garden. There's some really
horrible strippers - which gives it the feel of a really grim hen
party or stag night. There's a heavy police presence inside
the club, and NO FREE DRINKS!
Everybody tries desperately to have a good time, but it
never really happens. Emma puts her hand through not one, but two
windows as a form of protest.
We retire to the hotel bar early in the morning and are
met on arrival by Big Al Jourgensen wearing a George Bush mask and
clutching a can of hi-fi contact clear. He rushes up to us, sprays
our T-shirts with it and then forces us to inhale the fumes. We all
start laughing uncontrollably. So it's come to this; sitting in a
hotel bar in New Orleans partaking in solvent abuse.
Dallas, September 6
It's come to the end of the tour -
everybody and everything's getting a bit mad. Ministry destroyed
their bus last night. They had a pyrotechnic display in the back
lounge and set the whole inside of the coach alight.
There's a catalogue of injuries - Chris, our guitar
tech, has broken his foot playing rock 'n' roll basketball. Cath
from T-shirts is on crutches after treading barefoot on broken glass
trying to break up a top skinhead brawl. Fritzy, bleerk with
Ministry, breaks his hand hitting someone in the same brawl. And
Mike from Pearl Jam has fractured his foot in the studio (the mind
There's more on the way. Miki then dives offstage
during Ministry's set. It's a seated gig, and there's no-one to
catch her fall. Alcohol might have played some part in this serious
miscalculation. She's rushed to hospital on a stretcher in a neck
brace. It looks bad and everybody's worried.
Phoenix, September 7
Our red-haired chanteuse is propped up
in bed. She's got a corking black eye, a nasty gash ... (oops) on
her forehead which requires multiple stitches and has temporarily
lost the use of her right arm. There's a serious band
meeting/liaison and we're seriously thinking about jacking it in and
going back to Blighty until Emma sings the first verse and chorus of
'The Show Must Go On' by Queen. There's a swift change of heart.
We fly to Phoenix and Bill, the drummer from Ministry
learns the whole Lush set in a matter of minutes; putting to bed the
notion that all drummers are one-dimensional, unmusical saddoes.
Phoenix Desert Sky Pavilion,
During our set Bill has to play sitting
down because he has broken two fingers stage diving during a Lush
set. Miki sings guitarless (that's a new song). It's not the
greatest gig ever and resembles a scene from Casualty, but it
shows Lush to be a band full of spunk and I think Freddy would have
Los Angeles Irvine Meadows,
There are three shows left in the same
venue. The curse continues. We're in the hotel bar after the second
show, when we hear more bad news. Brad, bass player with The Mary
Chain, has fallen down some steps and broken his ankle in three
places. We wonder in all seriousness if alcohol had anything to do
Later that same right Gibby Haynes, singer with The
Butthole Surfers, is roaring drunk and proves to Miki that the art
of romance is not dead. The silver-tongued fox saunters up to our
singer and drops his bombshell. "How about we go up to your room.
You can suck my cock while I lick your pussy." Surprisingly enough,
Miki is not won over by this subtle approach straight from the Nigel
Havers School of Charm.
It's the last day of the tour, and it's chaos
backstage. The world and his wife are here (that's wife + 1) and
Uncle Tom Cobbley's got Total Access. Ivo, all the way from London.
England, is discussing with Motley Crue the possibilities of working
on the next 'This Mortal Coil' project - which will be called 'This
Motley Crue'. Miki's mum -alias the hand in the 70s Denim aftershave
advert (TRUE!) - is here looking for hairy chests to stroke.
Unfortunately, neither Chris nor Phil can oblige. The
bloke from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (not Keanu,
Reeves)... staggers into our dressing room asking if he can use our
potty. He is somewhat surprised to see Dave and Stone from Pearl Jam
and Bill from Ministry dressed up as men's ladies; female attire and
makeup obligatory if you want to play with Lush. Even Al Jourgensen
was threatening to. Unfortunately he couldn't find anything large
enough in his wife's wardrobe.
It's amazing how many hard rocking mothers are queuing
up to perform this somewhat unrock and weedy indie task as soon as
they find out it involves wearing things that girls wear, Still, any
excuse to get into Emma's tights.
Everybody plays with everybody else today. In fact,
there's so much bonding on stage that it would make the average
punter slightly sick. It's beginning to look like a deranged version
of Live Aid.
The bonding continues after the show, where it's back
to the Hyatt for one last booze-up before everybody goes their
separate ways. It's all hugging, tussling, kissing and naked
wrestling. "You're my best mate, you are - I mean man I love you -
Come and stay whenever - Come and live with me-If I'm not
there the keys will be under the dustbin." And you really DO
Five am on the way to the airport the driver tells us
that the Hyatt was evacuated in the small hours of the morning
because of a fire scare. We wonder if Ministry had anything to do
AND THAT's it. Regrets? We had
a few. We never really got to hang out with Ice Cube, as initial
exchanges did not bode too well. (rap it if you like). "Yo you guys
ain't really my cup of tea - just a tad too abrasive for me I like
the more melancholic and breezy sounds of Slowdive - erm, everybody
And we never get to see The Jim Rose Circus snort Jim
Reed's diarrhoea. Still, you can't have everything. We had a
brilliant time and it's a pity you only get to do to it once: Maybe
we'll spit up and reform under a different name - so we can have a
crack at it next year. Headlining of course.
See many more of
Phil's personal snapshots on the
Photos - Lush at
See many other behind-the-scenes
photos from the Lollapalooza tour on the
Lush on Tour
Miki talks about the experience
of touring in Lollapalooza '92 on the
Miki's Reminiscences page.
A complete list of all the
Lollapalooza '92 shows can be found on the
A New Phil King Interview
In June 2008, my friend Jason and I met with Phil King while he was in San Francisco touring with The Jesus and Mary Chain.
Phil was kind enough to give us an in-depth interview, conducted over many
hours and almost as many bottles of wine. I'm currently in the process of transcribing and editing the
interview, and I hope to post it here in the next couple of months. It will
be well worth the wait!
Update: As of October
17, 2008 I'm still transcribing the interview. Its very slow going
I'm afraid. In the mean time, the new
Lush at Work page has some
fantastic photos that Phil was kind enough to send me recently,
along with his comments.
As of July 2009 (yes, 9 months later!) the transcribing
has been at a standstill for many months. But I have not given up
and I will definitely return to that project at some point. In the
mean time, Phil recently sent me his personal snapshots from the
Lollapalooza '92 tour along with his tour diary, which I've added to