Wednesday, 1 May 2013

It was thirty years ago...

As listed here: Billboard Charts from 30th April 1983

Although, technically, by 1983 After The Fire was no more we re-convened to film a video ready for the early days of MTV in the US. The first part was filmed in The Venue, Victoria, and then the crew re-created the scene on the top deck of a double decker bus. This was then driven around London during the early morning between 3:00am and 5:00am, I think it was February, with all and sundry getting very cold indeed! Ultimately the video was banned in the UK by the BBC for having the 'scary' tarantula spider. The irony was that when we were filming it was so cold the spider became ultra docile and the only way the owner could get it to stir was to heat the underside of the table with a blowtorch. Suffering for our art... (no animals or insects were harmed in the making of this video).

And we were SO broke!



Jules said...

I do remember it being featured on TOTP once in a report about the band having a surprise hit in the US.

Anonymous said...

I can see why the BBC took fright. A scary,eight hairy-legged creature coming towards you......and that was just the band!

nevell said...

It's quite a complex video - the bus at night explains quite a bit. It's certainly a good song - all credit to Falco. I heard his version the other day on the radio - although they are very similar, I really feel that the ATF cover was better. I'm so glad you didn't release "Stand by Me"!

Anonymous said...

From your Borassic period then...didn't Der K (or maybe the b-side) eventually kick in with royalties (songwriting b-side ones?) Or was it siphoned away by CBS re-couping advances? I thought the best of lp sold well? Yours nosily

NeilC said...

Banned because of the SPIDER you say? The 80s haircuts are FAR more scary than the spider!

Peter Banks said...

Yep, Jules, there was a section on TOTP that looked at the US charts and a bit of the video (sans tarantula!) that was shown.

Which was more scary is an ongoing debate!

Thanks, Tim, for more insight ;-)

The record royalties are STILL being re-couped, at the last count the outstanding amount was around £83,000. And the publishing royalties from the B-Side were lost because the publishers went bust... Not so happy days!

As ever, Dr Neil nails the real issue!

Cheers one and all, PB

Unknown said...

It's so sad that ATF not only missed out on real UK chart success, but also on receving the financial payback you deserved! It won't pay the bills, but the pleasure you have given us 'friends' from your music is immense! Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

I am terrified of spiders but think you were braver facing the top of that double decker bus at THAT time in the morning in February!! Brrrrrrr!! Love the video and your Blog, Banksy! :-)

Anonymous said...

I do too! This was so much fun to read!

Robert said...


My name is Robert Haake and I am from Sweden. I am writing a book about synthpop made by christians and therefore I want to ask for your permission to use some of the material on your site.(After the fire official site)
I will put numbers behind every sentence where I have borrowed information that is not fair use and then I will have detailed credit information for every number in the back of the book. I will also state the author (if I can find out) the first time i refer to that source.
This is a serious project that will take some time because it is written in my sparetime. The timelimit that I have set for myself is about two years in swedish and another to get it translated to english.
I really hope I can have your permission because I want this book to be as good as possible.

Best wishes!
Robert Haake

Peter Banks said...

You are very welcome, Robert. Do get in touch with me directly if I can provide any more information.

All the best, PB.

Robert said...

Thanks a lot for allowing me and for answering!
What is the easiest way to contact you directly with some questions?
Twitter, Facebook, email?