Enter the name for this tabbed section: TOUR
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USA, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand 1985-1986
Enter the name for this tabbed section: credits
The Residents
with guests:
Snakefinger,
C. LeMaitre,
S. McLennan
Tour Manager: USA R. Shupe / Europe H. Fokker
Lights: K. Newell / H. Purdum
Sound: J. Formula


Enter the name for this tabbed section: performances
28-Oct-85 Kyoto Japan
29-Oct-85 Tokyo Japan Parco Space
30-Oct-85 Tokyo Japan Parco Space
31-Oct-85 Tokyo Japan Parco Space

10-Dec-85 San Francisco USA Wolfgangs
11-Dec-85 San Francisco USA Wolfgangs
12-Dec-85 San Francisco USA Wolfgangs
13-Dec-85 San Francisco USA Wolfgangs
26-Dec-85 Los Angeles USA The Palace
9-Jan-86 Atlanta USA 688 Club
10-Jan-86 Atlanta USA 688 Club
12-Jan-86 Trenton USA City Gardens
16-Jan-86 New York USA The Ritz
17-Jan-86 New York USA The Ritz
20-Jan-86 Boston USA The Channel
22-Jan-86 Montreal Canada Le Spectrum
24-Jan-86 Toronto Canada Music Hall
25-Jan-86 Ann Arbor USA Michigan Theater
27-Jan-86 Cleveland USA Peabody's Down Under
28-Jan-86 Cleveland USA Peabody's Down Under
29-Jan-86 (early) Pittsburgh USA The Graffitti
29-Jan-86 (late) Pittsburgh USA The Graffitti
31-Jan-86 Washington USA Lisner Auditorium
7-Feb-86 Chicago USA Vic Theatre
8-Feb-86 Milwaukee USA The Palms
10-Feb-86 Minneapolis USA First Avenue
12-Feb-86 Lawrence USA Cogburns
14-Feb-86 Dallas USA Arcadia
16-Feb-86 Houston USA Cullen Auditorium

04-Aug-86 Sydney Australia Tivoli
05-Aug-86 Sydney Australia Tivoli
06-Aug-86 Sydney Australia Tivoli
07-Aug-86 Sydney Australia Tivoli
08-Aug-86 Brisbane Australia Easts
09-Aug-86 Brisbane Australia Jet club
10-Aug-86 Baron Bay Australia Art Factory
11-Aug-86 Perth Australia The Red Parrot
13-Aug-86 Adelaide Australia Tivoli
14-Aug-86 Adelaide Australia Tivoli
15-Aug-86 Melbourne Australia Seaview Ballroom
16-Aug-86 Melbourne Australia Seaview Ballroom
17-Aug-86 Melbourne Australia Seaview Ballroom
19-Aug-86 Canberra Australia Canberra labour club
20-Aug-86 Sydney Australia Hills Inn
21-Aug-86 Sydney Australia Tivoli
22-Aug-86 Christchurch New Zealand Town Hall
23-Aug-86 Auckland New Zealand Galaxy
26-Aug-86 Wellington New Zealand
28-Aug-86 Sydney Australia Selinas

3-Oct-86 Tromsoe Norway Ungdomens Hus
4-Oct-86 Copenhagen Denmark Falkoner Teatret
5-Oct-86 Oslo Norway Norske Opera
6-Oct-86 Stockholm Sweden Fryshuset
8-Oct-86 Berlin Germany Tempodrom
9-Oct-86 Bochum Germany Zeche
10-Oct-86 Frankfurt Germany Batschkapp
11-Oct-86 Munich Germany Theaterfabric
12-Oct-86 Linz Austria Posthof
13-Oct-86 Vienna Austria Sofiensale
15-Oct-86 Rennes France Maison de la Culture
16-Oct-86 Paris France Maison de la Culture
17-Oct-86 Nancy France Chapiteau de la Pepiniere
20-Oct-86 Lyon France Salle de la E.N.T.P.E
21-Oct-86 Geneva Switzerland
23-Oct-86 Rotterdam Holland Nighttown
24-Oct-86 Antwerpen Belqium Hof Ter Loo
25-Oct-86 Amsterdam Holland Paradiso
26-Oct-86 Tilburg Holland 't Noorderligt
28-Oct-86 London England The Hammersmith Palais
29-Oct-86 Manchester England Hacienda Club

10-Jan-87 San Fransisco USA Warfield theatre (WITH PENN AND TELLER)
Enter the name for this tabbed section: notes
After the economic disaster of the Mole Show tour The Residents swore never to go on the road again. The losses they'd taken were threatening Ralph Records' very existence. In order to distance themselves from the fiasco, they took time off from the Moles to work on The American Composer Series, and eventually returned to the Mole Trilogy project with The Big Bubble. This last album sold well, especially in Japan. In fact, it was so successful there that Wave Records in Tokyo came to the band to commission two weeks of live shows in Japan. At first the band was not at all interested, but when Wave offered to pay all expenses -- air fare, hotel, performance costs, and shipping -- they could not but accept the very generous deal.

Having learned some painful lessons from The Mole Show, The Residents created a very economical production. No huge sets, no huge props, and no big theatrical concept. Using the fact that they'd been around for a lucky thirteen years as an excuse, they decided that this tour would be an anniversary retrospective of their work, featuring live performances of some of their best-known music.

The show involved musicians, dancers, Snakefinger playing guitar, and a ninja. There were few props, just hand-held work-lights (with which the dancers and stage ninjas would illuminate the singer) and seven large, inflatable giraffes. From time to time the dancers would change costume.

The Residents were a huge success in Japan. They sold out all of their concerts, performed on live Japanese TV, and Wave even had a Residents sculpture installed in the lobby of their Tokyo record store.

Meanwhile, in the US, a young fan of the band had heard about the Japanese concerts. Rich Shupe, a college undergraduate on the East Coast, had been a fan of the band since he was 13 and had crossed paths with The Residents several times, from helping with the preparations for the Uncle Sam Mole Show in 1984 to hosting Snakefinger at his parent's house during the 1982 Manual of Errors tour (and mailing Snakefinger's lost sock back to Ralph Records afterwards).

Shupe phoned the Cryptics, wanting to know when the band would ever get back out to the East Coast. The Cryptics felt that there wasn't that much interest in them in the US -- they seemed to do best in Europe and Japan -- but they told Shupe to see if he could book dates which he did.

By the time The Residents got back from Japan, Shupe had managed to arrange far more show dates than the band could hope to perform. They signed Shupe on as tour manager in spite of his being only 19 years old, whittled the list down to twenty-four shows in eighteen cities. Still remembering the lessons from The Mole Show the band kept the format from the Japanese concerts, touring in a single vehicle (with no obnoxious roadies). They also held on to the merchandising rights, putting Tom Timony (who ran Ralph Records at the time) in charge of selling the a hundred-plus different items.

As in Japan, the show was a success. They sold out often during the tour, including three times in San Francisco and at both of their shows at The Ritz, where they were playing New York City for the first time ever. They were third in club ticket sales in New York, only outsold by Eric Clapton and Jerry Garcia.

There were some problems, of course. One of the Kansas venues turned out to be a pool hall and another performance in the Midwest was the last concert in that location before the new owners turned it into a female topless basketball sports bar -- it wasn't really drawing The Residents' usual crowd.

The most serious problem was the theft of one of the band's Eyeballs from a Los Angeles dressing room. The band had to dredge up an old skull mask prop from the Third Reich 'N' Roll days and a black jumpsuit in order to costume the bereft Resident. Subsequent concerts would open with a eulogy for the missing eyeball and black memorial arm-bands were available in the lobby. That Resident has kept that costume ever since and is now known as Mr. Skull, or sometimes Dead-Eye Dick.

The real story of the eyeball's disappearance came out later. One day someone arrived at the The Cryptic Corporation offices with a parcel. He explained that a "friend" had broken into the backstage area of the theatre and swiped the eyeball from the dressing room. Because he could not carry the thing out undetected, he instead went upstairs and dropped it out of a second-storey window into a dumpster, then casually walked back out again to recover it.

The Cryptics' visitor claimed that he had persuaded this "friend" to turn the eyeball-head over and he was now heroically returning the long-lost mask.

The Cryptics didn't buy this guy's story for a moment -- it was fairly obvious that he, himself, was the thief. However, they were far more concerned with the fact that the mask had been seriously damaged in the fall than with laying blame. Though they now had their missing Eyeball back, there was no way they could use it. Mr. Skull was here to stay.

After touring the States the band took a six-month breather then headed off to Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, where they were greeted with more enthusiasm. Eventually, they returned to San Francisco for a final run, concluding with a grand finale on January 10th, 1987, featuring guest appearances by Penn & Teller.

As a special treat during that last concert, Teller -- the one who never speaks -- agreed to sing one of The Residents' songs in exchange for a Resident taking his Eyeball-head off. Teller stepped behind a screen to sing the song, and when he was done one of the band members removed his eyeball head, revealing... Teller.

All in all, the 13th Anniversary Show was a huge success. It was well received by both audiences and critics, especially in New York, San Francisco, and Europe, and helped cure the band's financial woes.



UNCLE WILLIE'S HIGHLY OPINIONATED GUIDE TO THE RESIDENTS


THE 13TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW

At the tender age of 19, Rich Shupe convinced The Residents to tour the U.S.A. He even convinced them to let him be the tour manager for the tour. Here are some of his memories. - Uncle Willie

As early as my first adult teeth came in, I began asking Ralph Records when The Residents would tour. Yeah, sure, there were eventually some Mole Show performances in California, but since I was just an East Coast punk kid, and since high school didn’t pay very well, I couldn’t really afford the round-trip airfare to see these exclusive shows.
And yeah, sure, after the California Mole Shows, the BlinklessOnes toured Europe, but not the U.S.! What the hell kind of patriotism is that? Too broke to see them in my own country, I certainly couldn’t produce the fiscal resources required to see them in a foreign land, far across the Atlantic. Who did they think they were, Michael Jackson?
Then, in 1983, finally The Residents were playing in my neck of the woods: headlining at the New Music America Festival in Washington, D.C. My chance, at last, to see them live! What an incredible event. With all of the Mole Show touring equipment in disputed lock up in a shipping warehouse, a cast of thousands put together the entire show from scratch in two weeks. Performed in a museum in our nation’s capitol, I went to The Uncle Sam Mole Show a boy and came away a man. Well, almost. It sure scared me a lot. Yeah, sure, I saw a once-in-a-lifetime experience but I still couldn’t share my enthusiasm with any of my friends across the country. To nine tenths of the country, the Residents remained as elusive as ever.
It wasn’t until three years later, in 1986, that it looked like our favorite foursome might finally tour the United States. You see their Japanese record label, WAVE, commissioned two weeks of performances across Japan, and the Rez Boyz were diligently working on putting together a performance. Now, I’ll admit that just about everywhere in the world is more open-minded culturally than the States, but this was the second foreign country to see these folks live! What about us?
I called the Cryptic Corporation and asked, “Look, if you’ve got a show you can put on a plane and take to Japan, why not put it on a bus and take it to us?”
“Well,” came the answer, “we’ve thought about it, but there doesn’t seem to be very much interest. Huey Lewis’ booking agency spoke to us, but it didn’t really go anywhere.”
Indeed. But how can there not be any interest? The Residents touring the U.S. for the first time in 13 years? I asked if I could look into it, and with a non-committal “see what you can do” I embraced the task with a youthful fervor. I soon found out that booking a domestic tour for a band that had never put in a personal appearance in Anytown, USA was at once the easiest and most difficult thing to do. On the one paw, virtually everyone took my call (except for that asshole in Boston) but on the other, no one believed me. “The Residents? Yeah, right. Any real estate for sale?” To put it succinctly, let’s just say that Ralph Records fielded a lot of check-up calls. But once things got going, and word got out that these shores would soon be canvased by You Know Who, all that remained was working out the kinks. Two weeks later, the Cryptic Corporation returned from Japan to find more shows scheduled than they could play in the allotted time and it was just a matter of picking and choosing the dates.
And so it was, in December-January of 1986, the 13th Anniversary Show played 24 shows in 18 cities. Needless to say, it met critical acclaim and sold out everywhere. Three musicians, two dancers, lights, sound, management, a couple of skeletons, a dozen or so giraffes, and other assorted people and props presented two hours of newly reworked material that spanned a baker’s dozen of years and as many releases.
What was it all about? Things I wouldn’t mind forgetting: the heinous theft of an eyeball at the Hollywood Palace; kneeling, cramped, on a Trenton stage holding a fan on an Emulator because the power in the venue was hot; playing a pool hall in Kansas; throwing a hippie stage-crasher back into the Ann Arbor audience; and the cold spaghetti and ketchup catering in Pittsburgh.
Things I could never forget: every standing ovation; ranking third in the NY club’s ticket sales behind Eric Clapton and Jerry Garcia; the Prince disco light show in Minneapolis; the six weeks of everlasting friendships formed; and the unforgettable guitar work, stage presence and personality of Snakefinger.
And even the things that made the trip a real rock and roll tour: outfitting the San Francisco cast with Alaskan parkas on our first Atlanta morning; the never ending look-alike hotels; the imaginative costume-wearing show-goers; the snow-locked Cleveland Flats; and the always-eventful press escapades.
You can never really capture an experience like this in so many words. Nothing short of a tour diary could ever tell the story, and even then you get only one viewpoint. After not playing live for so long, why did the Residents do this? Was it for the fans? Was it to exorcize personal demons? Was it to get back on the Mole Show horse? Was it for the money? Who cares. The most important thing is. . . they did it.
- Rich Shupe