Sonic Temple

The DVD Shoot – Oct. 4, 2001

October 4th 2001

The DVD shoot.

Um……why is it that the way things turn out is never exactly as planned? Let’s see now – the taping of The Cults first DVD was planned initially to take place at the end of the summer tour. Right at the end of seventy shows, when we were fit, tight, and all the equipment worked perfectly. The way it eventually went down, was at a one off show in Los Angeles, after we had all had four weeks to sit on beaches, hang out in UK/Mexico/LA, eat loads, not play any shows, and the equipment had been sitting in a sea container for three weeks, on its way back from England!! This sets up the day perfectly.

We get told the day before that we have a full run through the set at about five o’clock in the afternoon. Perfect. Billy D has a brand new switching system for all his amps and pedals that he has had very little time to get familiar with, we, as a band, haven’t played together for a few weeks, it gives the cameras time to work out how to make us look pretty…..a good idea all round. Except that at midnight, we have still yet to play a note! Don’t ask me what goes on…..I have no idea. Everyone seems to be running around looking very busy, and I’m sure there are good reasons for it all, but we find ourselves in a situation. We eventually run through a few numbers, but it is so late and we are all so tired, that we decide to come in early on the day of the show, and see what we can work out then. All the crew are shattered, because they all arrived at midday, so it is with great relief that we all head home to bed.

The next day, we manage a pretty good soundcheck, which is just as well, as a number of problems come to light, which slowly get worked out, and as the line of people starts to build up outside the venue, we finally finish checking and go and get some food in the marquee-type tent that they’ve set up in the backstage parking lot for the guests. There are cameras everywhere. Everytime I walk out into the venue, a camera appears from nowhere, to capture the preshow hair-do, the unsuspecting nose-picking, the indelicate trip, every single thing that you wouldn’t normally want on video!!!

As the evening ticks by, we realise that the onstage time needs to be put back as the line of people waiting to get in is still quite big, so we put it back to nine thirty, to give them all a chance to get through the doors. Every time I light a cigarette, a security guy pounces on me and tells me I can’t smoke inside the building, and makes me walk outside to smoke it. I just smile inside, and think about how they are going to try and stop me smoking inside the building once I’m onstage!! I find out later that the venue confiscated everyone’s cigarettes as they came into the building – just let ‘em try and get mine……sandbags, barbed wire and the national guard all enter my mind at this point!!

And finally the house lights go down, the intro tape rolls, and we walk on behind our Kabuki. The tape finishes, and we launch into Rise as the curtain falls and the venue looks good. The floor capacity is not what it should be because of the cameras, but both tiers of balconies look full and people are on their feet.

The first few songs feel laid back, but a little stiff as we try to blow the cobwebs out of our minds and out of our fingers, but things loosen up around Bridges Burn, and the first stagedivers and crowd surfers appear. I LOVE THAT – when I see crowd surfing, I know that you lot are having fun, and that gives me energy. Edie and Sweet Soul Sister seem to groove well, and Wild Flower rocks. I try a different bass for Sanctuary and Nirvana, which doesn’t seem to be even switched on!! But we do True Believers for the first time ever. I love the song and despite it being the first time, I think we play it well and Ian sings the song for New York, which is a very touching tribute.

The rest of the encore is as normal, with Love Removal Machine closing the show. It feels good to play good with the band again, and Matt & I groove well. Billy D wins the war with his new switching system and blasts the solo at the end. Mike is as cool as ever, and Ian is all over the stage, singing great. And then its over. We are done. The house lights go up and the audience start to leave.

Its funny how much of a rollercoaster these pressure gigs are – for two days previously, band and management alike are under intense pressure from all sides, and it feels very stressful……and then just like that, its all over, and people are packing up the gear, and loading trucks, and its all done. It can feel very weird.

Once we all get changed, we file over to the guest tent, one by one, to see everybody and hang out. One guy in a Cult tribute band shows me his tattoo, with all the Cult signatures TATTOOED on his arm!! He asks me to add my signature, but starts to look for a space where its not going to hurt!!! So we strike a deal. I believe that if you’re gonna get tattooed, then get tattooed, so I sign the soft skin under his arm (you know, that painful bit near your armpit?!! ) and he agrees to get it tattooed where I sign it!!! RESPECT to that man!!!! Next time I see him, he’s going to prove he had it done. Wild, huh? And I get given a book, which is a very nice thought, and thank you very much. We all have a bunch of friends at the aftershow – Ian is around, and having fun with his mates, and Matt says hello to what seems like everyone in Hollywood!! That man knows everyone! There’s a lot of familiar faces tonight, and I realise that The Cult has a very cool hardcore following, that travels thousands of miles to see the shows – very cool indeed. Thanks to everyone who braved ‘da hood’, to come and see us play. I eventually need sleep, and leave the Grand Olympic Auditorium, glad that the stress of the last couple of days is now over, and looking forward to a few months on the road with Aerosmith.

I truly wish you all well, and hope that everyone is safe after the tragedies that befell us all on Sept 11th. I would like, on behalf of The Cult, to send our thoughts and prayers to the people of New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

See you all soon and take care, people.


Billy Morrison