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Three Johns: Live in Chicago BUY IT

Buried Treasures


1. Teenage Nightingales To Wax
2. The Day Industry Decided To Stop
4. The Devil’s Music
5. 3 Junk
6. Death Of The European
7. McDonna
8. English White Boy Engineer
9. Do Not Cross The Line
10. 20th Century Boy
11. The World Of The Workers
12. Windolene
13. Kick The Dog

14. Do The Square Thing
15. Rooster Blue
16. Reds Strike The Blues

Recorded live at Chicago Metro 24th June 1985 by Metromobile.
Mixed by Timothy R. Powell & Terry Nelson.
The first time I set foot in Chicago I climbed out of the cab outside the Metro on Clark Street and saw this big Viking lad dragging his snake out of a big white truck. That was Timothy R. Powell one half of the dazzling Last Time Round Record consortium and owner of the Metro Mobile recording operation. Unbeknownst to us Johnnies he was setting up to record our first ever show in Chicago half way through our first ever tour of the States. It was the summer of 1985 and even littler did I know that this strange city would one day be my home. Terry Nelson, a college DJ on WZRD in Chicago, who hung out with the Mekons in Brixton for a few months back in 83, organized the gig through the late, great and sadly missed Ruth Polski, our agent in NYC. We’d been zig-zagging back and forth across the country on those multi-voucher airline tickets that sent us stumbling into the same bar in Detroit airport every afternoon no matter where we’d played the night before. We traveled light with two battered guitars, Hugo the drum machine in his heavy metal silver ammo box and Tommy from the Mekons doing our sound. It was
a great, weird, event-packed tour that peaked just right that particularly bonkers night in Chicago with us Three on about the toppest form we ever really summoned up so thank Neptune the buggers taped it!

Timothy baked the tapes, cranked up the volume & added a few tracks that had to be left off the original vinyl SO here you have it: The Three Johns Live In Chicago!

- Jon Langford, Chicago, 2004
From Chuck Eddy:
Stairway to Hell:The 500 Best Heavy Metal Albums in the Universe
New York, Harmony Books 1995

No.: 53. THE THREE JOHNS: Atom Drum Bop
England&Mac226;s premier post-everything power trio was pissed about all the right stuff: Jungle imperialism, emotional fascism screwed-over mineworkers, the works. But they were smart enough to be mixed-up enough to know that they really didn't know what the heck was going on. And they realized that no way are our lives gonna be saved by rock 'n' roll, so they flushed the fashion and forewent the pop charts and reveled in hard stuff, tendencies that made them seem like cynics in the Philanthropic Pop Age, though really they were more metapop than antipop. They could sound like Cream with no instrumental training or the Gang of Four with a sense of humor or the Moody Blues with male gonads, but mostly they did for the Stooges what the Stooges did for Bo Diddley, and they did it with a goddamn drum machine. On their least meek(and only indispensable) album, alone and left to rot in a dead-wrong world that doesn't really want them, they find affinity with the wandering cowhands and oppressed true believers of American myth, incorporating sample-like snippets of Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, the Swingin' Medallions, the Golden Gate Quartet, and Bobby Vee, amidst which touchstones these feedback-funkers falsetto, growl, refuse to tune up, and swing like thumpasauri caught in crosstown traffic. These court jesters may fuck around, but at the outset anyway, they didn't fuck around.

From: Robert Christgau:
Christgau's Record Guide: The 80's
New York, Pantheon Books

The Three Johns: The World by Stormn (Abstract import '86). Doomy politics, detached declamations, Leeds connection, they're the Gang of Three, obviously, and if they're not as smart, so be it. No funk crossovers for them, the drums are sure to pick up pattern and accent, but their genius is for basic (and unnostalgic) rock and roll of a purity rarely heard outside punk, if indeed that's where it's located. This time the songs are there, even though the analysis isn't terribly smart either. (That ain't America, lads, it's Capital.) And, considering how much good smarts did the Go4, maybe we should be grateful it's rancor and sarcasm that make them go. (A)

The Three Johns: Live in Chicago (Last Time Round '86).
Indies cater to collectors, and collectors will buy any old shit. Yet this verbatim show isn't just specialist product. The impolite patter includes a clarion call for international socialism, and the cover Versions are droll if a tad conceptual - T. Rex as the Eagles, 'Like a Virgin. There's half a carload of new songs from a writing machine that's already filled two LPs and two EPs since 1985. And if the remakes aren't revelations, most of them are copped from album one, which is now third in line at the checkout counter. (B+)

From: interview with Martin Hewes, The Redskins
The best ever cover version of a Redskins song that I ever heard was the 3 Johns version of 'Red Strike the Blues'. I doubt this was ever recorded so unfortunately it is lost for all time except in the mind of John Langford, creative genius!"


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