Directed by Sonic Boom.
PREVIOUSLY: In the beginning, before there was Spiritualized or Spectrum, there was Spacemen 3. If you came of age in 80s, in the dreary grey flannel age of Reagan/Thatcher, when drug war hysteria was reaching a feverish pitch, Spacemen 3 was hands down the most persuasive and rewarding argument for the ingestion of mind-expanding substances since Pink met Floyd. In August of 1984, Jason Pierce (a.k.a. Jason Spaceman) received a government grant to attend Rugby Art College — which he promptly misused to purchase an electric guitar and amplifier. It was at Rugby Art College that Pierce met classmate Peter Kember (a.k.a. Sonic Boom, a.k.a. Peter Gunn), son of a wealthy importer. Kember ’s initial impression of Pierce was that he’s “someone who is very smart, but very lazy.” Kember and Pierce bonded over a mutual interest in psychedelic music and recreational drug use. Pierce turned Kember on to the Stooges. Kember reciprocated by turning Pierce on to the Cramps, Velvet Underground and heroin. They formed a band that combined all four influences and call themselves the Spacemen 3.
“Taking drugs to make music to take drugs to ” was their mantra and their methodology. At the height of Just Say No, they openly sang the praises of mind–altering substances to the media and crowned themselves kings of the one-chord drone, funneling White Light/White Heat-era Velvets and pre-mental-hospital 13th Floor Elevators through a mesmerizing prism of noisy trance rock. And they did it all sitting down, as did the audience members. In fact, some laid flat on their backs. Many of them, you see, had taken drugs to listen to music to take drugs to. You can literally hear the drugs in Spacemen 3’s music: Kember and Pierce wove dense, hypnotic chimeras of sound out of hazy, heavily-pedaled web of guitars (usually one chiming immaculately and the other completely fuzzed out), the pneumatic wheeze of vintage keyboards, throbbing bass and trance-inducing rhythms fashioned out of simple, repetitive drum patterns. Sample lyric: “In 1987 all I wanna do is get stoned.” MORE