Date: Thursday, August 9th, 1984 City: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Venue: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Cafeteria
In the August '98 issue of "Chart" magazine, Jay Ferguson from Sloan interviews Thurston (and Steve) and they discuss this show:
Jay: The reason I mention Halifax is because Sonic Youth actually came and played here in the early '80s...do you have any memories of that?
Thurston: Yeah, the Nova Scotia College contacted us; it was really early on... They asked if we wanted to come up and do a symposium. I didn't really have any idea what that meant. I just thought we were going to play a gig. I think Kim and Lee had more of an idea but they didn't really, sort of, translate it to me. They just figured I knew as well [laughs]. Anyways, the first thing we had to do is go to this class and sort of talk about ourselves... and then we were walking out, thinking "What are we doing?" There was no real agenda except to go to this class. We just sat around and talked to some students. And then I made a flyer for the gig that night.
Jay: A friend of mine has one of those.
Thurston: Oh, wow... I just took it out of a film book... It was from some 80s horror movie.... [Just then, Steve Shelley pipes up: "Evil Dead?"] ... Evil Dead! It was a picture of this hand coming out of a grave and grabbing this woman like this. [Thurston illustrates by grabbing his throat with his hand, to much laughter.] And I wrote "Sonic Youth Live Halifax," et cetera. We hung them up all over town and all over the university. There was a large feminist contingency there and they were just incensed.
Jay: Oh, really?
Thurston: Like, "Who are these people coming here and putting this obscene imagery all over the place?" And they tore 'em all down and spread the word to ban the show. At the same time, there was a huge hardcore gig in town. I think it was D.O.A. and, like, 20 other bands. So the kids who were going to go see something, they were gonna go to that. And the art students were sort of conflicted about going. So I'd say there was maybe eight people there.
Jay: I think it's one of those shows that 150 people claim they saw but there was only.... Well, eight people.
Thurston: We also, at the time, picked up a lot of stuff from the streets of Halifax and brought it to the gig. We did a lot of banging on garbage cans. A lot of clatter.