PiL - New York, Ritz, USA
May 15th, 1981 (2 reviews)

Review #1: Fuller 'Tape' Version

Running Order:
1. Flowers of Romance (recorded version)
2. Instrumental
3. Tom Synder Interview
4. Four Enclosed Walls
5. "There's a Hole in My Heart"
6. Go Back
7. Introductions...
8. Keith Yells
9. Go Back
10. "Happiness... "

Running Time:
25 minutes (approx)

Sound Quality:
(7) Average but choppy Audience Recording
Tape Gradings Explained here

review by DINO EVERETT

The infamous riot show!
This recording is NOT taken from the bootleg 7" 'Famous Riot Show EP'. This 'tape' version features almost an extra 10 minutes, not included on the EP, and originates from a different source.

This tape is an absolute must for any PiL fan regardless of the fact that it is only a very average, or even below average, sounding audience recording. It is a very important show in the history of the band. PiL were called in to play at the last minute and decided to perform behind a screen while they ran various clips of interviews and other footage of the band. The crowd upon realising they weren't going to see the band start growing unruly and eventually trashed the place. On the tape you can hear crowd members screaming things like "This is bullshit" and "RUSH THE STAGE". The funniest thing about all of this is 20 years later a band called the Gorillaz would perform in similar fashion only using animation on the screen and be heralded as the second coming of Christ for their "ingenuity". Once again PiL were the originators but were too ahead of their time...

There are some great moments during this show that should be pointed out. The tape starts with the recorded version of 'Flowers Of Romance.' Then you hear some keyboard noise, and 'pick up' drummer Sam Ulano, banging out the 'Flowers' beat, but then the tape cuts. Next is an improvised instrumental with some random guitar and drums. Then you hear a video outtake of the Tom Synder interview, along with more guitar ramblings... The first live vocals come on 'Four Enclosed Walls' which goes for a bit and then we hear another video outtake. The tape cuts again a couple times and you hear the crowd starting to scream, "This is bullshit" at which point John in typical fashion starts egging them on "OH. So glad you're enjoying the show", with John singing cheekishly, "There's a hole in my heart where the love comes shining through". It's about 14 minutes in here.

More drumming and the song 'Go Back' with John laughingly introducing the band. My favourite is, "Keith Levene, you've heard of him he's pretty famous..." and then 'Jeannette say hello." I wonder what she was playing during all of this, rumour has it she was banging along on the tambourine. Or was she really just there to share in the abuse... Finally Keith yells, "I think you're boring... If you destroy that screen we'll destroy you!" It winds up around 24 minutes with John singing a little ditty by the English comedian Ken Dodd called 'Happiness', before it descends into absolute chaos with someone shouting "The show's over... !"

Brilliantly (and frustratingly too) it was all captured on video by the band themselves, though we'll probably never get to see it... A few days later they also held a press conference to show the debacle to the press, the press conference was also filmed... Now that show is the bastard son of the Pistols Huddersfield, and it would be a a dream come true for PiL fans if they released a DVD of it in all it's glory...


PiL - New York, Ritz, USA
May 15th, 1981

Review #2: Edited 'EP' Version

Running Order:
1. Lisa Yapp Introduction / 'Dirt' Interview
2. Four Enclosed Walls
3. "There's a Hole in My Heart"
4. Go Back
5. Introductions...
6. Keith Yells
7. Go Back
8. "Happiness... "

Running Time:
15 minutes (approx)

Sound Quality:
(7) Very Average Audience Recording
Tape Gradings Explained here

review by Scott M

This edited version is taken from the vinyl bootleg 7" 'Famous Riot Show EP', and is almost 10 minutes shorter than the above 'tape' version. To fit as much time as possible on a 7" single, the recording has been sped up, and the disc plays at 33rpm. However, self-made, (digitally) time corrected recordings of the EP are in circulation of traders, we even had a version on the old Radio Fodderstompf... This recording originates from a different source than the 'tape' version.

Until January 2003 (when Dino submitted the above review), I wrongly presumed that the only recording of the Ritz gig was taken from the 'Famous Riot Show EP'. Well, not for the first time I was wrong...

As mentioned above this EP version is almost 10 minutes shorter, plus it's also been sped up. Both versions are 'average' audience recordings, though clearly from different sources. The EP is slightly more muddy than the tape version, and also picks up less crowd noise, which normally would be a good thing, but given the circumstances, the crowd comments are all part of the fun, "Throw more bottles... !"

Although the 'tape' version is longer, unfortunately it is not complete and has many cuts throughout. It also misses off the whole of Lisa Yapp's introduction, including the PiL interview from her 'Dirt' cable TV show, which was projected onto the screen. Apart from the intro, the EP misses the whole beginning of the show and jumps right to 'Four Enclosed Walls', which is around eight minutes into the 'tape' version. The plus point however, is that there are no cuts from 'Four Enclosed Walls' right through to the end of 'Happiness.' Though, the EP does cut off just before the end of the song, whereas the 'tape' version continues for around two minutes after...

It would be great at some point for someone to do a 'digital hybrid' of both versions, but until then, dedicated PiL fans will NEED both versions. Though, I would probably recommend the 'tape' version over the EP as it certainly makes more sense...


Bootleg Guide | Fodderstompf