boston, the channel, USA,
october 9th, 1982

John Lydon
Keith Levene: Guitar
Martin Atkins: Drums
Pete Jones: Bass

Set List:
Unknown in full…

There has been some debate over the years that PiL also played an all ages show the same day. This was confirmed in review number 4. Photographer Maureen Baker – who worked closely with PiL around this time –  later managed to confirm the band played the all ages show at the Bradford Hotel in Boston. An old hotel across street from Wang Center.

Support band for the Channel show were The Young and The Useless; who included future Beastie Boy Adam Horowitz.

Unknown if an audio bootleg was recorded


Gig Review #1

review by John Voorhes, September 2002
© 2002 / John Voorhes

I was at the Boston show. Opening band were the Young and the Useless who ended up becoming the Beastie Boys. I met them a few years later when I was a college DJ in New Orleans and told them that I was the guy who nearly got whacked by them whipping a drum stick into the crowd! Young and the Useless started a minor riot by telling the crowd we were only there to kiss Johnny Rotten's ass. That was basically the end of them, as the crowd pulled the rug and corresponding drum set off the stage!

PiL were incredible. I was new to the music only owning 'Flowers of Romance' at the time. As I remember they didn't play anything off of it. Place was packed and it seemed to me that Lydon was staring me straight down though for all I knew he might have been looking at anyone around me.

Highlights, some kid in a brand new Sex Pistols shirt jumping on stage and crouching in front and exchanging big smiles with his idol. I thought Lydon would beat the shit out of him but instead he was mildly charming to the fan. I remember not being able to figure out if he was taking the piss or what. Another highlight, being surrounded by the mob singing "Love, War, Fear, Hate" endlessly and endlessly, fists shaking in time, feeling like the rebirth of the brownshirts! Atmosphere definitely had the knife blade of imminent violence in it. Went out and got First and Second Edition, the latter of which is more often than not still my favourite record.

John Voorhes


Gig Review #2

review by N Ladd, February 2006
© 2006 / N Ladd

The above review is slightly wrong. They did play songs from 'Flowers of Romance' that night including 'Under the House', 'Flowers of Romance' and 'Banging the Door'. It was the one of the best gigs I have ever seen and I've seen many. It was incredible to see PiL with Levene still on guitar.

N Ladd


Gig Review #3

review by Timothy Sasscer, October 2007
© 2007 / Timothy Sasscer

I was at the Boston gig, and there was no indication of a previous, all ages show that day, or indeed at all. In those days I was a fanatic, obsessive music researcher with my ear to the ground; this mention in your website of an all ages show is the first I have ever heard of it. I would have gone to both shows if that was the case. I may be wrong, of course, and I'd like to hear about the when and where if there was one.

When I arrived in the evening (dusk) the band was doing a soundcheck ('Public Image', the song), and when the doors opened some time later I was one of the first in. The set opened with just Levene, Atkins, and Jones very slowly and ominously swirling around 'Lou Reed pt 1'. It was such a different intro than I expected (that song being unknown to me at the time), that I was transfixed...the power built up, the 'funk' elements introduced (slap bass), and it became quite powerful, but still operating with full 'dread at the controls' tension. Lydon's voice came over the PA from offstage, "...Where Are Youuuu?", and I thought he was teasing us, mocking us about when he would come out. It soon transpired that that was a song, he emerged to great excitement, and the gig proper was on. The first review on your page is fairly accurate, although the second reviewer is also right; those songs from 'Flowers pf Romance' were definitely played. There is some doubt amongst friends of mine as to whether the Young and Useless opening band were in fact the pre- Beasties...however, a band by that name did play that evening, and it transpired very much the way documented in your first review.

A life changing show by my favorite band at the time. I was also at the 9 Landsdowne St. show early the next year, with the same line-up, and have several memories of that, as well.
The Bradford Ballroom flyer MAY have been from a cancelled show, I have a dim recollection of dates being changed a bit before the Channel show, and perhaps that flyer comes from there. They definitely did not play at the Bradford on that tour (unless that was the mysterious all ages show).

So, I am providing as facts only the things I eye-witnessed, and my opinion on the rest. I hope it does not further murk the waters.

Timothy Sasscer


Gig Review #4

review by Kathi Gelona, January 2010
© 2010 / Kathi Gelona

Just stumbled on your site the other night as news of the tour has re-piqued my interest in PiL... Anyway, I wanted to clarify that there *WAS* an all-ages show at the Channel in Boston on Oct. 9, 1982. I was there, and I wish I had more details for you re the set list, etc., but I was an awestruck 17-year-old at the time. I do remember a couple kids with black armbands on, as it was John Lennon's birthday and he'd been killed only two years before. I also remember the Young & Useless being roundly booed, even though the audience was heavy with members of the hardcore scene--although a lot of us were becoming divided over subtypes of punk at that time, *everybody* came out for the PiL show. As seen in most of the videos of the day, John mostly crouched on stage and stared people down--he certainly didn't join the mosh pit.

Though I don't remember details in particular, I do remember that the whole afternoon was unforgettable--easily the most influential show I'd seen that far, and I was seeing a LOT of shows in those days.

Kathi Gelona


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