ON THIS DATE IN CITY GARDENS HISTORY: August 17th, 1993 - Fugazi Plays the First of Two Nights; Ian Learns All about Spike Jones...

Randy Now    and    Ian MacKaye    bond over Spike Jones

Randy Now and Ian MacKaye bond over Spike Jones

Fugazi – August 17 & 18, 1993

The shows were intense and always, always super-hot. We always made them turn the air conditioning off. That’s just our way. You’ve got to sweat. Those shows were high-compression gigs… if you were in there, you were working with us.
-Ian MacKaye

Ian MacKaye (Fugazi): The next time we came, we did two nights: August 17th and 18th, 1993. We had 1000 people both nights, and we made $1000 a night. We made less because I think we paid each of the bands out of our end. I think we paid them $400 each. In the early days of Fugazi, we were able to play in unorthodox rooms or venues. We did weird little gigs. We weren’t playing in “rock clubs,” but the crowds started becoming so substantial that the band felt a responsibility to make sure, if we were drawing that many people, we had a room that not only safe for the people but also safe for the show. It doesn’t do any good to book a show that will be shut down by the police. You can do a show with a hundred people or two hundred people under the radar. But when you get into the thousands, it’s difficult. The police start saying, “Hey, what’s going on? Ok, show’s over.” That happened to us a number of times early on, and we thought, “You know what? From now on we’ve got to do rooms that are not going to get shut down.” New Jersey was somewhat notorious for… headknocking. The kids were pretty radical or just angry. They were the people who wanted to see Fugazi, and they’re our people, so we decided, “We’re going to give this a shot.” The shows were intense and always, always super-hot. We always made them turn the air conditioning off. That’s just our way. You’ve got to sweat. Those shows were high-compression gigs… if you were in there, you were working with us.

I never had any beef with the business aspect. It was always straight up, and Randy was a good dude. He was a mailman. I also remember he introduced me to Spike Jones. Not the director, the [comedian] from the ‘40’s and ‘50s… We were in Randy’s apartment, and he said, “You’ve got to check out Spike Jones.” We’re like, “What?” He put [a video] on, and we spent all night watching it. He sent me—and I still have it— a VHS tape of The Spike Jones Show.