February 11th, 1983 - Bow Wow Wow

February 11th, 1983 - Bow Wow Wow


The following is an excerpt from the book No Slam Dancing, No Stage Diving, No Spikes: An Oral History of the Legendary City Gardens by Amy Yates Wuelfing and Steven DiLodovico.


Bow Wow Wow – February 11, 1983

Anthony Pelluso (City Gardens bartender): I was working the back bar, and [Bow Wow Wow lead singer] Annabella was sitting there with a hoodie on, and the hood was pulled tight on her head. Like most 16-year-olds, she had a scowl on her face, pissed off at the world for no apparent reason, and the drummer was sitting next to her. She was drinking white Russians, and I’m putting them on her tab. Tut pulls me over and goes, “You know who that is, right?” I’m like, “Yeah, Annabella from Bow Wow Wow.” He says, “You know she’s underage, don’t you?” And I’m like, “Yeah.” So, he said, “You’re serving her drinks!” I say, “What am I supposed to do? Should I stop serving her drinks?” And he goes, “Are they paying for them?” I told him yes, all the drinks are going on a tab, so he said, “Ah, then keep on serving her drinks.”

Henry Hose (City Gardens regular): My friend Vanessa and her friend Michele were in the back bar, and Annabella and guitar player Matthew Ashman were playing pinball. We started talking to them, and my friend was showing her all these rubber bracelets. Annabella said how much she liked them, and my friend said, “I’ll give you this one if you give me a kiss.” Annabella’s like ok, so they start kissing. Then Annabella said, “I like that one,” and my friend said, “Okay, I’ll give you that one if you give me a kiss with tongue.” At this point, Matthew Ashman rolls his eyes and walks away. This went back and forth, kisses for jewelry. When they went on to perform, there were some really rough punks [in the audience], and you could tell Bow Wow Wow was getting nervous. People were getting confrontational with the band, which was more poppy than punk. I think some punks found out that they were working with [former Sex Pistols manager] Malcolm McLaren and weren’t happy with what they heard.

Photo by Bruce Markhoff

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