It’s not the footage I’ve long sought from the early ’80s Glenn Branca show I saw at Drexel University, but this is more or less how I remember seeing him from the front row with my friend Townsman Sethro, surrounded by a lot of older folks who showed up because Branca was part of some classical music package they’d bought. That crowd left early on, with fingers blocking their ears. Now I’m the old guy who occasionally shows up for the show that wasn’t really meant for me.
Nice to see Lee Ranaldo in there, pre-Sonic Youth.
I used to do music wholesaling in the very early 90s. Our office was in the same building in which Mr. Branca had his office. I’d occasionally find myself riding the elevator with him. I remember him as usually appearing quite disheveled; mass of tousled hair, looking like he’d been sleeping in the same suit for a week, oozing the smell of nicotine from every pore, seemingly in his own world…pretty much the central casting version of an avant-garde composer. About ten years later, I saw/heard the performance of his 13th symphony for *100* electric guitars at the plaza of the World Trade Center, in June of 2001. It really was astounding, the sound of a 100 (loud) electric guitar orchestra…harmonics flying all over the place…it was truly powerful.
That was the last performance I saw at the WTC: Less than three months later, it was gone and everything went to hell.
Never having heard his stuff, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Thanks for posting.