A few months ago I was lucky enough to interview Peter Hook, bassist and co-founder of New Order and Joy Division as he prepped for a North American tour with his current outfit Peter Hook & The Light.
We chatted across the Atlantic as his son Jack Bates (who Hooky revealed to be joining Smashing Pumpkins on their almost reunion tour) drove them to London.
Hooky reminisced about New Order's very first performance here in Georgia back in 1983 at the now defunct 688 Club.
At the intersection of Spring and 3rd Street in Atlanta, 688 hosted hundreds of artists, many now legendary, from May 1980 to November 1986. (Way before my time, I was just 10 years old in 1983)
Locals REM, Drivin' N' Cryin' & Pylon rose to fame there. And the list of artists who performed within the walls of 688 reads like a new wave/post punk Hall of Fame: New Order, Iggy Pop, Ramones, XTC, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Echo & the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, Butthole Surfers, The Replacements, and Go-Go's just scratch the surface.
I mentioned to Hook that 668 t-shirts were still available and that I'd try to get one to him when I photographed the tour in Atlanta. (I wound up photographing The Light in Orlando (instead of Atlanta) and successfully got a shirt to him.) I also wondered off hand if there were any photos from the 1983 show.
A few weeks later, I got an e-mail from Andy Bone. It just so happens that Andy and his friends drove nearly 400 miles, from Memphis, to catch New Order in Atlanta back in 1983. Andy has the pictures to prove it. Taken on an Instamatic, with flash and no zoom, his are the only photographs I know of from that concert.
Andy recalled that it was "One of those shows I'll never forget."
He also has a gallery full of cool gig photos from that era that includes Talking Heads, Wendy O. Williams, Bow Wow Wow, Missing Persons and even Eric Carr/Vinnie Vincent era KISS.
Thanks for sharing these Andy. And if you, dear reader, have more from the show or from 688 back in the day, I'd love to see them.
And if you are looking for a 668 Club T-shirt, make sure you buy the real deal. Former club operator Steve May has fallen on hard times, and sales of the clubs shirts are a valuable source of income for him.
You can get a "real one" here. Don't support the bootleggers. Shop Georgia and support the original.