The Haters—Live! DVD
Helicopter, HEL 94091
Sometime in 1999, I was invited by GX Jupitter-Larsen to play my second ever live show opening for The Haters at their 20th anniversary in San Francisco. Not long after, a package from GX arrived in the mail. It contained a VHS tape filled with footage of The Haters, covering performances from the 80s all the way to that 20th anniversary show—all classic stuff I had read about and seen photos of many times in zines and interviews. First generation industrial music as conceptual performance: smashing, wrecking, and destroying everything. The glorious entropic breakthrough of The Haters’ youth. I watched it over and over again—to me this was the essential Haters document.
The years went by. For the Haters 25th anniversary Phil Blankenship and I organized and released a 25 disc boxset on Troniks. To celebrate the 30th anniversary, I published a book called Drilling A Hole Through The Sky on Helicopter, collecting short descriptions of every Haters performance, an interview, and reproductions of early zines and ephemera.
My one regret at that time was that I could not include the image that was pasted to the back of the VHS tape GX had sent me. It was a printout of a photo of GX sitting in a chair, hood and suit, holding an identically dressed ventriloquist dummy, a microphone facing them both. Truly a crown jewel that I had not seen published anywhere else. Unfortunately, GX didn’t have it, nor did anyone who contributed to the book from their collections; no one seemed to have recalled ever seeing it aside from GX and myself. I couldn’t track it down as my copy of the tape was locked away in an LA storage unit, inaccessible to me while I remained touring for years on end.
Fast-forward to 2013. I had just released two volumes of “These Things Happen” on Helicopter; transfers of unearthed DAT masters of Haters 7-inches and comp tracks from the 90s. When GX came over to pick up his copies of the release I pointed him towards the old VHS tape on my shelf, finally liberated from storage.
GX looked at the photo depicting him with the ventriloquist dummy. “Oh, yeah!” He flipped the tape over and inspected the list of contents. “Oh… wow… I don’t even remember sending this… I don’t have any of this stuff.” Puzzled, I grilled him for a few minutes trying to understand what he was telling me. I had always assumed this was the “Hater TV” release or something similar, and I just happened to have a handmade version of it. While in fact, as I came to find out, it was never released. The tape was just an informal collection that GX had shared with a handful of people. I was shocked.
To me, for the past 14 years, this tape WAS The Haters. It was hard to believe that the actual footage of the live shows that gave The Haters their reputation had been sitting on my shelf in total obscurity. I had assumed that everyone had seen it. Obviously, I immediately made reservation to rectify the situation and release the tape on DVD.
In all, there are 23 segments adding up to about two hours of material, spanning the years from 80s to mid-90s with a handful of later dates, the latest being the 20th anniversary show. I tried to improve the quality of the audio and video where possible without distracting from it’s original nature. I’ve included a “Loop” option on the menu so you can let it play all day.
The bonus features consist of nine documents and films that I’ve made, either of or about or in tribute to The Haters, over the last few years. 2014 marks The Haters 35th anniversary, and their 35th anniversary show is included in its entirety. Luckily this DVD also made it in just under the wire to celebrate it as well.
(NTSC, All Region)