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Love in the Time of Recession
January 9, 2013 9:43 PM   Subscribe

Vini Reilly, of English post-punks The Durutti Column, had been through a rough couple of years. His friend and mentor (and Factory Records boss) Tony Wilson died, and then the already fragile guitarist suffered a series of strokes. Unable to play, and frustrated in his attempts to secure government assistance, he found himself having to sell his studio gear in order to make rent and pay off debts. Then his nephew decided to rally the fans.
posted by misterbee (26 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sad to hear that he's in poor health, on the one hand, but glad to see his fans offer their support so generously. The Durutti Column is definitely the most underrated band involved in the Factory scene. Hope this fpp encourages more listeners.
posted by MetalFingerz at 10:08 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Without Mercy
posted by philip-random at 10:19 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


... and more live
posted by philip-random at 10:20 PM on January 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sketch for Summer, one of my all-time favorite songs. It's great that he was able to get help.
posted by whir at 10:23 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I found a Durutti Column discog in a shop recently and it was well worth the $10. Great stuff.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:27 PM on January 9, 2013


Fuck, don't do that to me. I read the other day about the money troubles and how his nephew and fans sorted it out, but it not being mentioned until the last few words of the post really made me think the worst, given his terrible health.
posted by Len at 10:35 PM on January 9, 2013


I love Requiem Again (SLYT) One of my top five songs ever. I can't tell you how many times I played this during the summers of my youth - driving aimlessly with the sunroof open - and Skinny Vini blaring through the speakers of my family's Volvo. Everything so wonderful, yet bittersweet - perfect for my angsty college years

I've bought every piece of music I can find my hands on of his. Absolute genuis. How heartbreaking that he is in such dire straights. If the call for donations every goes out again - you'll bet I'll give generously.
posted by helmutdog at 10:45 PM on January 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry Len - not my intention at all! I would've posted this yesterday, but I'd already posted something else.

I'm really hoping Vini continues to recover, and is able to play (and record) again. He's always been able to convey complex emotions with simple musical ideas, so a reduced physical capacity might not mean the end of his career.
posted by misterbee at 10:47 PM on January 9, 2013


I'm partial to "Conduct" myself, but for those of you not familiar with his Durutti Column work, perhaps you recognize the guitar work on "Everyday is Like Sunday."

One little factoid that I love about the first Durutti Column album is that the cover was made of sandpaper so that it would ruin the covers of any albums that you stored next to it. Punk, man.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:45 PM on January 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


It'd be better still if the sandpaper was inside the cover, so that it ruined the actual record though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:36 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


My personal favorite is Gun. I saw Durutti Column live a few years ago when they played at the Barbican in London. Vini did this song as an opener. Just him and his guitar standing there playing a melancholy song.

There's a Metafilter connection here. Durutti Column's album Amigos Em Portugal features a cover by Mefi's own MiguelCardoso. Miguel was studying in Manchester right in the middle of the Factory days and so he was right there.
posted by vacapinta at 1:33 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think it's great that his nephew did this. There are too many cases of well loved people like musicians having problems (& sometimes dying) without the help of people who would have loved to have helped, if only they'd known. Thank you for the music.
posted by DanCall at 2:17 AM on January 10, 2013


the cover was made of sandpaper so that it would ruin the covers of any albums that you stored next to it.

Surely one of the albums being destroyed would be another Durutti Column album, since you'd probably store them all together for easier findability ?
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:11 AM on January 10, 2013


... of course, one could always replace said records at a competitively priced second-hand record shop located in Vini's stomping ground, eh misterbee ?
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:17 AM on January 10, 2013


ignore the above. There's a record shop in Chorlton called Mister Bee Records, but your profile tells me that that aint you
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:19 AM on January 10, 2013


The sandpaper cover on Return Of The Durutti Column is a reference to Mémoires, the Situationist book by Asger Jorn and Guy Debord, which also had a sandpaper cover.

I've lost count of the times I've seen the Durutti Column perform live: the passage of my life is measured out in Vini Reilly gigs, and the experience is always exquisite. It saddens more more than I can say that I'll probably never see him play again. But we still have the albums. Do not be daunted by the fact there are so many.

The Durutti Column's long-lost should-have-been-the fourth album, Short Stories for Pauline, was finally released last year, in a double-pack with a recording of a concert in Brussels from the same year. I don't know if it's the best starting point for new listeners but it's a beautifully formed studio work, plus the best early tracks, plus a taste of Vini playing live, plus since it's a recent release Vini is more likely to actually receive royalties from it, and I'd recommend it on that level.

But the fact is that every Durutti Column album is the best Durutti Column album while you're playing it.
posted by Hogshead at 3:30 AM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is the most Durutti Column fans I have ever seen in one place.

If this thread can't convince me there is merit in Vini's music, nothing can.
posted by Mezentian at 3:58 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't forget his work with Morrissey on Viva Hate. Some of my favorite solo Morrissey songs are on that album. A lot of that has to do with Vini's sound (particularly Suedehead).
posted by kuanes at 4:00 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't forget his work with Morrissey on Viva Hate.

*checks album*
How did I not know that?
How how how how how?
posted by Mezentian at 4:05 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Vini wouldn't be Vini without his self effacing attitude, but I find it a bit sad that we wont accept any further donations, but would rather try to 'manage on the disability allowance that he's given' in his declining years.
posted by asok at 5:30 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Seeing as there are few fans in this thread, what album(s) should I start with?
posted by fatfrank at 6:50 AM on January 10, 2013


There's a 2CD best of (called "Best Of") that's currently available which wouldn't be a bad place to start, but if you're the sort who wants to start with albums and not compilations, I'd go with his second album "LC" or his nth album "Keep Breathing", which are good examples of his early and his more modern stuff, respectively.

He tends to revisit and rework songs over and over on successive albums, so the more you are familiar with his entire catalog, the more rewarding any given album is (especially the latter ones).
posted by lefty lucky cat at 7:31 AM on January 10, 2013


I'd start at the beginning with The Return of the Durutti Column.

For the record, this was the album with the sandpaper cover and it was his very first album, so the odds were fairly good at that time that you'd be destroying your Ian Dury records on one side or your - hmm - Dragon albums maybe on the other side.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:48 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a Metafilter connection here. Durutti Column's album Amigos Em Portugal features a cover by Mefi's own MiguelCardoso. Miguel was studying in Manchester right in the middle of the Factory days and so he was right there.

At that time, I was quite friendly with Mike Keane and Arthur McDonald, who collectively made up The Royal Family and The Poor.

Their first release was one of the first Factory albums -- a sampler that also included a side by the Durutti Column.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:01 PM on January 10, 2013


Though quite honestly, as far as their music went, I didn't like any of them. The only Factory band I had any time for were A Certain Ratio.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:06 PM on January 10, 2013


Just the name "Durutti Column" gives me a flashback to junior high, going to the record store after school let out and spending the afternoon flipping through every album in the used-and-import section.

Radio Paradise has been playing Requiem for My Mother with some regularity lately, fuzzy memory tells me.

(Having just watched the video: Wow. One take, in the studio? Mind. Blown.)

(Having just watched the video: Just got sandbagged by how much I miss my own mother. Crap.)
posted by Lexica at 9:47 PM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


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