Marianne Faithfull, October 1, 1983

Probably My Favorite Show – Marianne Faithfull, October 1, 1983

When Marianne Faithfull played the sold out 500 capacity packed basement of Scorgies in the fall of 1983, it was during a tour for the album “A Childs Adventure”. Don Scorgie was looking forward to the show based on his memories of her from the 1960’s when she was Mick Jaggers girlfriend. He probably expected something closer to a socialite fashion model than the chain smoking junkie dressed in thrift store cast-offs that showed up.

They were literally thrift store cast-offs, as Marianne had gotten on the tour bus in Manhattan the night before without a stitch of clothing beyond what was on her back. She had spent part of the afternoon prowling the downtown Rochester thrift stores looking for things to wear.

The rest of the tour had been booked into small & mid-sized theaters, and this was the only club date. As a result, Marianne was really nervous as the show started. She was making her way towards the stage from the back of the club, during the intro to Broken English, when she suddenly ran into the Mens Room to hide. In the recording below, Don Scorgie can be clearly heard yelling “Marianne… We’re over here!”

Once on stage however the jitters soon left and she delivered a tight & intense set, rolling around on the stagefloor, knocking over drinks in complete abandon. She played a handful of songs from her new album plus faves like Guilt, and Lucy Jordan. She delivered a great version of John Lennon’s Working Class Hero, and ended it all with a fiery version of Why’d Ya Do It?.

After the show, out on the tour bus, she held court with the few fans lucky enough to get aboard. She had 2 joints and a cigarette in-between the fingers of one hand, taking turns smoking off them. I got my “Sister Morphine” single sleeve autographed. She had never seen it before.

Years later, Kevin Patrick became her A&R rep at Island so he & I got to know her pretty well. At one point Kevin said, “You know Marianne, I met you first in Rochester when you played a little club there called Scorgies. Do you remember that?”

Marianne thought for a moment & then, rather wide eyed, answered “Noooo…”

Check out the first 2 songs of the show: Broken English & Times Sq


Marianne Faithfull Live at Scorgies

Tom Kohn's shot of Marianne at Scorgies

Tom Kohn's shot of Marianne at Scorgies

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  1. JP’s avatar

    Man, I wish I had a camera in my hands for all these shows – especially Marianne Faithfull. Duane, no photos from our friend? This is probably my favorite show from Scorgies (and there are many). There isn’t much more to add but I just remember being right at the edge of the stage and amazed how great she sounded then between songs she could barely speak and made no sense. The the next song she was right on again. Well, as right on as she could be. it was great to meat her afterwards and I have always had the autographed photo on my wall every place i’ve lived.

    I was lucky enough to see Marianne before this, when I was in London in ’78. I was with Howard Thompson & Barrie Masters (Eddie & the Hot Rods) and this was a complete disaster – but I was in heaven of course. She was a huge train wreck then and it was before she was signed to Island. In fact Howard said to us that she should be on Island – maybe he knew something or heard rumors at the time, I don’t know. I never in a million years, think, after this show that she was capable of recording of of the all-time great albums (Broken English) and play Scorgies. I did tape this show (and much more of that night). I should send it to you Duane and the Nico show also from that week.

    I have to say the Scorgies show is one of the most memorable Marianne Faithull shows I’ve seen, though, great as it was, not my favorite of all. That is probably The Paradise here in Boston (Kevin & Corinne were there also) or the “Don’t Smoke In Bed” tour. Someone has that Paradise tape – must find that. It’s about time Marianne tours again.




  2. Kyle’s avatar

    Duane & John – I am a huge Marianne Faithfull fan and your memories of shows I would have loved to have seen (but was not yet born) are really great to read, see and hear! Thank you very much for sharing. Is there any way either of you would be willing to share more photos or the audio you have from these great early Marianne shows? I would really, really enjoy and appreciate them. Anyway you are willing to share please let me know! I also have some great shows which I would gladly share with either of you, as Marianne Faithfull fans are unfortunately somewhat hard to find! Thank you again for sharing. kyleorosz at gmail


  3. Bob Homes’s avatar

    “He probably expected something closer to a socialite fashion model than the chain smoking junkie dressed in thrift store cast-offs that showed up.”

    When I think “Mick Jagger’s girlfriend,” I think chain smoking junkie much faster than socialite fashion model. 🙂



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