MARTIN REV: When we did that tour of Europe, “Frankie” did provoke a particular reaction. Just the intensity of it, the length. The lyrics, too. If anybody could hear them. I mean, all the songs were intense. But something like “Ghost Rider” or “Johnny” has a closer, more immediate connection with rock. “Frankie” was implying a strong statement that stretched the audience beyond what they could recognise. I guess what happened is the whole thing just built up. We always did “Frankie” later in the set, and by that time the audience was crazy anyway.
ALAN VEGA: We always left it to last. I never thought we could follow it with anything. It was the last song we could do.
MARTIN REV: You hear it on 23 Minutes Over Brussels. The pure chaos starting on “Frankie” was just the point of no return. “Frankie” broke the last straw.
MARTY THAU: When we released the Suicide album in the States, there was almost no reaction. Most people thought we were crazy. American radio didn’t want to touch it. We were getting volumes of press and great reviews internationally. In America– not a peep. It took years for people in the States to catch up. At the time, you had Rolling Stone calling it “puerile” and knocking hell out of it; only for them, years later, to list it among their 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. Do I feel vindicated about that today? Yes, I do.
MARTIN REV: Alan and I were the Che and Castro of the American revolution. From the ground up, fighting the American machine. That was our energy. Mind you, the American Machine didn’t know anything about us.
ALAN VEGA: Things have changed. There isn’t a Frankie around today, I don’t think. There isn’t a factory worker like Frankie around so much today. I don’t do the song as often. I try not to, because I don’t think it really takes in the same thing it used to. But then again – Frankie takes on a life of its own.
MARTIN REV: I hear a lot of music from that period, of course, that gives me memories. But funnily enough, Suicide doesn’t do that for me. It doesn’t take me back to that time in New York. Suicide is too direct, too upfront in terms of its expression. There’s an urgency there that goes forward. It doesn’t leave much time for nostalgia. When I hear the album it seems right up front, it seems right now. I don’t hear a New York that was. It’s a world that is.
ALAN VEGA: Times have changed. I think about that a lot. But, then again… Frankie lurks. I hear rumbles. Every now and then when we play, I’ll hear people chanting, “Frankie, Frankie…” They really want to hear it. And when we play it, it gets overwhelming again. “Frankie Teardrop” is a beautiful thing. It’s like a piece of metal stuck into the ground. People can step over it or ride over it or crash over it. But it’s still there.
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