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Our motto: Ars longa, spectatores fugaces ("Art is forever, the audience comes & goes.")
The Home of Rocket From The Tombs

Last updated 3/27/20

"With anything Ubu there is never a finality. All is a work-in-progress forevermore."
David Thomas

"A great circle of a band's story, which might have made its best album."
- Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone

tlg cover
Ubu Projex Headlines

By Order Of Mayor Pawlicki
• Coming May 22 2020, an album of the Coed Jail live! By Order Of Mayor Pawlicki, details here.
• Cherry Red now taking pre-orders for vinyl and / or cd.

Ubutique Takes Over!
• Hearpen.com has been retired. Download audio will now be offered through Ubutique.

'Baptized Into The Buzz' is here!
• The book of the album of the film of the book, written by David Thomas, is available only by mail order from Ubutique. Read about it here.

The Long Goodbye is here!
• The new Pere Ubu album, The Long Goodbye, was released on Cherry Red Records on July 12 2019. It is the band's 20th studio album, depending on how you count these things. Four box sets, various compilations and a number of live disks have also been released.
• The album is available as limited edition vinyl and in a deluxe cd package that includes a cd bonus disc of the entirety of one of the two premier concerts, 'Montreuil.'
• The reviews are coming in.
Order the vinyl or cd for delivery to anywhere at here. As well, Ubutique now has stock.
• Communex produced videos for What I Heard On The Pop Radio and Marlowe.

UbuDub Podcasts
• Communex will be producing semi-regular podcasts dedicated to the various Ubu Projex activities and personalities. The first three are Q&A sessions with David Thomas and Robert Wheeler concerning the new album, The Long Goodbye, and feature song selections from it. Podcasts are available free at Podbean and at iTunes. Press the iTunes 'Subscribe' button to get notification of new uploads.


Manhattan Death Trip by David Thomas
Be wary of self-proclaimed authorities on cultural events who were not participants in those events, who collect gossip, rely on the memories of the disgruntled and are ever eager for a sensational interpretation of the inconsequential or mundane. A band is a marriage. As with any divorce of a husband and wife, a split yields multiple, often contradictory narratives. If one party remains silent and only one point of view is aired then that narrative can be amplified or reinforced by the prejudices of any Buttinsky. Worse is a gruesome He Said / She Said back and forth. The self-proclaimed authority is not an impartial observer, standing aside the fray. His own desire to be recognized as an authority encourages him to uncover and reveal controversy that only his own unique insight has made him privy to.

I won't describe breakdowns that happen within the band dynamic. The creative moment itself is a hidden place. It is the eye of a hurricane encircled by the chaos of the human condition. The system defies understanding. Language is ill suited. That any schmo who happens along qualifies as an authority is risible.

For decades I have refused questions about Peter Laughner. I wanted no part in perpetuating the Manhattan Death Trip that enveloped Peter and eventually killed him. I am quoted in a recent lengthy history of his life. Close examination shows these to be statements cut and pasted from old sources.

I met Peter in 1973, maybe 1974 – the exact dates are hazy. At the time I had a small reputation as a writer for The Scene, a weekly tabloid magazine. He introduced himself at The Grapes Of Wrath, a folk club opposite to the Viking Saloon on Chester Avenue. Sometime later, possibly the early summer of 1974, he asked to join my band, Rocket From The Tombs. I was pleased to welcome him. He thought I should have different musicians and set about reconfiguring the group.

What has never been told of the story of RFTT is the nature of my disengagement from it. Peter crafted good songs, admirable pieces, but I did not agree with them as statements. It became increasingly impossible for me to sing his songs convincingly. I proposed making our own record in the spring of 1975. Peter lobbied for us to record, instead of our own material, a song called 'Wild In The Streets' recorded by a New York singer / songwriter named Garland Jeffries. I didn't see the point in that. Peter suggested a Rolling Stones cover. I abandoned the idea altogether and my interest in RFTT waned. Rather than sing songs I could not serve well, I said I no longer wanted to be the band's singer and that I would concentrate on playing the organ and sax. The end for me was nigh.

After RFTT, in the way of these things, I visited Peter and his wife Charlotte Pressler. On one visit I described my plans for Pere Ubu. Tim Wright was teaching himself to play a six string Dan Electro bass. Peter asked to be in the band. We were friends, he was a great player and he'd be helpful in assembling a new group.

Alcohol and drugs ate away at Peter. He started carrying a gun. His behavior became increasingly erratic. He announced that his doctor had told him that if he didn't stop drinking and taking drugs he'd be dead in a year. Tim and I had long talks about the situation. I'm sure others were also involved but my memory is hazy on specifics. The others in the band were Tom Herman, Dave Taylor and Scott Krauss. In any case, Tim and I were the driving force in the group at the time and that's what I recall. We agreed that we were enabling Peter's behavior by inaction and that we were not prepared to sit back and watch him die.

We had a band meeting at Tim's apartment. It went like this. "Peter, we think that maybe we've come to a..." Peter jumped in, "Guys, I want to leave the band." Over the years this entire episode has been reduced to the simplistic 'David threw Peter out of the band.'

I swore vengeance against New York. We would play shows and I'd stand there staring down audiences at CBGB's or Max's, saying in my mind, "OK, you rubes, this is how it's done!" When Peter died I was furious and said some intemperate things. The song 'Humor Me' describes the rage I felt.

Death Protocols
Read the David Thomas Death Protocols. David wants it on record that we never said The Long Goodbye was a farewell or last album, or that any subsequent tour is a farewell tour.

Press Release for The Long Goodbye
The new album by Pere Ubu, 'The Long Goodbye’ is the end of a road. David Thomas has been talking about Pere Ubu’s journey on the road to Satisfied City for many years but he has now declared that they have arrived. Named after Raymond Chandler’s novel, Mr Thomas says, ‘This wraps up every song and story that Pere Ubu has been telling in different ways for the past forty plus years. It is one definitive hour that provides the answers to the questions we’ve been asking and delivers it up into what I consider the definitive destination.”

This Pere Ubu album does not sound like any of the others. It has a large expanse of synths due to Thomas writing and arranging the songs alone with his private collection of drum machines, synthesizers and, uh, a melodeon… before sending it out to the other musicians in Pere Ubu’s extensive fold, with invitation for them to take it on and make it more.

Gagarin and Wheeler took up the challenge and embed complex electronica into the multi-faceted landscape. Peter Jørgens’ outré percussion adds a tribal dimension, while guitarists Moliné and Temple, along with clarinetist, Darryl Boon, complete this unique fusion of techno meets trad rock meets… the avant garage.

‘I’d been listening to commercial pop radio non-stop for months,’ David Thomas says. ‘That’s what I wanted to rewrite and reimagine. Pop music shouldn’t be without meaning or truthfulness. We live in desperate towns and we keep on going regardless of the stench. It’s not often you’re gonna find the answers. If ever. But here is pop music the way it should sound.’

Bonus CD – ‘Montreuil’
In December 2018, former band member Chris Cutler rejoined the group for a December gig in France. David Thomas, Chris Cutler, Gagarin and Keith Moliné played the entire album to a packed theatre in Montreuil, Paris, simply because they didn’t want to play anything else - the new album had fired an enthusiasm in them that they didn’t want to ignore. Considering they had only played it for the first time two days before, and considering the tracks were not even finalised in the studio, the concert was an astonishing feat that had the audience baying for more. This concert is included as a bonus disc in CD format. It is a fascinating insight into the first incarnations of the music and again shows how a studio album is only one view of the infamous Pere Ubu cup.

Track Listing:
01 What I Heard On The Pop Radio
02 Marlowe
03 Flicking Cigarettes At The Sun
04 Road Is A Preacher
05 Who Stole The Signpost?
06 The World (As We Can Know It)
07 Fortunate Son
08 The Road Ahead
09 Skidrow-on-Sea
10 Lovely Day

David Thomas: vocals, analog synthesizers, melodeon, drum program
Keith Molinè: electric guitar
Gagarin: digital synthesizers, drum program
Robert Wheeler: Theremin, analog synthesizers
Darryl Boon: clarinet
Michele Temple: electric and upright bass
P. O. Jørgens: drum kit, percussion
Also appearing: Gary Siperko, electric guitar

Bonus Disc:
01 Intro
02 Heart of Darkness
03 Flicking Cigarettes At The Sun
04 Marlowe
05 What I Heard On The Pop Radio
06 Road Is A Preacher
07 Who Stole The Signpost?
08 The World (As We Can Know It)
09 Fortunate Son
10 The Road Ahead
11 Skidrow-on-Sea
12 Lovely Day
13 Road to Utah
14 Running Dry (written by Neil Young)
15 Highwaterville

David Thomas: vocals
Keith Molinè: electric guitar
Gagarin: digital synthesizers, drum program
Chris Cutler: drum kit, percussion

Paul Hamann (1955-2017)
Paul Hamann died September 14, 2017 in a Cleveland hospice. He was 62.

He engineered nearly every Pere Ubu album since 1980 at his studio, Suma (Painesville OH). His father, Ken, who died in 2003, was the band's engineer/producer before retirement in 1979.

Paul, like his father before him, was one of a kind. Over the last year and a half he struggled against a range of cancers without comment. He worked to the end. As we recorded the last Pere Ubu album I could see he had reached a unique level, burning with inspiration and ideas.

In the coming weeks and months there will be opportunities to write more of Paul. The abiding memory I have is the hours we sat in the control room, silently working, listening. An event would pass by on tape, I'd shoot him a glance, he'd adjust something on the channel control strip, I'd make an approving noise and on we'd go without further exchange. There were no words needed. And now there are no words adequate.

Pere Ubu, The Scrapbook 1975-1982
Communex has produced a 158-page, A4-sized paperback book chronicling the years 1975 to 1982, "gathered from the debris."

"It wasn't supposed to last for more than one single - one gig - one album - one tour... As told by the band themselves and the people who watched them."

Book designed and compiled by Commuynex. Cover designed by John Thompson.

RFTT Expresses Solidarity With Pere Ubu
In 2015, in order to express solidarity with Pere Ubu, RFTT renounced its 'US citizenship' and applied for creative asylum in Port Talbot, Wales. In 2014 Pere Ubu renounced its US citizenship and moved to Leeds, England, after a cabal of the American Federation of Musicians and a clique of government clerks in a small town in Vermont determined that Pere Ubu was unworthy of being granted permission to perform in America.

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Buyer's Guide to Pere Ubu
For those wondering what to buy first, next or last.

Press Center
A good place to find information concerning Pere Ubu, David Thomas, Special Projex and other sources on the site.

Pere Ubu Studio Albums
Historical Era:
The Modern Dance (1978)
Dub Housing (1978)
New Picnic Time (1979)
The Art Of Walking (1980)
Song Of The Bailing Man (1982)
Terminal Tower (1975 - 1981)
Datapanik In The Year Zero (Box)

Fontana Years:
The Tenement Year (1988)
Cloudland (1989)
Worlds In Collision (1991)
Story Of My Life (1993)

Modern Era:
Raygun Suitcase (1995)
Pennsylvania (1998)
St Arkansas (2002)
Why I Hate Women (2006)
Why I Remix Women (2006)

Orange Period:
"Long Live Père Ubu!" (2009)
Lady From Shanghai(2013)
Carnival Of Souls (2014)

The Dark Room:
20 Years In A Montana Missile Silo (2017)
The Long Goodbye (2019)

Box Sets
Elitism For The People 1975-1978
Architecture Of Language 1979-1982
Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés 1987-1991
Drive, He Said 1994-2002

Pere Ubu Live Albums
* - Denotes download only.
The Shape Of Things (1976)
In The Shadow Of The Aeronautical Shot Peening Co.* (1977)
Live At The Longhorn (1978)
One Man Drives While The Other Man Screams (1978 - 81)
London Texas (1989)
On The Road To The Lost Album* (1991)
Apocalypse Now (1991)
The Pere Ubu Moon Unit (2015)
By Order Of Mayor Pawlicki (2020)

Pere Ubu Specials
* - Denotes download
Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi (2009), the radio play*

David Thomas Albums
The Sound Of The Sand (1981)
Variations on a Theme (1983)
More Places Forever (1985)
Monster Walks The Winter Lake (1986)
Blame The Messenger (1987)
EREWHON (1996)
Monster Box Set
Mirror Man (1999)
Bay City (2000)
Surf's Up! (2001)
18 Monkeys on a Dead Man's Chest (2004)
Live Free Or Die (2017)

Rocket From The Tombs
Barfly (2011)
I Sell Soul / Romeo & Juliet (2010)
The Day The Earth Met... (1975)
Rocket Redux (2004)

Theatrical Productions
Lost in Art, the Pere Ubu Ballet
Mirror Man
Bring Me The Head Of Ubu Roi

Film Underscores
It Came From Outer Space
X, The Man With X Ray Eyes
Carnival Of Souls

Festival Productions
Disastodrome 1998
Disastodrome 2003

Other Recordings
Wait For It - Tom Herman
Jimmy Bell's Still In Town - 15-60-75
The Inward City - 15-60-75

Other Pages Of Interest
David Thomas and two pale boys
Other web sites
Unlikely Releases
News Archive
European Taxes
Where nowhere is
Accusations of Paranoia
Blue Hole Of Castalia

Fan Input:
iPod Ubu
Geography Lessons

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