NOT the “Jim Clevo Stage”! The Divine Invasion at Speak In Tongues

First U.S. edition novel cover art by Rowena.

Hey, wait—this is my band, The Divine Invasion! I’m so proud to have played with this group: Bob Bertalan from blue…MAX (vocals/guitar), Mike Shumaker from Primitive / Sheilbound (vocals/guitar), Chris Young (drums/vocals) and me (bass/bass).

I’ve got lots to write about this band but I wanna bring the other guys in to balance out the tale. So consider this placeholder text for now.

Basic facts:

  1. The Divine Invasion is the name of a novel by Philip K. Dick about an encounter with VALIS (also name of the book trilogy), or ‘Vast Active Living Intelligence System,’ a kind of god or supercomputer that was either on humanity’s side—or not! Fighting Jesus or Black Iron Prison? I suppose we in the band were trying to figure that out.
  2. The name also conjured up Divine, star of so many great early John Waters films. Apropos since two of us were—and are—fuckin’ gay, dude.

I’ll try to get our music up soon.

In the meantime, I just need to know: was March 9, 1999 the date these pics were taken? Are there any more? Who took them?

If this is March 199, the other bands must have been—according to the SIT flyer archiveSarge and Hepburn. Does that sound right? Was this The Divine Invasion’s debut performance?

If you are looking at me, a guy who was in the band, for all the answers…well, I have no clue.


Hepburn, Sarge, The Divine Invasion Speak In Tongues 1999 Cleveland

Bob Bertalan sings & plays guitar with The Divine Invasion. Not pictured: drummer/vocalist Chris Young. Photographer unknown.

Jim Clevo stage? That’s big time! Sean Carnage and Mike Shumaker perform with The Divine Invasion as Danny Noonan looks on. Speak In Tongues, Cleveland, 1999. Photographer unknown.

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