Can you believe it’s been twenty years since Speak In Tongues shut down on January 1, 2002?
The legendary D.I.Y. venue in Cleveland, Ohio was a crossroads for some of the world’s greatest musicians and artists besides being our local hangout spot.
Speak In Tongues has been on my mind lately because I’m really excited about the forthcoming Speak In Tongues book by author Eric Sandy that you can pre-order now from Microcosm Publishing
Eric researched and compiled an oral history of SIT for Scene in 2016.
Speak In Tongues alumnus Joe Biel is the publisher. Resident documentarian Ken Blaze is involved (yours truly inspired the cover and title of Blaze’s privately-printed 2011 photobook, Speak In Tongues Has Escaped to the Future).
All the major players (seem) to be cooperating. Hurrah!
Let’s put it this way: if this was a Speak In Tongues show we’d all be saying, “Awesome line-up!”
Me? I’m bubbling over with excitement about it to be honest. I miss the good times we had. This is a chance to reconnect and I can’t wait to hear all the stories.
So on the 20th anniversary of the shutdown, I’m doing my part to add to the record: I’ve digitized and posted all my photos from Speak In Tongues.
Full list below. Or click here.
My photos date from 1996–when we were publishing U.S. Rocker magazine—through the end of 2001.
Can you help me with details about bands, shows and people I may have forgotten?
You can comment on this post below (it’s simple: register with WordPress if you aren’t already and you’re good to go). Or you can contact me privately via email or on Instagram or Twitter. I appreciate your help.
The Speak In Tongues flier archive may jog some memories (but trust when I tell you that I’ve already combed through it, and could not find all the missing info).
Viva Speak In Tongues!
Okay, let’s start with the oldest pics first…
This was an incredible night of freeform psychedelic noise and Shoegaze-type rock.
I think these incredible Scott Badovick photo sets are from April 16, 1998… but maybe these were taken at two different 1998 shows? Both Sarge and Franklin played SIT several times that year. Both were such great bands.
This was an uplifting night of music at Speak In Tongues, captured by ace photographer Scott Badovick, for U.S. Rocker.
Hey, wait—this is my band! I just need to know: was March 9, 1999 the date these pics were taken? Are there any more? Who took them?
This is an authentic, Westside Cleveland tale of drugs and confusion and collaging. My only question is: what happened to The Basketball?
Can you mosh to a band you can’t see? Speak In Tongues can!
“Medical renegade Klaus von Zombie has reanimated the dead and enslaved them to be his backup band!”
4.23.00 – Gordon Solie Motherfuckers (GSMF), Intensity, Dead Nation, No Justice, Kill the Man Who Questions
This was, from my point of view, the WILDEST Speak In Tongues show that ever happened.
5.6.00 – The Rapture, Black Dice, Gordon Solie Motherfuckers (GSMF), Puncture Wound, Begit N Frenz & more
This was one-night-only, no rehearsals Speak In Tongues supergroup Walls Of Malm playing an ambitious three-part composition by Brian Straw.
Razak Solar System had been around for about one year at this point. Opening for Lightning Bolt and Numbskull felt like coming home for us.
The Speak In Tongues slackers had such an amazing burst of energy thanks to Men’s Recovery Project’s impending visit that they cleaned the place…
Wow we sure fucked up this election up, didn’t we?
I booked this one—what a blast! If you have anything to add (like VIDEO!?), please let me know.
This one is also pretty complete. Could maybe use some help with names?
This show was the ultimate gathering of Speak In Tongues characters, past and present, ever assembled.
12.31.01 – 9 Shocks Terror, The Unknown, Brian Straw, The Perfect Guy
I never knew this video existed—incredible! Does anyone have photos? Please please contact me.
Cleveland Free Times: “RIP, SIT” by Ryan Smith
Scene Magazine: “Soundbites” by Jason Bracelin
The Plain Dealer Sunday Magazine: “From Revolution to Rock ‘n Roll” by Christopher Evans
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