Fugazi agreed that it would be a good idea to travel to Ireland to play a gig. I booked McGonagles. Some recent Sunday afternoons had been spent there seeing various bands that the Warzone people from Belfast had brought over. Warzone got George Curran and some friends of his to book McGonagles when bands were travelleing over. They booked the venue and helped out on the day... Alan, Fergus, Paddy, Richie and I went about getting bands to play on the bill, we did a press release promising a "night of musical mayhem".
When it came to the issue of money, Jabs (a friend of Fugazi's based in Nottingham who helped coordinate their tour) asked how much the venue was to hire and the cost of a P.A. and posters. He said the band wanted a door price of IR£3, so we did the figures and said if there were 180 people at the gig the band would get IR£200. On the night there were a few less people, but we put some money together and gave the band IR£200. They were happy, and little did I know this was the start of something regular."
- From Document: A Story of Hope, this piece was about the first Fugazi gig in Dublin on 29th November 1989
"Life is what you want it be... don't worry about what the other people say"
Let's get things clear right from the start: Fugazi are more than a band. While their modus operandi was songs and records, these are not just chords, notes and words. I have this demo tape at home since my friend Tommy posted it to me in 1988. Even getting something in the post from someone living in the same city as me was an education. Of course we can post things to each other, we don't have to meet to share information. But remember this was a time so different to today. Our communication was direct, maybe some phone calls and mail.
Word got around through my friend Alan that Fugazi were going to tour the UK. How did Alan know? He worked for Aer Lingus and managed to fly out of the country for gigs. Alan knew everything. I then spent weeks trying to figure out how to contact the band. Pure detective work - letters, phone calls made in the dead of night, and persistence. I eventually got there, through Dischord, Southern and English friends. I mentioned to Tommy at a gig in McGonagles - exactly which one I don't remember, probably Generic - that I was trying to track down Fugazi as I heard they were doing some UK gigs. He had the tape, said he'd post it to me and the rest rolled on.
"Action, reaction, action"
I practically wore out that cassette. This was a new sound. Not punk rock in the way we were used to listening to it, not hardcore with that breakneck speed to various levels, not indie pop complete with its harmonies. This was a mix. The songs soared, bass and guitar riffs aplenty. Sometimes it challenged you, mostly it moved you, got you going in slightly different directions, but always with a meaning. I always felt The Ruts were one band that all members of Fugazi listened to, never actually asked them though.
"Function Is The Key"
And so they came to Dublin on the back of a demo tape and a reputation as big as McGonagles. They played to 180 people with my band, Tommy's band and Moral Crusade (we tried to bridge a gap betwen metal and punk... and they asked).