You form a band in the late punk era, you gain credibility with your first album and become cover stars and press darlings by the second. You make it big and head to America where you springboard to global success with one of the most iconic rock songs of all time. You are so big that Hollywood turns to you, not only for the lead song but name the film after it, too. Isn’t she?
A 30 year career and a legacy that spans a generation, a back catalogue of albums, soundtracks and collaborations that most would die for is usually nothing more than a dream for most, but for John Ashton, guitarist and songwriter with The Psychedelic Furs, it is just “the shit that happened.”
When The Furs split in ’92, Ashton having moved to Woodstock, New York, started writing again… because he had to. Searching for meaning and inspiration, he found it by simply doing the work. A small group of friends who just happened to be world class musicians began to show up at Ashton’s studio and thus began the journey.
In 2012, John found himself back in contact with Rob Sacher, a New York club owner and tastemaker on a par with Rodney Bingenheimer. Rob’s club, The Luna Lounge had been the springboard for the likes of Interpol, the late great Elliot Smith and The Strokes. This rekindled friendship prompted John to let Rob hear a number of tracks he had been working on and Rob’s enthusiasm was instant. He suggested a possible collaborator, a singer and lyricist, Fred Schreck whom Sacher had worked with some years back in a project mentored by Joey Ramone.
Throw in a couple of Ashton’s own discoveries, plus a rekindled friendship or two… The result is Satellite Paradiso, Ashton’s first post-Furs album, featuring a list of collaborators and players that is as extraordinary as it is bold.
Where to start? Members of Killing Joke; David Bowie; Iggy Pop; Mercury Rev; Gang Of Four; X-Ray Spex; Lou Reed; The Ancients; and of course, The Psychedelic Furs… The list goes on.
It is a fair assumption to think that John Ashton’s address book would make pretty interesting reading, but his journey is on a par with the Argonauts. From the seedy punk rock fueled London of the 70’s to the absolute hedonism of 80’s New York, to assertive culture vulture, his guitar sound and signature melodies are what made the Furs a unique band. No one sounded like them, and the modern impostors only glance against the glass like disoriented birds.
Satellite Paradiso is what being alive sounds like to the ears of a Journeyman, experiencing life viscerally, with ecstasy, as if for the first time. It’s freedom from earthly ties. It is an Englishman in New York, with his eyes on the future, a great circle of contemporaries and a fucking loud guitar.
The journey continues…