Friday, March 27, 2009

Retro Friday: L.A.'s Depeche Mode Debacle

In 1990, Depeche Mode had just released their "Violator" CD... and decided to make an in-store appearance at The Wherehouse music store in the Beverly Connection. About 15,000 people showed up -- some camping outside the La Cienega store for days.

By the time the band showed up, chaos erupted. Check out these news reports from the time... and how strangely out of touch these anchors sound. Odd that everyone keeps referring to the "hot new band from London," when Depeche Mode had been selling records in America for a decade by that point (and had even already performed its famous Rose Bowl show two years earlier).

The crowd got so out of control that the riot police was called and the band had to leave early. The story wound up leading newscasts. The next day, then-city councilman Zev Yaroslavsky blames The Wherehouse and KROQ for the melee (about 3:30 into this video); Richard Blade then responds:

Of course, these days Depeche Mode wouldn't attract that kind of crazy crowd... but the band still has a loyal following here in Southern California. Depeche Mode's most extensive tour in years, "Tour of the Universe," comes to L.A. on Sunday, Aug. 16 and Monday, Aug. 17 at the Hollywood Bowl. They're also playing the Honda Center in Anaheim on Aug. 19.

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