music pictures by Pat Blashill

Swans were Michael Gira, Jarboe, Norman Westberg and others.

In 1982], Sonic Youth embarked on a two week tour of the South with the Swans. In retrospect, the idea seems preposterous—both bands were barely known even in New York….Unsurprisingly, the tour was less than a resounding success—they usually played to around a dozen people….All ten members of the touring party shared the same van, which prompted the title of [Kim] Gordon’s tour memoir, a 1988 Village Voice piece called “Boys are Smelly.” Tensions ran high, mostly within the volatile Swans. At one point the tempestuous [singer Michael] Gira and the band’s drummer got into a huge fight in the crowded van and after some preliminary name-calling (“Dickhead!” “Asshole!”) began strangling each other. “Meanwhile,” wrote Gordon, “everyone else is crammed around them trying to mind his or her own business, being really cool.”
Michael Azerrad, Our Band Could be Your Life, 2001