XTC in the Press: 1989

July 1989

That'll Be The Day

popular figures answer questions about the future of rock 'n' roll

Spy: Musically speaking, what's the next hot country?

Andy Partridge: The thing to steal from? As Russia opens up more and more, you're going to see lots of their sort of music — their version of cajun, or their version of rap, or their version of folk.

Spy: What do you think Bob Dylan will be doing in 20 years?

Andy: I'm tempted to say pushing up daisies. To be truthful, who cares? Mrs. Dylan might care. Mrs. Dylan is a very nice lady.

Spy: What do you think Debbie Gibson will be doing in 20 years?

Andy: I think there's going to be a fund to reinstate her. You know, “Save Debbie Gibson.”

Spy: What do you think David Byrne will be doing in 20 years?

Andy: I hope he isn't doing a Talking Heads revival tour.

Spy: What will you be doing in 20 years?

Andy: I shall be a belligerent drunk.

[Thanks to Joe Lynn]

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin
May 1985

Staff Writer

An 18-year-old Binghamton High School student held administrators at bay with a survival knife for almost six minutes Thursday [May 4, 1989?] while he broadcast a rock tune on the school's intercom system.

Richard Head [name changed by request] of Lisle "isn't sure" what spurred his actions about 9:25 a.m. at the principal's office, he said after his arraignment in city court Thursday afternoon. He pleaded innocent to first-degree criminal trespass, a felony, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, both misdemeanors.

Head was ordered to Broome Country Jail without bail. A psychiatric evaluation was also ordered.

No injuries were reported.

As he was taken to jail, the lanky soft-spoken youth would say only that he wasn't sure what motivated his actions and that he "wouldn't do it again."

City police said Head, who wears the hair on half of his head shaved, walked into the office and requested that a secretary, Jane H. Downey, broadcast Dear God, a tune with an anti-religious theme by the British rock group XTC on the school's inter-communication system.

Downey initially denied the request. Head then brandished the survival knife and "started to push buttons, which activate the intercom," Downey said in a sworn statement. She added that Head also pushed her to the side "two or three" times when she tried to turn off the music.

Assistant Principal Robert E. Baxter, who was in a nearby office an unaware of Head's action, yelled to Downey to turn off the music because it could be heard on the system. Downey responded that "a guy was behind the counter and wouldn't leave," Baxter said.

Baxter ran behind the counter, tried to turn off the music and turned to grab Head.

"I grabbed him by his left arm and as he turned around, he had a long knife in his right hand," Baxter said. "He said he didn't want to hurt anybody, but that he had to play this music. . . We then backed off and let him play his music. Then he turned off the P.A. system, gave the knife to (Principal Joseph) Holly and was handcuffed by the police."

Holly said Head will be suspended and further disciplinary action, if any, will follow the police investigation.

Holly said Head was in "good standing" at school and that Thursday's action was "quite out of character for him."

Students described Head as "weird," but intelligent. "I think he's a bit weird, but I really don't say much to him," said a junior who requested anonymity.

Another student said Head "was always strange, but now he's an instant folk hero."

Head's parents could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Some students thought at first that the incident was some sort of an attack on the school, said Karen L. Grimes, a sophomore who was in biology class at the time.

"We thought some terrorists were going to attack," she said. "Everybody started freaking out. We didn't know what was going on."

As a precaution, teachers were told not to allow students to leave classrooms at the end of the period.

[Thanks to Steve Granados]

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26 October 2012