After almost 34 years, footage has emerged from Sonic Youth‘s set at the Forced Exposure benefit at The Rat on May 9th, 1987. While this may be a surprise to fans, it doesn’t compare to the band’s surprise when they were asked to play the event, resorting to performing with borrowed instruments. In the new footage, Sonic Youth can be seen sharing the stage with guitarist J. Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. on a cover of The Stooges‘ “I Wanna Be Your Dog”.
The video is aggressively punk, from the grainy video quality to the blaring sound that manages to burst eardrums no matter the volume. Per the band’s description on YouTube, the impromptu set consisted of two covers, with Crime‘s “Hot Wire My Heart” coming ahead of The Stooges cover.
Brooklyn Vegan reports that the band borrowed instruments from Dredd Foole and the Din—featuring Dan Ireton and members of Volcano Suns—who played just before Sonic Youth. Punk magnate Steve Albini (Black Flag) can also be seen MCing the event and introduces the band ahead of their 12-minute performance. Of note, this rendition of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” came just weeks ahead of Sonic Youth’s surprise sit-in with Iggy Pop at London’s Town and Country where they performed that very song together.
Watch Sonic Youth perform at the Forced Exposure benefit at The Rat with J. Mascis on May 9th, 1987.
Sonic Youth – “Hot Wire My Heart” (Crime), “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (The Stooges) (w/s/g/ J. Mascis) – Boston, MA – 5/9/87
[Video: Sonic Youth]
[H/T Brooklyn Vegan]