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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

SRL in SF, May 1994


Before the Internet, Things Were More Difficult

We had been reading about Survival Research Laboratories for years, kicking ourselves for missing their 1986 “Failure to Discriminate” performance in Seattle, and repeatedly renting VHS tapes of their shows from Scarecrow Video.

One afternoon in 1994, Eric sat down to read the latest issue of WIRED magazine. He had purchased the magazine a few days earlier, but hadn’t had a chance to look at it yet. Buried in a list of upcoming tech events, in very small type, he spotted a brief mention of an upcoming SRL show in San Francisco. The show would take place on Saturday, May 28. It was currently Wednesday, May 25.

Eric sounded the alarm, and I spent the next 24 hours calling friends in SF, bargaining with my displeased wife, and begging the owner of an independent video store in San Francisco to hold 3 tickets for us. Remember, this was before the Internet made things like this so easy.

Eric called me on Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday evening, we climbed in Eric’s car and left Seattle. On Friday morning, we found Leather Tongue Video and picked up the tickets. My friend Andy arrived via plane that afternoon. On Saturday night, I taped a camera to my underwear and we headed down to the mysterious “Building 6” to witness “A Calculated Forecast of Ultimate Doom: Sickening Episodes of Widespread Devastation Accompanied by Sensations of Pleasurable Excitement.”

Our Video

The Official SRL Video

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