The imagery on the covers of the Godflesh albums ‘Songs of Love and Hate’ and 'Love and Hate in Dub’ are taken from photographs by two different photographers, but both working for National Geographic: Sam Kittner (top image, November 1988) and Joel Satore (middle images, December 1989).
The images show the Holy Rosary Cemetery overlooking the Occidental Chemical and Union Carbide refinery in Taft, Louisiana - part of an area at the time dubbed the 'petrochemical corridor’ and 'Cancer Alley’.
In 1988, community activism led to the 'Great Louisiana Toxic March’, concerning principally the high incidence of miscarriages and cancer in the area, and the thousand or so tonnes of toxic waste being dumped into the waterways each and every day.
Today whilst the graveyard is still in operation, the 2000 census of the city recorded a population of zero. A recent shot from 2012 is shown in the bottom image.
When it comes to horror movies, the majority of people will think of cult classics, such as the Friday the 13th franchise and its protagnoist and horror movie icon Jason Voorhees. However, even though the Friday the 13th movies are completely fictitious and not exactly based on real life events, it allegedly inspired 18-year-old Mark Branch to commit a crime to honor the legacy of Voorhees. On October 24, 1988 Cheryl Gregory was met by a grisly scene. She found the lifeless body of her twin sister, 19-year-old Sharon Gregory in the bathroom of her family’s home. She had been stabbed repeatedly in the back, face and head. Although there was little to no direct evidence that Mark Branch committed the crime, police immediately suspected him to be responsible for Gregory’s death. One day after the discovery of Gregory’s body, the abandoned car of Branch was found in a nearby town. That and the fact that he hadn’t been seen or heard from since the day the stabbing occured, was an indication that Branch might have been responsible for Gregory’s demise. Authorities believed that he had successfully fled the area and issued a warrant for Branch’s arrest. Friends described Branch as an horror movie enthusiast who particularly favored the Friday the 13th series. They feared that Branch “believed he was Jason”. Others even went so far as to say that he wrote obscene letters to students in high school and threatened girls with a knife. A owner of a video rental store stated that he frequently rented gory horror movies. Newspapers reported that he had been under psychiatric care for his horror movie obsession for several years. Residents of Greenfield, Massachustetts were frightened by the brutal stabbing and, due to the fact that Halloween was near and Branch still at large, a Halloween dance was cancelled. On November 29, 1988 a hunter discovered the partially decomposed body of Branch hanging from a tree in Buckland, Massachusetts, about two miles from the spot where his abandoned car had first been found. It remains a mystery who caused the death of Gregory although evidence highly suggests that Branch was involved in the killing.
Michaela Bercu by Peter Lindbergh for Vogue November 1988
“It was November 1988, and starred the gorgeous Israeli model Michaela Bercu, photographed by Peter Lindbergh and styled by Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele. Michaela was wearing an haute couture Christian Lacroix jacket with a beaded cross, all very ‘Like a Prayer,’ and stonewashed Guess jeans. The jacket was actually part of a suit, but the skirt didn’t fit Michaela; she had been on vacation back home in Israel and had gained a little weight. Not that that mattered. In fact, it only served to reinforce the idea to take couture’s haughty grandeur and playfully throw it headlong into real life and see what happened.
“What none of us expected was to run that picture on the cover, least of all the magazine’s printers, who called up and asked with some consternation, ‘Has there been a mistake?’ I couldn’t blame them. It was so unlike the studied and elegant close-ups that were typical of Vogue’s covers back then, with tons of makeup and major jewelry. This one broke all the rules. Michaela wasn’t looking at you, and worse, she had her eyes almost closed. Her hair was blowing across her face. It looked easy, casual, a moment that had been snapped on the street, which it had been, and which was the whole point. Afterwards, in the way that these things can happen, people applied all sorts of interpretations: It was about mixing high and low, Michaela was pregnant, it was a religious statement. But none of these things was true. I had just looked at that picture and sensed the winds of change. And you can’t ask for more from a cover image than that.”
— Anna Wintour on her first issue of Vogue
On this day in music history: May 1, 1989 - “Disintegration”, the eighth studio album by The Cure released. Produced by David M. Allen and Robert Smith, it is recorded at Hookend Recording Studios in Checkendon, Oxfordshire, UK from November 1988 - February 1989. After the breakthrough success of The Cure’s 1987 album “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me”, bandleader Robert Smith finds himself at odds with the tidal wave of fame and mainstream exposure that comes his way. Newly engaged to his childhood sweetheart Mary Poole, she and Smith move to the Maida Vale district of London, in semi seclusion to get away from the press and fans. Feeling pressured to follow up “Kiss Me”, and depressed at the prospect of turning thirty, Smith begins taking LSD to cope. The result is a return to the bands dark, gothic sound of years past. Upon hearing the finished album, The Cure’s US record label Elektra Records feel that Smith and the band have committed “commercial suicide” by making a deliberately “gloomy” record. They even go as far as asking Smith to push back the release date of the album feeling that it is “willfully obscure”. To everyone’s surprise, it becomes The Cure’s most commercially successful album. “Disintegration” also is the final Cure album to credit founding member Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst who is fired during the recording sessions. Originally The Cure’s drummer and later keyboardist, his contributions to the band diminish throughout the 80’s as his drinking and drug taking escalate. It’s later revealed that Tolhurst did not play on the album at all, but Robert Smith gives his old friend partial songwriting credit along with the other band members. It spins off four singles including “Fascination Street” (#1 Modern Rock, #46 Pop), “Lullaby” (#5 UK, #74 US Pop) and “Love Song” (#2 US Pop, #18 UK), the latter becomes The Cure’s biggest single in the US. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2010 as triple CD deluxe edition, featuring the original album on the first disc, the second disc featuring demos and tracks as works in progress. The third CD features an expanded version of the live album “Entreat” (titled “Entreat Plus”) including all twelve songs from “Disintegration” performed live. It is also reissued on vinyl as a 180 gram double vinyl LP, releasing the full album in that format in its entirety for the first time. Original LP pressings released on a single disc omitting “Homesick” and “Last Dance”. This is done to improve the vinyl LP’s sound quality. At nearly seventy two minutes, the full album is too long to fit on two LP sides comfortably. "Disintegration" peaks at number three on the UK album chart, number twelve on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.