I Had That! #29: Depeche Mode “Live in Hamburg” Poster

Mentioning this item is probably overkill. The band Depeche Mode and the influence it had on me growing up has been well covered multiple times, so I don’t know what more I can say here that will add much.

Sure, I had posters of Star Wars, Star Trek, The New Teen Titans, and such, but I’m pretty sure this was the first (arguably) non-nerd poster I had. It was a grail to me. About the size of a duvet, I goggled at this thing for some time at uptown New Orleans record store The Metronome before finally splurging on it. From then on, it was my pride.

I had two other Depeche Mode posters before I was done. One was a picture of the band and one was a combination of the Broken Frame and Construction Time Again album covers. On that first album cower a woman is harvesting wheat with a sickle; on the second a man is breaking rocks with a hammer. I was worried that the band poster would help my mom assume I was gay, but it turned out the second one bothered her more because Communists wanted to destroy us and our way of life.

When I went to college in Lafayette for a couple semesters it came with me (I don’t remember it being in my room at UNO. Possibly I hadn’t bought it yet?) and hung over my bed. The combination of its size, mandated use of fun-tak for the dorm walls, and the lack of air conditioning meant that on more than one occasion I awoke in my bed to being smothered by Depeche Mode. The first time it happened it scared the bejeezus out of me.

This poster is actually advertising a videotape of a concert and I’m not sure I ever actually bought the actual thing. In 1986 I madly wanted to see them on the Black Celebration tour. I informed my parents I was going to go see them at their closest stop, in Texas, and talked about this as though it were a done deal. It wasn’t, of course, and a hurricane even popped up and headed towards Texas as if to underscore the point. Somehow I didn’t attempt to soothe this disappointment by instead grabbing this concert video. I wouldn’t see Depeche Mode live until the “101” tour. (Long time readers will know another reason why actually getting the tape wasn’t a priority. I could listen to a record in my own room, but a videotape meant watching in the family room.)

Not every band I liked got the poster treatment. In fact, the only other one that saw a lot of wall space was The Jesus and Mary Chain. There was the obligatory blue doorway Beatles poster. I also had an REM poster I had forgotten about until just now, which I don’t recall too much about, and not enough to find it in a Google search. I never had a Shriekback, Cure, or New Order poster.

When did I get it? The videotape was released in 1985. It’s possible I didn’t get the poster until early in 1987, though.

Do I still have it? I thought I did, but it’s not in the attic where it would be. That kind of makes me a little sad.

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