Anniversary, Vintage Audio — March 16, 2015 at 8:20 am

Vintage Audio: Richard Blade chats up Depeche Mode at Wherehouse in-store

Depeche Mode

With this week marking the 25th anniversary of the release of Depeche Mode’s landmark album Violator, we once again dip into the Slicing Up Eyeballs cassette archives, this time for a recording of the KROQ broadcast during the band’s infamous in-store appearance at a Wherehouse record store on the album’s U.S. release date.

Below, you can stream the nearly 7-minute segment taped live the night of March 20, 1990, as thousands of fans lined up in Los Angeles to meet the band. The recording features KROQ DJ Richard Blade interviewing the members of Depeche Mode about the just-released Violator and the band’s plans for the World Violation Tour.

On the tape, it’s mentioned that the crowd has grown to 17,500 people; the event itself would only last a bit more than an hour before being shut down by police, which ended up sparking a near-riot when fans couldn’t get in. For footage of the in-store, check out a special video shared by Depeche Mode last year or raw news coverage from that night.

Blade, who now DJs on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, will commemorate Violator’s 25th anniversary all week on his “This Is the Day” segment airing on 1st Wave at 3 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday, culminating on Friday, the actual anniversary of the in-store, when he’ll play a 17-minute reel of audio from that night.

Stream our KROQ audio below:







  1. Robert Abbott

    Wow,25 years. Where did it go?

  2. Joe Mac Pherson

    I was there. I arrived at Wherehouse Records around 3:30 PM, with my boyfriend. To our amazement, there were already hundreds of people in line, and it was difficult to park. I’m going to estimate that we were ensconced in the crowd, somewhere in the 300’s range. As quickly as we arrived, more and more and MORE people continued to extend the queue. It was a hot afternoon but people were quite patient. Depeche Mode finally arrived, later than they should have. The band knew they had a considerable fan base in L.A., enough to sell out the Rose Bowl in 1989. With their memory of this, it would have been better had they arrived sooner; 4:30 PM perhaps? When their limo pulled up, they were probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of people waiting.
    It was a long delay before they finally started the line moving, so fan’s music could be signed. It was dark by now, and the temperature was dropping. It’s L.A. but it does get cooler as the evening progresses.
    We moved VERY slowly; many got impatient from standing in the previous heat, now getting much cooler, and dehydration/hunger were probably taking over. It didn’t go wrong until word passed down the line that no more people would meet the band. It was OVER, despite all the hours so many had stood outside, for the band.
    In disbelief, frustration and definitely, anger, the crowd began yelling, vocal protesting in the night. They didn’t want to leave. Not at all, after so much invested time. They felt cheated. Also, many had driven long distances to be there, for nothing.
    The police sent reinforcements, with shields, batons and probably more. Squadrons of motorcycle cops surrounded the scene, in addition to many mounted officers on horseback. Helicopters flew overhead. All of this fueled the emotions of the crowd. GO HOME, we were told, repeatedly. Traffic was shut down because the crowd had the streets. I stayed to witness all of this; finally walking away because really, what else could you do?
    It was a poorly planned event, and KROQ wasn’t helping at all by broadcasting throughout that day for people to come down and meet the band. So many hours spent, so many people, so many miles driven- and for the vast majority, all for nothing.

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