THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS
  • MAGGIE BUTLER
  • THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS

In the '80s, there were jelly shoes, and people were hopping on Pogo balls. Every piece of clothing had shoulder pads. It was a time of awkward, stylized spryness. E.T. and Michael Jackson had a fling. Techno music was born, Pac-Man chomped eight-bit dots, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Prozac were invented. Denise Huxtable ran it ALL. In 1981, a band from London called the Psychedelic Furs released the album Talk Talk Talk on Columbia Records. The single was "Pretty in Pink." In 1985, Molly Ringwald asked director John Hughes to write a movie based on the song. She loved it, and could cry better than anyone at your prom. Singer Richard Butler's voice hinted at David Bowie's, and the Furs' dour, poshy post-punk pop became a defining sound of the decade. They touched on an arty new wave and probably never played Hungry Hungry Hippos. Sprung out of the British punk scene of the late '70s, they would go on to cut austere mega-hits like "Love My Way." It was hot, "white hot," as Ringwald would say. Bassist and founding member Tim Butler spoke—in a beautiful, wafting, cursive English accent—from his home in Liberty, Kentucky. He was sitting in his car outside a grocery store waiting for his wife.

How'd you end up in Kentucky? Something tells me Liberty, Kentucky, is slightly different than the London post-punk scene.

Well, I met my wife on MySpace, when that was going strong, and we began a long-distance relationship. I'd fly down here to see her, and she'd fly up to Southern New Jersey where I was living, which ain't the prettiest or friendliest place. I wanted to move because I was ending a previous relationship, and she said, "Why don't you come down and live in Kentucky? I've got a house." And here I am six years later, happily married, and calling Kentucky home [laughs]. Lots of horse farms here—Kentucky is similar to where I grew up in the countryside of England, with the rolling hillsides and all the green.

You met on MySpace. What happened? Were y'all in each other's Top Eight?

She had been a fan since she was 14 or 15 years old—way back, around the time of the Forever Now album. I guess she had sort of a crush on me. I had gotten on MySpace, and she found me. We started talking, one thing led to another, and here I am. I guess MySpace is trying to make a comeback with Justin Timberlake.

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The Psychedelic Furs play the Showbox at the Market tonight.