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Song: Joe Orton's Wedding
Year: 1983

First known live performance:1983-11-17 - Rockgarden, London, England, United Kingdom
Last known live performance:2011-03-06 - The Echo, Los Angeles, CA, United States

Versions:
Joe Orton's Wedding [Live]
Joe Orton's Wedding [Studio]
Joe Orton's Wedding - David J w/ Adrian H and the Wounds [Live]
Joe Orton's Wedding - Missives From The Burning Stage version [Studio]
Joe Orton's Wedding - unreleased experimental video [Promo video]

"S: Your new single is about Joe Orton. Who was he?

D: He was an English playwright who came to prominence in 1967. He wrote Loot, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, What The Butler Saw, biting black humor with a lot of characters literally getting away with murder. My story is a music hall depiction of his life with his lover Kenneth Halliwell, who he lived with for 15 years. They had started out writing together but Orton was much better and in the end because of jealousy and envy and misunderstanding Halliwell killed Orton with a hammer and then he took a bottle of sleeping pills and killed himself. Orton referred to Halliwell as Mrs. Orton in social contexts... the literary illuminati didn't like Halliwell and wouldn't have him to parties. . . They lived in a bedsit, a 4 by 6 shoebox and had stayed there even when Orton was a big success. It must have been a claustrophobic experience.
AN INTERVIEW WITH DAVID J. by Chris Twomey, SHADES, 1983


"What about the track 'Joe Orton's Wedding'?

'Joe Orton was a playwrite of some notoriety and stature who made his mark in the 60's. For 15 years he shared a tiny flat with his other half and sometime work collaborator Kenneth Halliwell, who was also known as Mrs Orton. Apparently Joe Orton himself used to refer to Halliwell as Mrs Orton. Anyway, to cut a long and fascinating, story short, Halliwell bashed Orton's brains in with a hammer one day, and then killed himself by taking a bottle of Nembutal. The song tells of their life and death together. It contains a measure of the black humor that was Orton's forte.'
Etiquette and Epithets, ZIGZAG (January,1984)


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