This article is about the concert in Pasadena. For other meanings of "101" see 101 (disambiguation)
Background and development
The band's original concept for the film was going to be about how Depeche Mode "fit into" the 1980s. After discussions with an "experienced director", they came to the conclusion that the (unnamed) choice was going to do something "too glossy" and that they wanted to present something more nuanced and interesting. At this point, they reached out to renowned documentary filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker. He accepted, but discarded their initial concept, feeling that it was "impossible to examine in an entertainingly cinematic fashion".
Ultimately, the film focused on what Depeche Mode considered to be their strongest selling point—their live performance—as well as capturing the spirit of their fan base. Notably, the film prominently features a group of young fans travelling across America as winners of a "be-in-a-Depeche Mode-movie-contest", which culminates at the band's landmark concert at the Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena.
Much to the chagrin of fans, the film does not depict the full Rose Bowl concert, but instead shows interspersed snippets of the band, the "bus kids" and live performances recorded throughout the tour. The 2003 DVD reissue included more concert footage, but as Pennebaker was "shooting a documentary, not a concert film", a complete record of the Rose Bowl concert does not exist.
Pennebaker used his direct cinema approach, which he described as "letting the camera run as unobtrusively as possible, thereby encouraging events to unfold on their own. [...] You edit more and the film changes every three days, but [the band] were very nice and patient about it."
Pennebaker admitted there was a similarity between Depeche Mode and some of the other artists he'd filmed before (Bob Dylan and David Bowie): "I found the audience very rapt; they were there for that band. Not any band would do. I got the feeling that maybe there was no other band they'd ever go out for again in that assemblage, and it made me take that audience fairly seriously."
Due to the prominence of the "bus kids" in the film, it is widely considered to be the impetus for the "reality" craze that swept MTV in the following years, including The Real World and Road Rules.
In various interviews, DVD commentaries and on their own website, both Pennebaker and collaborator Chris Hegedus have cited 101 as "their favourite" and "the one that was the most fun to make" out of all their films to date.
The Rose Bowl is an outdoor athletic stadium located in Pasadena, California. Opened in October 1922, the stadium is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and a California Historic Civil Engineering landmark. At a modern capacity of an all-seated configuration at 92,542, the Rose Bowl is the 16th-largest stadium in the world, the 11th-largest stadium in the United States, and the 10th-largest NCAA stadium. The stadium is 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.
One of the most famous venues in sporting history, the Rose Bowl is best known as a college football venue, specifically as the host of the annual Rose Bowl Game for which it is named. Since 1982, it has served as the home stadium of the UCLA Bruins football team. Five Super Bowl games, third most of any venue, have been played in the stadium. The Rose Bowl is a noted soccer venue, having hosted the 1994 FIFA World Cup Final, 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, and the 1984 Olympic Soccer Gold Medal Match, as well as numerous CONCACAF and United States Soccer Federation matches.
The stadium and adjacent Brookside Golf and Country Club are owned by the city of Pasadena and managed by the Rose Bowl Operating Company, a non-profit organization whose board is selected by council members of the city of Pasadena. UCLA and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses also have one member on the company board.
Depeche Mode's famous 101st and final concert of the 1987-1988 Music For The Masses Tour at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. A documentary and double live album, 101, was released of the concert. In the documentary, Jonathan Kessler can be heard saying that with this concert they sold 66,233 tickets and the paid attendance was 60,452 people, and they grossed $1,360,192.50.
The official "101" release had a fair amount of vocals re-recorded, which is somewhat obvious when comparing the official release to the audience recording mentioned previously. Alan Wilder was asked whether vocals were touched up for the release and answered on Shunt Q&A:
- From: Petr Jech
- E-mail: JBohac@cpoj.cz
Q: Is it true that on the '101' album, some of Dave's vocals were re-recorded in the studio?
A: Put it this way, I doubt there's ever been a live album in the history of pop music that hasn't been touched up here and there.
BONG magazine issue #2 from April/May 1988 reported that a concert at this venue was also planned for June 17th. However, according to the official tour itinerary, June 17th is marked as a day off, and no concert occurred on the 17th.
When Depeche Mode were asked in interviews who came up with the title '101' for the documentary and double live album, they would credit it to Alan Wilder for having come up with the title. Ex-KROQ host Richard Blade says in an interview with Stuck In The '80s in 2017 that when he was interviewing Andy Fletcher before the concert about their "101st gig of the tour", Richard subsequently continued to call it "1 0 1" for convenience's sake, to which - so Richard claims - Alan Wilder responded "1 0 1! I love it!" Until it was decided that Alan's suggestion to call it "101" was best, BONG magazine issue #3 reported that the working title was "A Brief Period Of Rejoicing", which references a Winston Churchill sample of the same phrase in the beginning of DM's song Black Celebration.
The Orange County Register reported the day before the concert: "The idea for the Rose Bowl concert was first kicked around in 1986 when the brass at Avalon Attractions and KROQ came up with the idea for a "new music" stadium show. In addition to Depeche Mode, they wanted the Cure, another British post-punk band very popular in Southern California, but plans fell through. The LA-based band Oingo Boingo was mentioned as a possible headliner, but the group planned to headline its own shows at the Greek Theater."
Depeche Mode have mentioned this concert in many interviews over the years, such as here ten years later:
"[The album name 'Music For The Masses'] comes from an album Martin bought, called 'Music For The Millions'. We thought it was quite funny, so 'Music For the Masses'... But then again, it did become in the end 'Music For The Masses', because we did this, like, big gig at the Rosebowl, which was the real highlight of our career. And, incidentally, we had only ever played at a few stadiums, and it's like, you do, with stadiums, lose touch with the audience. But that particular gig, the audience was just with us the whole way and it was absolutely amazing. And, again, it was not just big for us, it was big for alternative music in America."
"It was like 70,000 people or something, and this was something that we were pretty nervous about doing, playing this big gig. When we actually did the show, it didn't matter. We didn't play particularly good, my voice went, everything went wrong during the gig, like, from what we thought we were doing and what we thought was important about it, but it wasn't. It was, like, the event, it was what was really happening there. It's hard to describe unless you're standing there, watching it or being a part of it. But I think everybody who was in that concert and was part of it felt that moment. And, you know, I just kind of started, like, blubbing on stage, and trying to cover it up, and still look very macho and do my thing. But I just stood there for a minute, stood on this big kind of riser, and I looked, and at that moment, everybody's arms were, like, waving in the air. And I looked down, and it sounds cheesy, but it just looked like this big field of corn or whatever swaying, and I just stopped. It didn't matter that I was singing or anything, it was just happening. And I remember afterwards, walking off, and the deflation of, like, "It's over", bang, and then I was like, "ughhh". I wonder if that's ever gonna happen again. And I sat backstage, and my wife was there, Joanne, and I sat in this room, and I remember I just started crying, I don't really know why crying, I was happy, sad, everything at the same moment. I remember that, it was a nice moment. We sat together, my son was there as well, he was probably about, like, three months old, just a little baby, he's actually in the movie. It looks like a big alien, he's got his big head in the camera. That whole event was just one of those special things, and fortunately we caught it on film. You can't see it on there, really, I watch it, I get these little goosebumps when I watch it, because only because I remember the recall of the experience, it's that euphoric recall that kicks in. A combination of everything: nerves, anxiety, happiness, sadness, the end of it. That was the last show of our tour as well. So, I would say that was one of the most special moments of, I guess, nearly twenty years that we've been together, one [of which] we did not know what was going to happen, but it was a beautiful moment."
- Behind The Wheel
- Something To Do
- Blasphemous Rumours
- The Things You Said
- Black Celebration
- Shake The Disease
- Pleasure, Little Treasure
- People Are People
- A Question Of Time
- Never Let Me Down Again
- A Question Of Lust
- Master And Servant
- Just Can't Get Enough
- Everything Counts
2003 audio reissue
In 2003, Mute Records reissued 101 as a hybrid Super Audio CD (SACD). In essence, the two-disc set contained 101 in three formats—multi-channel SACD, stereo SACD and PCM stereo (CD audio). The multi-channel audio was presented in 5.1 and gave a better representation of the live experience. The SACD was not released in North America.
Due to pressing errors, however, the first run of the set was marred by a mis-encoded multi-channel SACD layer that skipped and was unlistenable on the first disc. The stereo SACD and CD audio layers were unaffected.
As a bonus hidden track, the multi-channel layer also included the full version of "Pimpf".
2003 DVD reissue
In 2003, the film was released as a two-disc DVD with the feature film on the first disc, including a new commentary track with Pennebaker, Hegedus and the band. The second disc contained all-new interviews with Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, and Andy Fletcher, with each interviewed about the solo projects they were working on at the time: Paper Monsters (Gahan), Counterfeit² (Gore) and Client (Fletcher). All three interviews were conducted separately by Pennebaker and Hegedus. Interviews with Daniel Miller, band manager Jonathan Kessler, and three of the "bus kids" were also included. Special bonus features included isolated video footage of the Rose Bowl concert, including previously unreleased footage.
Alan Wilder left the band in 1995, and declined to be involved with the re-release.
2021 Blu-ray reissue
In 2021, the film was released on Blu-ray with upgraded image quality based on 4k scans of the original film, along with previously unreleased footage. A limited-edition box set was also released that includes a book, poster, and other special content.
All songs are written by Martin Gore, except "Just Can't Get Enough", written by Vince Clarke.
- "101 – The Movie" – 117:00
- 101 – The Movie (includes optional audio commentary)
All songs are isolated live video footage, uninterrupted by documentary footage. Songs with a * are exclusive to the DVD and were not in the VHS film. Footage of "Sacred", "Something To Do", "The Things You Said", "Shake The Disease", "Nothing", "People Are People", "A Question of Time" and "A Question of Lust" are lost and were not able to be recovered for the DVD.
Credits adapted from the liner notes of 101.
- Depeche Mode – production
- Anton Corbijn – cover, photography
- Randy Ezratty – recording
- John Harris – recording assistance
- Alan Moulder – engineering
- Mark Shane – recording assistance
- Paul West – cover
- Billy Yodelman – recording assistance