That time I met Richard Kirk on Facebook



In 1985, right about this time of year, my friends and I navigated our way downtown to Toronto’s Concert Hall to see Cabaret Voltaire. I was two months shy of my high school graduation. But that was nothing compared to the excitement of finally getting to see the great trio from Sheffield.

The Cabs meant the world to us. Once their Sensoria remix laid its monster hooks into us, we were theirs forever.

So you can imagine my excitement back in 2011, when Richard Kirk accepted my friend request on Facebook.

“Thanks so much Richard,” I gushed. “Your music has meant a lot to me. I saw you play The Concert Hall in Toronto in 1985. One of my absolute favourite live music experiences.”

My excitement (admittedly heightened by a late-afternoon double espresso), lasted all of 14 minutes.

“Hey Kevin – nice to meet you. I am however Richard A. Kirk not Richard H. Kirk. I get it a lot! Cheers, man.”

Mr. Kirk turned out to be a very pleasant visual artist from London, Ontario. Good guy, but obviously not a pioneer of industrial music who earned international accolades in the mid-1980s.

I searched Facebook high and low for Richard H., to no avail. (He’s since joined.) In a fit of ennui, I downloaded their 1994 double-album The Conversation. Like so much of the catalogue, it’s a wonderful effort that remains vital and challenging. A few weeks back, I transferred my vinyl copy of Voice of America to mp3. It’s not half bad either.

By the way, you can find a recording of that 1985 Toronto gig on iTunes.

Kevin Press

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