The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 980: Nine Nine Inch Nails Tales

I vividly remember my first encounter with Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails. It was April 17, 1990, at the old RPM club in Toronto. Nine Inch Nails was opening for Goth god Peter Murphy. And frankly, no one cared. At least at first.

I was with a group of people chatting at the bar while this noisy band blitzed its way through the first four songs of their second. And then came song number five: an insanely heavy version of the Queen song, “Get Down Make Love,” from Queen’s 1977 album, News of the World. It took about 30 seconds for the crowd to pick up that the band hand launched into a cover–and the fact that they were doing it well. The whole audience turned as one towards the stage to see what the hell was going on.

My memory is that everyone in the club got into the music and for the rest of the set–“Ringfinger,” “Down in It,” and “Head Like a Hole”–the crowd went nuts. When it was all over, we were rewarded for our attention by the band smashing their gear to bits for an encore.

That was it. I was sold on this new band and I’ve been a fan ever since. Nine Inch Nails is one of my desert island bands. I’ve seen the band more times than I can count. I’ve interviewed Trent on multiple occasions. I have every single physical release, including all the box sets. If you look in my CD library, you’ll find that I have more Nine Inch Nails bootlegs than any other band. I even wrote a book on the first two albums.

This show features some of my favourite stories about Trent and the band. And because I like being cute with titles, I’m calling this episode “Nine Nine Inch Nails Tales.”

Songs heard on this show:

  • Nine Inch Nails, Get Down Make Love
  • Nine Inch Nails, Down In It (Demo)
  • 1000 Homo DJs, Supernaut (Trent Reznor Vocal Version)
  • Nine Inch Nails, Happiness in Slavery
  • Nine Inch Nails, March of the Pigs
  • Nine Inch Nails, The Hand That Feeds
  • Nine Inch Nails, Capital G
  • Trent Rezor, Atticus Ross, Karen O, Immigrant Song
  • Nine Inch Nails, 34 Ghosts IV

Of course, there’s a playlist from Eric Wilhite.

The Ongoing History of New Music can be heard on the following stations:

We’re still looking for more affiliates in Calgary, Kamloops, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Brandon, Windsor,  Montreal, Charlottetown, Moncton, Fredericton, and St John’s, and anywhere else with a transmitter. If you’re in any of those markets and you want the show, lemme know and I’ll see what I can do.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “The Ongoing History of New Music, episode 980: Nine Nine Inch Nails Tales

  • March 31, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    Hey Alan, is this episode 980?

    Lame question, I know!


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