Lydia Lunch with Jim G.Thirlwell

(June 1982 - December 2002)


Jim G.Thirlwell 1984
Lydia Lunch with Jim G.Thirlwell, circa 1984. Credit: Joe Stevens.

Chronology: a chronological overview of known concert dates (some with setlists and/or ads), 
dates of studio recordings, all line-ups and other trivia related to Lydia Lunch and Jim G.Thirlwell's collaborations. 

-Information in grey italics is uncertain-


Jim G.Thirlwell had moved from Melbourne (Australia) to London (UK) in 1978, intitially finding work at a Virgin Megastore. In October 1980 he founds the one-man project Foetus and his Self Immolation records label. By April 1982 he had already recorded and released 5 singles and 2 albums and was at the same time writing the press releases for his compatriotes The Birthday Party. Lydia Lunch had moved to London in October 1981 and was touring Europe with The Birthday Party by June 1982. This is when Jim and Lydia first met. They were a couple from 1983-1990.

New York 05-May-83

US NY,New York City,White Columns Gallery (with Swans & J.G. Thirlwell)
[with The Fall, Sonic Youth, Swans, Beastie Boys and more..]

Setlist: Main Kelly And Me On A Bender/ and more..

Photo: Credit Catherine Ceresole. Another photo .

Ad: Scan of ad .

Note: First live performance with Jim G. Thirlwell. Second day of a 6 day festival. Above track available on the V/A: "Speed Trials" LP.

"Main Kelly" is one of the "50 One Act" plays that Lydia and Nick Cave wrote together.

Performed by Lydia Lunch (vocals,voice) and Norman Westberg [Swans] (voice,guitar) with Michael Gira [Swans] (metal)/ Roli Mosimann [Swans] (percussion] and Frankie (a.k.a. Jim G. Thirlwell) (pig calls).

May 1983
Lydia, returns to London @ her place in Baron's Court Road.

Wien 19-May-83

AT Wien,Szene
First Töne/Gegentöne Festival
[with 23 Skidoo]

Setlist: I Wish...I Wish/ Friday Afternoon/ 1000 Lies/ Some Boys/ Still Burning/ What Did You Do/ Dance Of The Dead Children(*).

Program: Scan of program booklet.

Line-up: Lydia (vocals)/ Jessamy Calkin (pipes/breaking glass)/ backing tapes and perhaps Jim G.Thirlwell(?) (saxophone).

Note: Performing the "In Limbo" EP. (*) Outro tapes. The festival ran from May 8-28, 1983. Glenn Branca's Ensemble (with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo) performed at the festival on 08-May-83. Sonic Youth performed on the 27th. Lydia's concert was filmed by Fritz Kleibel for a 20mins video. After the festival, Lydia spends the rest of the spring and summer in London, with Nick Zedd (filming his "Wild World Of Lydia Lunch"), Murray Mitchell, Jim Thirlwell and Marc Almond, already plotting her Immaculate Consumptive performances in the US on Halloween 1983.

Note 2: Jessamy Calkin was tour manager for The Birthday Party (US tour March '83), The Bad Seeds (US tour June '84) and Neubauten (1984-1987) and good friends with Lydia.

May 1983
UK London @ a closet sized studio. Recording the first version of "Stinkfist" with J.G.Thirlwell, which was intended as a 10 mins performance piece with Neubauten (but that never happened).

In Limbo Line-up #3 (London: July/August 1983):
Lydia Lunch (vocals)/ Jim G.Thirlwell (sax)/ Jessamy Calkin (pipes/breaking glass) and John 'Tex' Tottenham (drums).

IE Dublin,-

Note: Warm-up date for the "In Limbo" tour, using backing tapes. Rowland S. Howard [Birthday Party] had been asked to join, but in the end was replaced by Jim G.Thirlwell.

Oslo 01-Aug-83

NO Oslo,University-Blindern campus,Studio 26

Setlist: (most likely) In Heaven Everything Is Fine (*)/ Dance Of The Dead Children(*)/ I Wish...I Wish/ Friday Afternoon/ 1000 Lies/ Some Boys/ Still Burning/ What Did You Do/ Dance Of The Dead Children(*)/ In Heaven Everything Is Fine (*).

Review 1: Scan of review from Sounds 20-Aug-85.

Review 2: "The 35 minutes at Studio 26 consisted of a couch in the middle of the stage (a symbol of loneliness?), Jessamy Calkin as a transsexual cryptopointer [what?] (apparently unemployed on stage), Jim Thirlwell as an improvising musician and Lydia as a sobbing, moaning black witch. The performance was harrowing, and only the tape recording that was played before and after [the set] could be said to be directly beautiful." (translated) from Puls magazine #9, 1983.

Ad: Scan of advert, taken from Puls magazine #8, 1983.

Note: 2nd of a 4-date concert 'tour', performing the "In Limbo" EP, using backing tapes. This show was labeled "Beauty through melancholy". (*) Intro/outro tapes. The tracks from the "In Limbo" EP are performed in the same running order as on the actual release. "In Heaven Everything Is Fine" is taken from David Lynch's "Eraserhead" film.

SE -,-

Note: 3rd of a 4-date concert 'tour', performing the "In Limbo" EP, using backing tapes.

Manchester 05-Aug-83

UK Manchester,Hacienda

Setlist: Dance Of The Dead Children(*)/ I Wish...I Wish/ Friday Afternoon/ 1000 Lies/ Some Boys/ Still Burning/ What Did You Do/ Dance Of The Dead Children(*).

Ad: Scan of ad from UK mag, courtesy of EaViL.

Handbill: Photo of handbill.

Note 1: 4th of a 4-date concert 'tour', performing the "In Limbo" EP, using backing tapes. (*) Intro/outro tapes. "In Manchester Jessamy was playing her pipes with glasses and we had the one typical punk rocker going, 'You suck! Fuck you!' So I immediately picked up a glass and whipped it at him, causing it to rip his artery in his upper arm causing blood to go all over the other punk rockers who are smearing it all over. So he gets carted to the hospital and the police come looking to arrest me 'cause he lost so much blood and he wants to press charges. Of course I blew out of town in no time." Lydia Lunch interviewed by Byron Coley for Forced Exposure #10, July 1986.

Note 2: This date in Manchester was to be her only performance in the UK in 1983.

US Washington and New York City

Note: 3 concerts as The Immaculate Consumptive.

US NY,New York City, @ Don Christensen's [The Raybeats] studio,recording with Norman Westberg [Swans] "Swelter", a 6 part piece, which evolved from the May "Stinkfist" recording.

Swelter/Stinkfist Line-up (USA: November/December 1983):
Lydia Lunch/ Jim Thirlwell and Cliff Martinez [13.13., later Red Hot Chili Peppers].

New York City 10-Nov-83

US NY,New York City,Dancetaria
[with Swans]

Ad: Scan of advert from the Village Voice 08-Nov-83, courtesy of Thurston Moore.

Note: First of 5 performances of "Swelter/Stinkfist".

US CA,Los Angeles-Hollywood,Club Lingerie

Note: Second of 5 performances of "Swelter/Stinkfist".

Portland 02-Dec-83

US OR,Portland,Z Club
[with Rancid Vat, Spike and Bad Actors]

Poster: Photo of poster.

Flyer: Photo of flyer.

Note: Third of 5 performances of "Swelter/Stinkfist". The Z-club was an old church building which had been condemned. The police stopped the show after complaints from the neighbors (they heard a woman screaming).

San Francisco 03-Dec-83

US CA,San Francisco,On Broadway
[with Frightwig and Almost Blind]

Setlist: ?/ ?/ ?/ ?/ Stumbo.

Flyer: Photo of flyer.

Ad: Scan of advert, taken from San Francisco Examiner 27-Nov-83.

Note: Fourth of 5 performances of "Swelter/Stinkfist".

US CA,San Francisco,-

Note: Fifth of 5 performances of "Swelter/Stinkfist".

December 1983
US CA,Los Angeles,recording with Jim G.Thirlwell "What It Is" for the V/A: "Better An Old Demon" album. Engineered by by Bobby Bielecki.

US NY,New York City,-

US CA,Los Angeles,-

Note: "4 Ugly (White) Walls", a spoken word revue/play.

Line-up: Lydia Lunch/ Jessamy Calkin/ John 'Tex' Tottenham and Jim G.Thirlwell (piano).


IT Torino,Big Club

Note: One-off performance.

Line-up: Lydia Lunch (vocals/piano), Clint Ruin [aka Jim G.Thirlwell] (guitar/sax) and backing tapes (with music/sounds by Henry Mancini, bombs going off, etc..).


During 1985 Lydia does numerous spoken word shows in support of Foetus.


During 1986 Lydia does numerous spoken word shows in support of Foetus in the first half of the year and in support of Wiseblood the rest of the year.

US CA,Los Angeles,KLXU Radio

Note: Lydia, Jim and Richard Kern are guest at a late night talk show.

US CA,Los Angeles,Eldorado studio,re-working of the "Stinkfist/Swelter" recordings. Engineered by Randy Burns. Line-up: Lydia Lunch (vocals,metal) and Clint Ruin/Jim G. Thirlwell (vocals,metal) with 7 drummers: Cliff Martinez [13.13] (drums,metal)/ D.J. Bonebrake [X] (drums,metal)/ Roli Mosimann [Swans] (timbales)/ Spit Stix [Fear] (drums & metal)/ Neil Slossen (drums & metal) and Tom Surgal (metal). During this period Lydia and Jim were also working in L.A. on the "Fingered" film with Richard Kern.

US NY,New York City,Evergreen studio,remixing of the "Stinkfist" recordings.
Engineered by Hahn Rowe.

US NY,New York City,Roli Rox studio,reprocessed and editing of the "Stinkfist" recordings.
Engineered by Roli Mosimann [Swans].


May 1987
US NY New York City,Brooklyn,Before Christ studio,recording with Thurston Moore "The Crumb" (released on a split 12" on Widowspeak records in March 1988) and "So Your Heart" (released on the "Honeymoon In Red" album on Widowspeak records in March 1988).

Note: Polishing up the surviving tapes of the recordings Lydia made with members of the Birthday Party in 1982. Remixing by Jim G. Thirlwell and some guitar overdubs by Thurston Moore.

Line-up: ydia Lunch (voices)/ Thurston Moore (guitar/voices) and Clint Ruin (a.k.a. Jim G. Thirlwell) (loops/treatments).

US NY,New York City,Brooklyn,BC studio,recording and mixing "Meltdown Oratorio" for the "Stinkfist" EP.
Engineered by Martin Bisi. Line-up: Lydia Lunch (voices/words)/ Clint Ruin (a.k.a. Jim G. Thirlwell) (instruments/music).


UK/US Release of the "Stinkfist" 12" EP on Widowspeak.


May 1990
UK Release of the "Stinkfist" EP CD on Widowspeak/Torso.

US NY,New York City,Brooklyn,BC studio,recordings for the "Don’t Fear The Reaper" EP.
Engineered by Martin Bisi.

US NY,New York City,Brooklyn,Self Immolation,recordings for the "Don’t Fear The Reaper" EP.
Engineered by Jim G.Thirlwell.


US NY,New York City,Brooklyn,Self Immolation,recordings for the "Twisted" single with Z'EV.
Engineered by Jim G.Thirlwell.

July 1991
AU Release of the "Twisted/Past Glas" 7" single on Insipid.

October 1991
UK Release of the "Don’t Fear The Reaper" EP on Big Cat Records.


Brooklyn 18-Jul-96

US NY,Brooklyn,The Anchorage

Setlist: Black Adonis/ Crumpled City/ Puddlin’ Doorway/ Egomaniacs With Insecurity Problems/ Arschficken (a.k.a. The Fudge Punch).

Note: Avialable on the "York" album (1997)

Photo: Screen capture taken from the "NYC Foetus" documentary.

Line-up: Lydia Lunch (narration)/ Jim G.Thirlwell (vocals,conch shell)/ Brian Emrich (bass,e-bow,bass synth)/ Steven Bernstein trumpet,slide trumpet)/ David Ouiment (trombone)/ Marcus Rojas (tuba,didgeridoo)/ Oren Bloedow (guitar,electric oud)/ Kurt Wolf (guitar) and Vinnie Signorelli (drums).


Los Angeles 30-Jun-01

US CA,Los Angeles,Hollywood Athletic Club-Showcase Ballroom
Fetish Ball

Setlist: Spy In The House Of Love [The Doors]/ Why'd Ya Do It [Marianne Faithfull] and Sympathy For The Devil [The Rolling Stones].

Photo: Screen capture taken from a private video by Tracy Q.

Line-up: Lydia Lunch/ Jim G.Thirlwell and many others.


Los Angeles 31-Dec-02

US CA,Los Angeles,Nina Hagen's New Year's Eve Extravaganza

Note: DJ-ing with Jim G.Thirlwell.

Poster: Photo of poster.

The Immaculate Consumptive (October/November 1983)

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Last modified 28th of August, 2021.