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Fun Boy Three cover the Doors, burn the American flag on TV, 1983
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The Doors
The Specials
Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three cover the Doors, burn the American flag on TV, 1983

Waiting, the second and final Fun Boy Three LP, produced by David Byrne
At the most recent meeting of the Los Angeles chapter of the Doors Study Group, my friend and former bandmate Jessica Espeleta showed her favorite video on all of YouTube: a TV performance of “The End” by Fun Boy Three, complete with flag-burning.

Fun Boy Three—the group formed by runaway Specials Terry Hall, Neville Staples, and Lynval Golding in 1981—started playing “The End” when the end of their brief career began to loom, according to The Rough Guide to Rock:

Tensions were growing within the band, aggravated by a punishing touring schedule to try to break the group in America. Including The Doors’ “The End” in their set may not have been the wisest move they ever made, especially when they climaxed it by burning an American flag.

YouTube doesn’t say anything about the provenance of this clip, but judging from the comments and the names listed in the end credits, it can only have aired on Channel 4’s short-lived music series Switch. Fun Boy Three also appeared on Switch (a different episode?) to play their version of “Our Lips Are Sealed.” 

The very beginning of the song is missing, and the video is a little raggedy throughout, but the historical importance of the clip outweighs these minor complaints.

Posted by Oliver Hall
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