"Then I saw this issue of Ghost Rider and I was like, 'There's the name: Satan Suicide.' But Marty was like, 'Let's just take Suicide.' We were talking about society's suicide, especially American society. New York City was collapsing. The Vietnam War was going on. The name Suicide said it all to us."
The late Alan Vega on the origins of his legendary outfit's name.
The quote comes from an interview with Simon Reynolds conducted in 2002, when Reynolds was busy doing the research for Rip It Up And Start Again (which I continue to plod through at an annoyingly slow rate), which was condensed for Totally Wired: Postpunk Interviews And Overviews and was recently republished by Pitchfork in tribute to the man himself. In it, Vega paints a vivid picture of 1970s New York - a picture already familiar to me as someone who's read David Browne's Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography Of Sonic Youth. Indeed, the first gig Thurston Moore ever saw in New York, as a callow Connecticut teenager, featured Suicide alongside The Cramps at Max's Kansas City. Needless to say, it proved an eye-opener.
(Thanks to Rob for the link.)