What: The Psychedelic Furs
When: 7:45 p.m. Wednesday, June 12
Where: Bud Light Stage
Admission: Riverbend pin ($32 in advance, $45 at gate) or $26 one-night wristband
• "Pretty in Pink"
• "Love My Way"
• "Heartbreak Beat"
• "Love My Way"
• "All That Money Wants"
When film director John Hughes heard The Psychedelic Furs' "Pretty in Pink," he envisioned Molly Ringwald in pink T-shirts and frilly sweaters.
The song's author, Richard Butler, had a different girl in mind when he wrote it six years earlier, and she was wearing nothing, hence the song's title.
Butler's brother, Tim, said in a telephone interview that Hughes wrote the movie based on the song and even asked the band to re-record a less raw version for the film's opening sequence.
The popularity of the cult-classic film, which came out in 1986, was a double-edged sword for the band, Butler said. It introduced them to a wider audience but also turned them off to some of their original fans who preferred the band's earlier art-rock material.
Still, Butler, 54, acknowledges that "Pretty in Pink," with brother Richard's gravelly vocals and the song's wall-of-sound punk-pop melody, has become part of pop and music history and secured the band's place in it.
"We knew when we wrote the song that it was poppier than our other songs," he said. "It wasn't our favorite at the time. It was just another song.
"It does make us proud, though, to know we've done something that helped change alternative music. When we started, there was no alternative music on Top 40 radio."
It also elevated the band from "driving around in a minivan playing to a few people" to mainstream stars playing to backed arenas and music halls.
Since getting back together in 2001 after a decade-long hiatus, many of those fans are coming back, he said.
The group will perform on the Bud Light Stage on Wednesday night, June 12, and Butler said he is looking forward to playing the hits and a couple of new songs the band is working on for a new album.
The current touring lineup also includes Rich Good, Mars Williams, Amanda Kramer and Paul Garisto.
Butler said the band has enjoyed the recent tour because of the freedom it affords.
"The older fans are coming back to us," he said. "Fans who haven't seen us since the 'Midnight to Midnight' era are coming up and saying, 'I saw you guys in 1984.'
"There is no pressure now. The excitement is back, and we enjoy playing again."
Contact staff writer Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.