The controversial rock band Battered Wives — faced with the choice of dropping its name or dropping a national tour — will perform as The Wives from now on, it was announced yesterday.
At a news conference on the eve of the band's 13-city Canadian tour, co-manager John Hughes read from a statement which said in part:
"We sincerely hope that this puts to rest, once and for all, a series of unfortunate circumstances which have been blown up out of proportion.
"The Wives wish to thank all their fans and supporters everywhere for their cooperation. Now, please, let's get down to some rock and roll."
The Wives are the opening act to rocker Elvis Costello who will be performing at Montreal's Theatre St. Denis Tuesday night.
The controversy, sparked by the women's rights organization Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), has simmered throughout the group's one-year existence, mainly because of the name and the group's logo — a clenched fist bearing the lipstick impression of a bleeding mouth.
WAVAW, which demonstrated several months ago in front of a Montreal record store prominently displaying Battered Wives' album, had scheduled another demonstration at Toronto's O'Keefe Centre for the first date of the tour.
Asked in a telephone interview whether WAVAW still intends to go ahead with the demonstration, official Pat Murphy said the organization definitely would be there to ask people to boycott the first part of the concert.
"We will continue to protest." she said.
Hughes had said earlier that Battered Wives faced cancellation of the tour because of threats of concert disruptions and even threats against the band's lives.
Asked whether the Wives anticipated demonstrations despite their concession to WAVAW, Hughes said "Those women are so far out in left field that I don't know what else to expect from them."