“Around then, we started getting classified information from grunts and sailors who were actually in the service… What the hell do you do with classified information?!” Rimbaud recalls. “That is a serious offense! Then, we pulled our greatest trick ever.”
Using the classified information they had received, the band crafted a recording which appeared to be a conversation between Thatcher and Reagan discussing the sinking of The Sheffield and the General Belgrano, ships involved in the Falklands conflict. The band then sent the tapes to the British press anonymously, expecting chaos to ensue. Surely, such a hot item would be a major, stop-the-presses event…
“After we sent it to the press world, it completely disappeared and we heard nothing,” Rimbaud says. “And then four or five months later it appeared in the Pentagon and was described by them as being a KGB operation to undermine American power. They were saying it could lead to World War 3! We could sit here and say we did a tape and now it’s being put forward as this thing, which is very funny in one respect… but it’s not very funny in another. So we were always in this ambiguity.”
Eventually, someone informed the press that the culprits behind the scam were, indeed, Crass. To this day, the band doesn’t know who leaked that info, though by this time, their phones were being tapped by the police and possibly other third-parties. The Observer got in touch with the band, and through a series of negotiations, Rimbaud agreed to admit that they created the tapes… if The Observer published the entire transcript of the tape on its front page. To Rimbaud’s surprise, the paper did indeed publish the entire transcript, which included classified information previously only known to the British government. “Then, the shit really hit the fan,” Rimbaud says. All sorts of people were getting in touch with us, including the KGB.”
There’s more. Read the the whole thing.