For reasons which will become obviously clear, FAC8 wasn’t part of the contents of the Use Hearing Protection box set.
The previous catalogue numbers, having been allocated to posters/vinyl/stationary were simple enough to replicate, but given that FAC8 proved, in the end, to be nothing more than a concept, it was never going to be included within the box, although I suppose a replica of the above drawing would have sufficed.
I’m very grateful to the website The Factory Records Catalogue for the following details:-
Factory Records: FAC 8 LINDER STERLING Factory Egg Timer CONCEPT Also referred to as the ‘Menstrual Egg-Timer’.
Only one prototype was made by Linder, singer of Ludus.
The egg timer looked like an abacus, and is described in one of the early Factory newsletters as ‘A four bar abacus, seven beads to the row, final five blood soaked lint.’
This only ever existed as a drawing on a napkin, done by Anthony H Wilson and artist Linder Sterling (a close friend of Morrissey).
“She was a very weird lady.” remembers Anthony H Wilson. “At that point in 1978, she was making menstrual jewellery, which meant that she would take a piece of wire, wrap gauze around it with glue (she tried menstrual blood, but it just looked black, then she used red paint), and then when it hardened, pulled it off the wire and there was a bead, a menstrual bead, which she would make earrings out of, or necklaces.
The idea for FAC 8 was it would be an abacus with 4 rows, seven beads on each row. The first row would have seven white beads, the second six white beads and a pearl, and the third two white beads and five bloody beads. And we called it the menstrual egg timer.”
I actually met Linder four years ago when she took part in a cultural event in the east end of Glasgow, close to where I was working at the time.
I had the opportunity to speak briefly to her, in which I revealed myself as something of a fanboy for the work she did back in the post-punk days, and in particular the sleeve for the first single by Buzzcocks after they signed to UA Records as well as the debut album by Magazine:-
Diplomacy prevented me asking what she now thought of the views being expressed by her former confidante and pal.
Linder Sterling was one of many in the Free Trade Hall audience in Manchester at the Sex Pistols gig in 1976 who went on to form a band.
Ludus were active between 1978 and 1983, during which time two albums and six singles/EPs were issued, mostly on the New Hormones label, most famous for being the home of the Spiral Scratch EP by Buzzcocks.
They weren’t your run-of-the-mill combo, with their music being on the experimental side of things with hints of a jazz influence. They never came close to commercial success, with the best-selling effort being the debut EP, The Visit, which shifted around 3,500 copies.