Sunday, 21 August 2016

Without People You're Nothing

The Clash, Give' em enough rope, London Calling, Sandinista, Combat rock, (Cut the Crap). 5 (6) albums, many more singles, few hits, they were the reason punk died (apparently) and they are my favourite band of all time. I have thought long and hard about this and it's true.

Photo by Bob Gruen

The Clash formed when my dad was 16 and I think (probably earlier) that is the age I first heard them at and it was amazing. I had put some "classic" music on my Sony Walkman mp3 player for the night or two i was staying at my grandmother's house namely The Smiths' Strangeways, here we come ( because my dad had the CD) and The Clash's US debut ( along side Give em enough rope, which again my dad had on a double CD). That weekend spawned a love of Girlfriend in a Coma and love of Janie Jones. That song "He's in love with a rock and roll world" I wanted to be in love with that world too. Just over two minutes later and I was.

I don't know how fast it developed but I got the Clash's London Calling and combat rock in a double CD, while on holiday in the US of A I got The Clash book in a Borders Sale (that's a book store) which for those of you who don't know is a mammoth book with tour info, history, photos, posters, interviews. The latest significant Clash piece is the Sound system box set off my mum and dad for A level passing ( I think). It has most of everything they ever did and more, completing the deal.

They had politics, energy and a message. The were punk, Surf, rock and roll, dub, funk, R & B, ska at the same time but never on the same track. They were real and that's what impresses me most, none of this was playing to an audience. My dad always reminds me the dub tracks they did, the fans weren't keen on on them. They did what they did regardless. They had nerve two; a double album was a push for the label so to ask for s triple, they must of been mad. ( They still haven't made any royalties off that album despite being released early 80',)

This is what I want y'all do for me, if you haven't heard them start with London Calling, if you have heard them and want more From here to Eternity is an extension of the band or if you are a fan keep on rocking.
Today would have been Joe Strummer's 64th birthday. Happy Birthday legend.

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