Wednesday, 15 October 2008

What did you want to be when you grew up dad?

Well, for my part I wanted to be Joe Strummer. My first electric guitar was a Telecaster because of him, and when pushed I will say The Clash are my all time favourite band. It's difficult to write about them for me. There's just too many things to speak about, the bass lines, the guitars, the drums, Mick's vocals, Joe chewing a mouthful of angry wasps over the top.

And the way they looked too. I can honestly say that for me no other band looked as good as The Clash. They were just the perfect band.

Strummer and Jones weren't necessarily the best singers ever - they wouldn't get past the first audition for something like X Factor thank God, but they were amongst the best vocalists ever.

One of my favourite performances by the band is The Magnificent Seven (although I found out recently that bass line was a loop played by the Blockheads' bass player who was standing in for Paul temporarily). It's the energy of the thing, the excitement you can feel from the speakers at this band from London playing the first white rap tune. It's brilliantly ridiculous, Joe sounding like he was singing what he saw as somebody flicked through the TV channels.

What have we got? Magnificence!

The Magnificent Seven - The Clash


JC said...

While I dont think you can beat White Man In Hamm Palais, I love this era of The Clsh, particularly the Magnificent Seven and Radio Clash.

Vaccuum Cleaner Sucks Up Budgie is one of my all time favourite lines - and was another contender for the name of my blog

JC said...

Eh.....not sure if it was the first white rap. I've a feeling Rapture by Blondie might have edged it.

Just checked.....and praise to you funky Si. The Clash beat Debbs and the boys by a matter of months.

Simon said...

Either one would be a worthy contender for the title though no? I think I'll dig out Rapture later for a listen!

There are so many great Clash moments, White Man is certainly up there, Tommy Gun, Safe European Home, Pressure Drop, Police And Thieves, Jimmy Jazz, Four Horsemen, and on and on and on...

adam said...

I gave a kid in one of media groups a behaviour mark a while back 'for being rude about the clash' in a lesson, and I'm pleased to say that now they're having to do work to prepare and shoot a music video their group is on a toss up between 'London Calling' and 'I Fought The Law'.

Planet Mondo said...

I hate to be contentious - at the time I was never convinced by Joe Strummer, and the more I've read about him since, directly and indirectly, have just compounded this (Andy Blades Eater biog' - being the most recent read).

I don't mind a few Clash tunes, but they seem to be the Mick Jones ones.

ally. said...

i adore the clash but i still really don't know why - there's so much i should despise - the rocknroll posturing the pissing off to america and deserting us when things were at their worst but somehow i forgive them stuff everytime

go easy step lightly stay free

Davy H said...

I am a big, big fan of Sandinista - in all its undisciplined, lunatic, brilliant, brilliant madness.

A mike and boom in your living room!

Davy H said...

Sorry, 'lunatic madness' is a tautology. Adam'll give me a de-merit. Quite rightly.

Planet Mondo said...

actually 'Hateful' came on via shuffle today what a tune and 'Train In Vain' and 'Streetcores' a great album too- mate of mine was in a band called Love's Young Nightmare and worked with Joe Strummer for a bit said he was a thoroughly nice chap.

Know what you mean about making you pick up and play Steve Jones was my inspiration (I've even pimped one of my guitars to look like his)

Anonymous said...

I also love Sandinista, a much maligned album and not so very long ago JC agreed with bitter andrew that Police on my Back was "The one flawless diamond in a six-sided pile of dross"

edinburgh man

dickvandyke said...

White Rap eh.

Got me thinking. (In between filling in job appns all day) ...

Remember that film comedy, 'White Men Can't Jump' about basketball?

Why is that funny when, if there were ...

"Black Men Cant Swim"

"Afro-caribbean athletes struggle over 800 metres"

"Asians don't particularly like horses"

"Pakis aren't too keen on dogs"

There'd be outrage!

Funny eh?

'Peace n love, peace n love'

JC said...

Ouch Ediburgh man!!!

I think you'll find that I actually said

"There's probably a half-decent EP screaming to be heard from those six sides of songs. Thought that at the time, and my mind aint changed 28 years later..."

and this would be:-

The Magnificent Seven
Somebody Got Murdered
Police On My Back
Washington Bullets