Morning, I hear it’s raining and not too summery back in London today, you lucky bleeders. Before my Clash update I wanted to share this article about Afghanistan with you from the Times. Are there any right thinking individuals out there that think this is suddenly going to become easier? Does anyone in a position of power even own a history book? Obviously the situation is far more complex than I’m going to dig into within this forum, but who are ‘we’ trying to make safer? Moderation might not be in vogue, but is that because it might prove that the current path is rutted with holes?
Right, on to other matters. Stiff Little Fingers were one of the better bands to emerge from the spillage that the eruptions of 1976-7 caused. The impact of The Clash on the bandwas apparent in their sound and they were never shy about marrying political themes to their great guitar buzz. In the 1970′s Belfast was a city under siege and the daily environment was a natural catalyst for SLF. I found this great interview with Henry Cluney from the band last night, the memories of those indulgent times are pondered and it’s great to see him still performing.
An Alternative Ulster
Grab it and change it it’s yours
Get an Alternative Ulster
Ignore the bores and their laws
If London had McLaren and Rhodes then Manchester had Tony Wilson, but it also had Bruce Mitchell. Mitchell saw The Clash in their early days and his call to arms was complete. It can’t be overstated that in the days before myspace, MTV and 24 hour access to information having people such as Mitchell getting your name out there and gigs booked was a crucial element in terms of the punk scene and then the indie revolution that followed. The Guardian has a great feature on Mitchell today.
Right, I’m off for now enjoy your weekend wherever you are. Good hip hop in Islamabad?
Hello from ClashBlog central, hope its going good. Here in Phoenix AZ we’re heading into the local equivalent of our inverted long winter. It’s just below 100f at midnight and might reach 115f on Sunday. I’m supposed to play football (soccer u.s.) on Sunday so if there’s no post on Monday morning call out the army.
Speaking of the Army I wanted to mention Billy Bragg (again) who is part of another Jail Guitar Doors event this Sunday in Kentish Town N London. I’m posting the info again as for some reason the official JGD site hasn’t provided up to date news. Note to any worthy project looking to promote fundraising and awareness; when you are within 48 hours of an event that showcases your mission and two of it’s figureheads, it’s a good idea to post this on your official website. I say two figureheads as by all accounts Mick Jones will be at the event this Sunday evening. Hopefully someone reading this can get along to the event and furnish me with details, I’d be grateful. Lacking info from the official (with a small o) site Bragg was in tune enough to post this on his site. If someone knows someone who owes someone a fiver at JGD tell them to email me, the Clash Blog is my hobby but we design web sites and I’d be keen to get yours current!
Ford Motors in Dagenham
I mentioned the army as Billy Bragg did spend a short time in a tank regiment after leaving school and being in a band. Bragg grew up in decidely blue collar Barking in East London where the options resided between the dole, working at Ford Motors in Dagenham or making a dash to anywhere else. Bragg has a series of Podcasts celebrating his history which I can’t recommend highly enough, this one focuses on his time after Punk and what he did next which was joining the army. I’ll keep flying the flag for Bragg as he continues to celebrate mixing music and politics, raising awareness, and to my mind embodying the spirit of The Clash.
I’ve started the legwork into getting an interview with Billy Bragg to discuss Jail Guitar Doors, The Clash and of course his career. I hope to share positive news in the months ahead.
Thanks for your support on the blog, I’ll be rounding up the blogs and newswires this weekend and completing part 3 on The Rainbow. If there’s anything you want to read more about or contribute any articles let me know.
Joe Strummer was famously quoted as explaining the origin of his name as such “I called myself Joe Strummer because I can only play all six strings at once, or none at all” I can’t think of a better logic in the world that could be applied when answering that question
I also would dig my heels in and insist that Strummer became a superb rhythm guiatarist as soon as he started working with Mick Jones and Mick demonstrated the talent that he had in abundance. Just check some live footage and how Joe’s sense of rhythm and brash style filled in any and all open space to allow Mick to conjure all manner of ideas to fill the fiddly bits. Live performances by The Clash as they matured are so stunning (for the most part) to watch as the interplay before the four of them was dynamic and unbridled both at the same time.
Ever since the Clash, whenever I see a band live for the first time that feature two guitarists I always look to see who takes lead and how the rhythm guitarist keeps a track together. More Strummers are needed!