This was a piece I wrote when I heard that Joe Strummer had died. I showed it to Garth and he recommended I post it up here as he figured some of you might enjoy it. It's all true!
Back in the winter of 1975, when I was 15, I went with my sister and a friend to see Roger Ruskin Spear â€“ the ex-Bonzo Dog â€“ put on his Kinetic Wardrobe show at Hampstead Town Hall. The supporting act was a rough and ready rockâ€™nâ€™roll band called the 101â€™ers. I remember being excited and impressed when the singer and guitarist launched into a blistering version of The Beatlesâ€™ â€˜Back In The USSRâ€™. Little did I know I was watching Joe Strummer. He was just a bloke with curly hair yelling at the microphone and bashing hell out of a Fender Telecaster. I looked at him and I knew I liked him. He was alright.
Within a year of course, punk rock had exploded and Joe Strummer was fronting a new band called The Clash who played all their own material: songs with titles like â€˜White Riotâ€™ and â€˜Iâ€™m So Bored With The USAâ€™. Having seen him with The 101â€™ers bought me some playground kudos amongst those of my schoolmates who actually believed me. Among these was a boy called Guy who was good at art and who was the first at my school to adopt the punk look and attitude. We became friends and he would bring round things like The Sex Pistols â€˜Spunkâ€™ bootleg and The Clashâ€™s â€˜Capital Radioâ€™ interview ep for me to tape. Armed with Mark Pâ€™s magnificent dictum: â€œHere is a chord, here is another, here is a third, now go form a bandâ€
I'd just finished another compilation cd for the car (whatever I do unless my wife likes it is rubbish) and one of the tracks I picked is a Joe Strummer track...'Mondo Bongo'.... listening to it, I thought 'what a lovely track'...and then thinking about him, thought...'was nt it a shame'.
So logging on and then reading your post suprised me. What strangely good timing.
Thanks Adam, for keeping his memory alive in such a positive way.
Probably. Mike Spenser went on to make dozens of "Trash" themed records under the Cannibals name after I left. I was with them from Autumn 1978 to Spring 1980 - during which time we made two independent singles and contributed to a "Live at the Hope and Anchor" compilation for Arista. Good teenage fun!