Thursday, August 21, 2014

Born Sixty-Two Years Ago Today

Holyfuck, I love that song. One of my Clash stories: in 1982 Pete Townsend asked Strummer if The Clash wanted to open for The Who for stadium shows in support of the Who's Who Are You and in September Blondie and me and Skevin Kinner got in my green Ford Valiant and drove to JFK Stadium in Philly for the show. Good blotter was involved, just a quarter tab for me (I was driving after all), two full for Blondie, who knows how many for Skevin, he was the provider, that and beer his gas money. Blondie promptly disappeared into the stadium crowd after seeing one of the hundreds of thousands of best friends she had - this was her act; what charmed me was the once in a while she ditched others to be with me - and Kinner ran into a friend w/blow and disappeared (I was invited, but this is true, loved ones can vouch - blow never worked on me. Zip, zero. I'd tell people this and they would lay out $$$'s worth of lines and I'd say, you're wasting your money, and they'd dare me: they wasted their money) and I didn't see Blondie for two weeks or Kinner for three. I had a good jangle, my car keys, I didn't freak out, I got down near the front on the infield. I'd seen The Clash before, had seen them when they were on and into the show; they were neither on or into the show. Who fans booed them. Joe said, leaving the stage, Fuck You, Philadelphia. I stayed on the infield for The Who - I am not a Who-hater, though they have not aged well for me (or me for them), but it turns out it was Moon's last US tour before he died, and he was who I watched at Who concerts.

UPDATE! Well, I conflated Who concerts. Good friend davidly points out in Kindly in an email that Keith Moon died in 1978, the same year Who Are You was released. I credit the hallucinogens and elapsed time between then and now. The rest of the story of that day is true, or as true as I can make it.

But that's about me. About Strummer: once, youngsters, The Clash were not the only band that mattered, but they did matter.

Here's Terre's tribute show from 2002 just after Strummer died.

Here's Diane's tribute show from 2002, just after Strummer died.

Lots of Clash at those two. When I put Strummer on the iPod now, it's the Mescalaros.


  1. I never did see the Clash, I'm sorry to say. Saw the Who a few years earlier than you did, they were great.

  2. my favorite clash song - and there's a very interesting wikipedia article about it - rock the casbah - i heard it again and again while drinking in college bars for a while there (i was really too old for that scene, i was a grad student, but i looked younger than my years) - i only found out what the words meant much later