COLUMN NINETY, MAY 1, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
I GOT MY KICKS WITH JOE STRUMMER OF THE CLASH
the Clash were hardly the only band that ever mattered to ME, I personally sure
owe a tip-o-the ol? snout to the one, the only Joe Strummer for most vividly
helping me see The Light back in that dark, dank cultural wasteland known as the
was my first night in London, August of 1975, and a friend took me to see The
Troggs at the Nashville Room. Opening
was a young band called The 101?ers who, I was most amazed to discover,
performed almost the precise same set (beginning with the Stones? roll down Route 66) as did my own high school combo, Martin & The
E-Chords, back there in the Toronto suburbs!
approaching what appeared to be this group's fearless leader at the bar as the
final ocarina'd Wild Thing melted
into the sweat and smoke overhead, I found myself ear to ear with an intense
young man named Joe who most patiently proceeded to listen to me beat both gums,
carefully quizzed my knowledge of obscure beat "n? soul B-sides, then having
made his grade enthusiastically directed me crosstown the very next morning to
visit a grand new record etc. shoppe sometimes called Let It Rock, other times
dba Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, and currently operating beneath the
simple nom-de-anarchie of Sex.
for my mate Malcolm when you go in," Joe said.
keep YOUR band going too!"
however, the E-Chords never did become Canada's Kings of Pub (as opposed to
Punk) Rock a quarter century ago, but I DID get my fanzine The Pig Paper off the ground shortly after arriving home, again as
Joe had implored, and one of the very first records reviewed therein was Keys
To Your Heart by those very same 101?ers.
Great li?l disc it was and is too; Joe certainly could put across a
mean three-minutes-nine whenever push came to strum.
if I never got the chance to say it "way back then, lemme just thank Joe right
here and now for his long-ago but seldom forgotten Guinness-soaked
encouragement, his most astute and visionary indeed advice, and the flawless
directions over to Malcolm McLaren's to boot.
The next round'll be on me then, okay? ##
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