I did try to like The Clash. I had a few of their albums on tape and I played them over and over again, trying to connect. I didn't get it, though. It just sounded like so much barking, heavy-handed bluster.
John Cusack has never really crossed my cultural path. Was he in that bollocks about John Malkovich's head? That was utter bollocks, wasn't it? And wasn't he in some Nick Hornby tripe that I never saw? Or did I see it? Playing some wanker who works in a record shop, some anal retentive who's had at least five girlfriends in his lifetime. Oh yeah? Dream on, buddy boy!
But recent blog reading has alerted me to the possibility that Mr Cusack is some kind of sex symbol. And then I am nudged in the direction of his blog which includes this little gem from November, a transcript of a speech he made at a Joe Strummer tribute in Scotland. Now this is absolutely hilarious...
"There was no one like Joe Strummer. There is a lineage, of course.
Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan...I was always staggered by his voice. It was like a shaman should sound. If Roy Orbision sang for the lonely, Joe sang for the hungry.... His voice was liquid desire and it ignited as it left his mouth, his body shaking to contain the heat, like a rocket in the first phase of lift-off.... He was a pioneer who demanded art and politics be fused in the interests of humanity and truth. Often the truth was painful, just as often it was liberating, transcendent, and just plain fun. He was an icon of unrivaled integrity... Billy Brag said if it weren't for The Clash, punk rock would be just a sneer, a safety pin and a pair of bondage trousers... it sounds right to me... It's been said Strummer reinvented rock. That sounds right too. I know for certain he challenged, inspired and demanded us to think and feel in ways we hadn't before... demanded we use rebellion and anger as fuel for the journey to other, better worlds, never as an end in itself. Demanded we reach for the transcendent in everything and everyone, and to never suffer those fools who will not think and feel their way home. He was a guiding light and he got us out of many a tough jam. Knowing him, I was always humbled by his grace and intelligence, his passion, and the sheer ferocity of his will... and Jesus Christ that man could fucking rock."
I mean, I'm sorry he's gone and all but Strummer was shit, wasn't he? I bet poor old Bon Scott doesn't get such a hagiography anywhere and he was just as shit.
And I'm so glad that "Billy Brag" is quoted. Of course if it weren't for The Clash we'd only have had the Pistols, the Buzzcocks, the Banshees, Wire, The Stranglers, The Ruts, The Skids and many other British punk bands who could hold a tune.
Some book reviews
1 day ago