The Clash

I’m a real knucklehead some times. I seem to spend too much time in anticipation and not enough in actual enjoyment. Or is it that my enjoyment comes from the anticipation? Here’s where I’m going with this and what it has to do with The Clash. Many years ago we lived in an apartment on Emerson in Mexico City. The year was around 1981 or so. My musical taste ran the gamut. My biggest love was anything punk. There was a small group of us punk kids that ran around together. We even started a band called The Taxis. One day I came home to a group of Canadians sitting around my mom’s kitchen table – something that happened quite a lot back then though not always Canadians, just people sitting around the table. They were traveling in an old ’60-something Ford van. It had broken down and was in the shop down the street. They were spending the day with my family when I arrived home, purple mohawk, chains, etc. They took one look at me and were blown away to find a punk in Mexico. We instantly hit it off and they wanted to know all about the scene.
After we got to know each other through our musical taste, one of the guys went down to the van down the street and brought up a record to give me. It was, London Calling by The Clash. I put the record on and was quickly blown away. That album has become my all time favorite. Every song is great. Of course, the opening track with that driving rhythm, and I know it’s playing in the back of your head right now, is fantastic! My son now shares that as being one of his favorite songs as well.

Now to my problem with anticipation. I loved that album so much that it eventually showed a lot of wear and when the CD version came out, I jumped on it. In return, after some time I lost the album and all the sentiments that went with it. Those Canadians gave me something that held a lot of memories of my youth and a time in Mexico City that is forever gone. I began a quest to find the vinyl version of London Calling and eventually my search was successful. It’s a reissue and therefore new and wrapped in cellophane. I have had it for two weeks sitting on my turn table in it’s untouched condition while my anticipation of unwrapping it and placing it on the B&O turntable grows. I know that as soon as the wrapper comes off, my anticipation will be gone and reality will set in. WTF is wrong with me? “Get over it you dumb ass!”

So this weekend I will attempt to crack the cellophane and open the fucker up. Here’s to you Canadians guys who dropped into my life and left this treasure of a memory – lovers of The Clash and all things good. I salut you.

London Calling
Brand New Cadillac
Jimmy Jazz
Hateful
Rudie Can’t Fail
Spanish Bombs
The Right Profile
Lost in the Supermarket
Clampdown
The Guns of Brixton
Wrong ‘Em Boyo
Death or Glory
Koka Kola
The Card Cheat
Lover’s Rock
Four Horsemen
I’m Not Down
Revolution Rock
Train in Vain

Road Trip

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This past July my family and I took a summer road trip to The Pacific Northwest. It was incredibly beautiful and my first time in that area of the country. I rented a Jetta and we put over 4000 miles on it. The car came with Sirius Radio. I had brought my own iPod Classic loaded with some great music but unfortunately Sirius prevailed on the trip. Rather than debating what I thought was good music on the trip, I let my family play whatever they liked and I drove happily down our nation’s lovely interstates and highways.
Much of the music we listened to was “popular” stuff from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, some 90’s, and current stuff. This is the deal, how many times can a human being hear the same song throughout his/her life before one goes insane? Think about this, how many times have you heard, Take It To The Limit or Bang The Drum All Day or how about Under Pressure? How many more times are you going to hear those three songs again? It’s crazy that with all the music that has existed in this world, there are maybe a couple of thousand songs we all hear over and over and over and fucking over again.
One of the Sirius stations was called, Road Trip. It could have been called the greatest crap hits of all time that you know by heart and won’t ever forget, even if you’re brain dead from choking on your own vomit from hearing the same shit so many times in one lifetime. I think about all the great undiscovered music that will never be heard because it has been left behind thanks to the fear of something new. Record labels have known for a long time that there is a formula that sells records. Deviate from that formula and there will be no future. So, in the long run we have been cheated out of so much more good music and it’s a shame.
Mile after mile we drove listening to Bob Seger, U2, Tom Petty, Lynyrd Skynyrd, GnR, and yes Todd Rundgren. We all had a blast singing in the car and I’d do the trip again in a second. But please, lets work on the soundtrack.

Next week I’ll be back with my normal reviews and asshole comments. Until then, thanks for not running us off the road…