Dave, I think my mind is going
Back in the long hot summer of 1976, late July I think, I visited London and spent a day wandering around west London (Portobello Roadish) looking for where Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies used to hang out. I found a 'headshop' and bought some old underground mags - Frendz, cos it had a piece on Hawkwind, some OZs and an International Times (which was new - had revived itself). I even bought a Gong album. Flying Teapot? Or You?
Punk hadn't registered with me then. A few months later it had. I thought "Why am I listening to all this music made by old guys when there is all this music being made by people my age (18)? "
At the time it seemed like a revolution, one which required a re-invention of myself. Except I still had all my old records. And kept buying some new old ones.
Now, it seems, 1976 was not such a break with the past. The first punk record which really grabbed me was White Riot buy the Clash. [Just checked, actually came out in March 1977...]
Turns out the Clash came out of the west London hippy squatting scene. And that Julien Temple's new film about Joe Strummer is going to reveal all. And that even the Slits are now middle aged...
I suppose I shouldn't be, I've known the 'facts' for years, but I am still just a bit confused. Punk or hippy? Though of course, as Pete of Small Wonder told me years ago "We weren't hippies, we were freaks...".
Thursday May 10, 2007
The Future Is Unwritten is a two-hour documentary about Joe Strummer made by Julien Temple
It's packed with striking moments: some startling footage of life in the west London squats where Strummer formed his first band, the 101ers;
Temple's own film of the Clash's first recording session; clips of an aimless post-Clash Strummer appearing on a US cable talk show, at a loss to explain what he's doing with his life; Mick Jones recalling his dismissal from the Clash with a peculiar combination of bitterness and maniacal laughter ("I think he'd had a few drinks by then," offers Temple); the contrast between a sweet, mumsy-looking, middle-aged Spanish woman reminiscing fondly by the campfire, and the footage of her 30 years ago, when she was Palmolive, fearsome drummer of all-girl punk band the Slits.