I am sitting here, enjoying a bowl of killer soup, and listening to the Clash’s “Straight to Hell” and “The Call Up.” It is in moments like these that make me feel like I am tapped into the world, that I have a purpose. I can’t say there are many bands out there making music that makes you want to shake your shit while concurrently forcing you to acknowledge – and act – upon global injustice. Both songs are fervent anti-war ballads, but could easily be misinterpreted as club hits (at least back in the 70’s and 80’s). I suppose M.I.A achieves this level of success with “Paper Planes,” but I take away frustration and anger from that adaptation of “Straight to Hell” instead of a sense of purpose.
On a related note, I just want to share a photo or two from my good friend Kate Simon, one of the closest photographers of the Clash. She has shot everyone – Bob Marley, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, William Burroughs, etc., etc. – and her work speaks for itself. If you haven’t explored her world, I highly recommend it. Word on the street is that she will be publishing a memoir in the next year or so, highlighting her extensive career.
Bob Marley and Kate Simon
Robert Plant, 1975
Joe Strummer, 1977