supped on lightning

Posted by on Jun 7, 2008 in music | 2 comments

Trailer for the doc film Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten.

The Clash were, IMHO, probably the greatest rock and roll band ever. When their music hit my world in Omaha in the late 70’s, I simply didn’t have the emotional or intellectual language at the time to assimilate and explore the experience. It was too new, too foreign, too complicated and too dangerous. On an emotional, spiritual, visceral, intellectual and moral level. It was that definitive, and that personal. It was overwhelming. But, I knew it was something special.

Then, sometime in 1981, I read Lester Bangs seminal article on the group… And, I understood.

The politics of rock ‘n’ roll, in England or America or anywhere else, is that a whole lot of kids want to be fried out of their skins by the most scalding propulsion they can find, for a night they can pretend is the rest of their lives, and whether the next day they go back to work in shops or boredom on the dole or American TV doldrums in Mom ‘n’ Daddy’s living room nothing can cancel the reality of that night in the revivifying flames when for once if only then in your life you were blasted out of yourself and the monotony which defines most life anywhere at any time, when you supped on lightning and nothing else in the realms of the living or dead mattered at all.

When you read the full article, you see the exploration of real humane behavior and kindness explored via a rock and roll band. And, that was completely revolutionary. Not what most people thought or expected at the time, nor what they associate with it now.

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