London’s Borning of Punk

For me, watching this (it’s a 10meg .avi download) was akin to what Billy Graham might feel like if he saw a video of the sermon on the mount.

It’s The Clash performing London’s Burning in 1977. This has made my weekend. If I had a time-machine, I’d go back to that exact moment so I could see the rest of the show.

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10 thoughts on “London’s Borning of Punk

  1. Of course… the beginning of the set. Those damn time-machine lawyers will get you on some technicality or other. Just like those contracts with the devil that I signed.

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  2. Meh. Ten thousand kids in garage bands around the world are going “On a bad night, we bring more to the table.”

    I’ve never gotten The Clash. Good enough tune, I suppose. But throwaway performances.

    Right place, right time, and everybody’s an icon. I guess therein lies the magic.

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  3. On re-reading, I apologize. It feels as if I’m in some way critical of all those people who think The Clash are these musical geniuses who transformed music. I didn’t mean to give that impression or be snarky. They’re just not my cup of tea, I suppose.

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  4. Nils, I wouldn’t expect an old geezer like you to understand. Go back to polishing your Hummel figurines.
    Seriously, though. Nils, you must have some musical person or group that is iconic to you, that represents a time, place, feeling, who transcends the music. Maybe Donovan?
    Seriously, though. For me, a big appeal of The Clash is/was the energy and the attitude they carried. That they made (what I consider to be) great music, too, is just bonus. That the performances are kind of throw-away is kind of the point. That 10,000 kids in garages feel like they could do the same is kind of the point.
    I don’t apply the genius label lightly, and I don’t use it for The Clash. I am a fan of the talents of the most talented member of the Clash: Joe Strummer, but genius? No.
    No offense taken by your posts, Nils. (you wanker)
    Seriously, though.

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  5. Put that way, I get what you say … it’s about the time and place in your life, the overall feeling as opposed to the music itself. Any talk of whether their music is good or even well-played IS missing the point …

    And yeah, I’m a bit of a geezer, although I didn’t stop listening to music in 1976 … I guess I reserve my highest praise for a group I know you also admire, The Beatles, and they did for me what The Clash did for you. Their music perhaps has withstood the test of time better – although, to be fair, “London Calling” is more about energy, so it’s meant to be “disposable” in that (positive) way – but I was also there when The Beatles came along, representing to my age group everything The Clash represented to yours: rebellion, iconoclasm, the power and invincibility of youth. It saddens me that they grew so much older while I didn’t.

    So, you’re right … I’ll go back to my Hummel. And wanking.

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  6. Damn Rob! That’s just so cool!

    I know what you mean about time machines in regards to concerts. There are so many bands in their infancies that I’d love to see. For instance on my Pixies DVD they mention the first show they played in London back in the 80s and then bands who were influenced by them go on to say that they were there for show. To see the Pixies in small venue with Tom Yorke and Blur watching…..

    Where are those time machine plans I had drawn up.

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  7. Just another thing that’s so cool about that…

    It’s just so amazing to see early footage like that in that whoever was filming the show didn’t know that the Clash would go on to become huge icons. It’s definitely a time capsule.

    I’m wondering if the rest of it is out there

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  8. A friend burned me some live Clash tunes, taken from a concert circa 1980. There’s one song I had never heard before called “City of the Dead”. The energy coming across is stunning. You feel like you are *there*, you feel surrounded by 10,000 people….who needs drugs when you can listen to music like this?….

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