Sunday, November 15, 2009

Old and In The Way

I rented two punk rock movies from Netflix. This is not a movie review. I don't remember the names of the movies.

The first one was a sort of biography, told in reminiscences, of Joe Strummer. It was pretty good. Joe Strummer wasn't necessarily a nice man. He wanted to be an artist and a star, sometimes one more than the other. He really did suffer for his art though. He wanted to have integrity. He wanted to be a creator. He was constantly looking for new ways to be Joe Strummer. It was kind of inspiring.

The second one was a biography of the Ramones. They were a hell of a band. Some of the performance footage is mind blowing. Also, there's a picture of my friend, Kim, talking to Joey Ramone in Arturo Vega's apartment. I liked that. The rest of the movie is old guys complaining. I found it depressing and dull.

Of course, nowadays I'd rather listen to The Handsome Family.

LInger, Let Me Linger- The Handsome Family (Buy)


ib said...

Joe Strummer. 'Uncle Joe', as in Stalin.

I was a huge admirer of the Clash. Strummer; Jones; and Simonon. I bought into the whole dumb ethos of it all. Right up until they went to the US on that "London Calling" tour and suddenly came over all global.

I dislike stadiums. I distrust bands who play in stadiums. I am not so enamoured with the shared experience of 100,000 hyperventilating bastards forced to get in line.

Of course. This immediately prompts accusations of elitism.

So be it. I'd rather sit at the bar and watch a man with an acoustic guitar pour out his heart than pay to be part of an inflated lie.

Jon said...

Ib, I hate the thought of stadium concerts. I know people who were proud of the fact that they paid hundreds and hundreds of dollars to file into a gigantic stadium and watch some old men called The Rolling Stones. For several hundred dollars they were able to see the band through binoculars.

I hate the thought of The Clash playing Shea Stadium. It happened though. The Ramones were angry that they never got to play Shea. Strummer seemed sort of bemused about his stadium days. The Ramones were cranky. They complained ceaselessly about one another and bitched about their hard lives.

Strummer seemed like he learned something from his rock star experience. I liked that.

The last time I even saw a band in a large auditorium was George Thorogood in about 1982. He sucked.

Joe said...

joe strummers upbringing was that of a globe trotting ambassador. his dad was a diplomat. the punk rock and working angst was grafted on. mind you, whatever your upbnring (and you cant choose yer parents) there is always angst to graft on if you are sensitive enough.

ib said...

I am glad I never went to see the Stones on any of their Golden Zimmer World Tours. I did manage a laugh when Brandon Block knocked Ron Wood to the floor at one of those award ceremonies.

I suspect Strummer's angst had more to do with his brother's suicide than his dad's "globe-trotting", but then again, what the fuck do I know.

West Way was Mick Jones stomping ground. He lived on the 11th floor for a time. I live on the 22nd. I get a far better world view.

Kind of like Dee-Dee Ramone's West German occupation as any army brat.

Jon said...

A lot of that stuff about Strummer's middle class diplomatic roots was lost on Americans. We do not discuss social class. It is perfectly ordinary for a California stranger to tell you about his sex life, without you asking, but if you ask him what class his parents belong to he is almost certain to say, "middle class." The fact that Strummer even bothered to profess sympathy for ordinary folks was amazing to many Americans. Very few people gave a shit as towhether he was authentic enough.

ib said...

I think on reflection there was too much party politic sewn into the way the Clash were packaged.

I don't whether this sprang directly from the band or through Bernie Rhodes.

Whichever, it was as ultimately pointless. The Hammer and Sickle was almost exclusively Simonon's invention as an art student. The intrigue which followed regarding various member's working class credentials was altogether less informative than a GLC annual meeting attended by a bunch of Sociology students nursing grudges.

In that respect, it's small wonder they fled to the USA.

@eloh said...

Uh...we drove over eighty miles to get to Sioux City to see the Doobies...but we got lost in the stock yards instead...

Very relaxing music, I listened to it all morning (looped as it were).

Nazz Nomad said...

Joe Strummer fell into Punk Rock and became a star. Unlike Mick Jones... who always wanted it. I never got the feeling though that Joe forgot who he was. His post Clash work reinforces that. I could have went to see The Clash with The Who at Shea Stadium. I loved the Clash. I didn't go. Because it was Shea fucking Stadium. Rest In Peace, Joe.

The Ramones were the most dysfunctional twisted bunch of fuck ups to ever lead a revolution. They were also my family in many ways.

Thank god for them./

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