It’s another scorcher, this being a Saturday. Last night was hotter, yesterday was hotter. I watched Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten. A very good documentary on the former John Mellor. Those who knew the Clash story knew that Joe’s father was in the civil service in England, Joe was born in Ankara, Turkey. Being middle class didn’t help with one’s punk credentials in England at least.
It was done similar to the Beatles Anthology, and what they did regarding John Lennon being dead. They used countless interviews to tell Joe Strummer’s story. It wasn’t all favorable. Joe dicked some people in his life and they tell their side of the story. Joe regretted some his his actions, like kicking Mick Jones out of the Clash.
The documentary was filmed around campfires, in London, Los Angeles and New York as well as other places. Mick Jones was indoors though. No campfires for him. Topper Headon, excellent drummer kicked out for being a junkie, tells of living skint while hearing Rock The Casbah playing somewhere. Joe also slept with Topper’s girlfriend, as well as other girlfriends of various people.
It was Topper’s song, Rock The Casbah. I’m sure he gets royalties, since by the time of Sandinista, all the songs were credited to the Clash, rather than Strummer/Jones, or Simonon. Not much Paul Simonon in the documentary. Thats something that keeps bands together, songwriting royalties, U2 does it. Everyone shares in the money. Joe Strummer was also upset that Rock The Casbah was being used as a soundtrack to the first Gulf War.
Songwriting breaks up bands usually. It caused stress in Talking Heads. The band would jam and David Byrne would write the lyrics and get all the songwriting royalties. Eventually they changed it to Lyrics by Byrne, Music by Talking Heads.
But the Clash dissolved, and forget about the Cut the Crap Clash, they barely got a mention. It’s a very good documentary directed by Julien Temple who made The Great Rock and Roll Swindle and The Filth and The Fury about the Sex Pistols. Worth watching if you’re a Clash fan. Some of the footage is also from Dick Rude’s excellent documentary on Joe, called Let’s Rock Again. Also worth watching.
Manager Bernie Rhodes comes off badly. He hated Mick Jones and Topper Headon and set about working Joe and Paul against Mick after Topper got the boot.
I started watching the extras on the dvd, Mick Jones getting fucked up as he tells the story of the Clash over a few hours. Really a spliff too far. I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I started to look like Mick Jones so I wound up asleep in my air conditioned bedroom by 11:15.
Didn’t sleep too well. Pillows went bad. Sometimes they just get uncomfortable. Since I was off yesterday I bought the papers instead of reading them online and saw a sale at the Newport Mall on pillows. That was my plan for the day. Make it to the mall. I walked by Mr. L, my barber and at 8:30 there were guys waiting for a haircut.
Not being one to wait, I got some bagels and the papers and came home for breakfast. An hour later I was out on the street, more guys getting haircuts. It’s so hot out that a lot of guys are getting shorn today. So I headed to the train station, walking in the shade and hopped on the light rail to the Newport Mall.
I was there before most of the stores were open. Bought some pillows on sale, bought some nice Airwalk sandals at Payless for $15.00, and microfiber underwear marked for clearance at Macy’s. I can’t wear cotton underwear anymore. I find it uncomfortable, and microfiber is more comfortable but seems hard to find. I found it though.
Made it back to the light rail, back to Hoboken where it was still too busy to get a haircut. Came home, had a bagel and decided to take a nap with the new pillows. It was a much needed nap. Had a dream that my brother Brian was calling me to tell me he had some really good acid.
I slept for 2 hours, air conditioned and happy. It felt like the nap made up for the uneasy sleep of the night before. I finally felt on track. Went out to try to get a haircut again, but still, no luck. Bought groceries and talked to Annemarie while I shopped in the air conditioned supermarket.
Mr. L’s closes at 5:00 on Saturday so I went down at 4:45. My barber, Tony was finishing up for the day. The other barber told me that I was next in line 3 times. This time I was staying. Just as well since I was Tony’s last customer. I told him to cut it all off. He knew better than to listen to me. I just got a nice close cropped haircut. Not a crew cut, more like a suedehead, and it feels great.