Thursday, December 03, 2009

Joe Strummer: The Right Profile

The first time I heard Give 'Em Enough Rope was revelatory. I shot back to the placid surroundings of my wood-paneled, shag-carpeted living room and carefully placed the needle on the vinyl. As the opening caterwaul of "Safe European Home" kicked in, something physical hit me; my hands began to tremble, my face twisted into contortions of awe and pleasure.

It felt like someone had lit off a Molotov cocktail in every one of my pubescent adrenalin glands. Never had I heard, or felt anything like it before. By the time the venomous spark of "English Civil War" and "Tommy Gun" exploded into the room the foundation of my little anti-septic suburban world was collapsing before my eyes.

Joe's voice - rude and urgent, guts in every syllable, shredded through the speakers as though his life and mine depended on it. Like most cataclysmic events, it was frightening and took some time to sink in. After it did and I was able to make some sense of it all, nothing was ever the same. From that moment on, I knew I wouldn't wait for a green light from anyone; I had to decide for myself when to stay or when to go.

1 comment:

  1. I like this, and it was power and passion with conviction deep.