How are you? “We ain’t got no baseball, no baseball tonight. We ain’t got no football, they’re on strike. What we have got for you is a bit of what’s happening in London at the moment. So will you welcome, all the way from Ladbroke Grove, London W10, The Clash!”
That was, obviously, The Clash. Their song, Police and Thieves, Live at Shea Stadium. The first piece of text is the intro to the concert which is spoken by Kosmo Vinyl. I love it, an even better introduction than that which KISS always have; “You wanted the best, you got the best, the hottest band in the world, KISS!”.
I was really a very casual Clash fan until I heard that live album sometime last year. Superb, so much better live.
There have been songs written about the Police for a very long time. I’ll just play you a couple this week.
Back in my uni days I wrote and produced a radio documentary for an assignment. It was about music, geography, fear and America. This song made an appearance:
Public Enemy – 911’s A Joke: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ-ldcnhsLY
I tried to meet Flavour Flav and Chuck D from Public Enemy in Brisbane years ago but crowds of young white boys pretending to be gangsters kept me at bay.
This next track is a plea to a policeman and the sound of someone hoping for a little good luck. Written by a guy who is a great storyteller. You can track down a great version by Steve Earle but this is the original. The story goes that Bruce recorded the whole album on a four track in a hotel room.
Bruce Springsteen - State Trooper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rA5XxF0Zh38
Can I introduce something new here? Something off-topic? Well of course I can, it’s my blog! Julie Fowlis is a Scots singer from the Outer Hebrides. I heard about her yesterday and checked out some songs. She sings in Gaelic. Regardless of that, her voice is just great. I’ve chosen something from her today that is pretty accessible but if you like it then try some of the suggested links on YouTube.
Julie Fowlis – Blackbird (Beatles cover) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgTgledCjOI
Back to the Police, and songs about them. This is one of my absolute favourite songs of all time. It is tragic, funny, coarse, honest and thought provoking – at least to me. By the master himself.
Johnny Cash – Cocaine Blues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aq344ks1ieg