The mere mention of his name yesterday inspired me to adapt and update a post from January 2007 over at the old place.
The post-punk era in the late 70s and early 80s wasn’t all about jumping about down the front.
The man pictured above is John Cooper Clarke. He is a poet.
You listened to what JCC had to say. He was often a support act for many acts – let’s face it, all he needed was the bus/train fare and a microphone – and he had a fantastic stage presence that commanded attention.
Maybe it was the big hair; maybe it was the unmistakable Salford/Manchester accent; maybe it was because he had something meaningful to say, often in a very humourous way; maybe it was a combination of all of the above.
I saw him a few times in the 80s – most often at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the days when it was truly an underground sort of event rather than a vehicle for comics to come to town and make a fortune over a three-week period.
The mp3 offering might sound like a bit of a misogynist rant. But listen carefully and you’ll hear that it is a brilliantly worded attack on bigots who can’t bear to see mixed-race marriages.
mp3 : John Cooper Clarke : I Married A Monster From Outer Space
But what I consider to be his best piece of work was recorded with a backing band.
mp3 : John Cooper Clarke – Beasley Street
A poem written in 1980, and it’s a sad reflection on society and its inability to deal with inequalities that there is almost certainly a Beasley Street not too far from where you live – especially if you live in a major city.
JCC is still very much on the go today. The original posting in January 2007 was inspired by an interview with him in the then current edition of Mojo magazine – an interview conducted by Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys.
Here’s another one that I used to know off by heart back in the days:-
mp3 : John Cooper Clarke – Twat
You can read all his poems here.