Redemption Song

Amongst the many good things that Santa brought this Christmas was the biography of Joe Strummer “Redemption Song” by Chris Salewicz.

Its an excellent read, and though Salewicz clearly admired and respected Strummer, he has steered away from an over sentimentalised tribute and produced an objective study that reveals much about one of the driving forces behind the music revolution of the late seventies. I have to admit to being a little bit biased as along with the Sex Pistols, Sham 69, and various other bands that seem to have slipped my memory, the Clash were rarely off my turntable in those heady days. (Until the Police came along!) To hear “White Riot”, or “London’s burning” takes me back to that awkward but anything is possible time of my youth. I have been re listening to their first two albums and the good news is that the younger BW’s like them. The bad news is that I expect cd’s to disappear shortly along with all the other good “old peoples” music that they like. Time to dust off the turntable maybe?

The only worrying thing is that as I read the book I realised that though I lived through the punk revolution in the late seventies, I was doing A’levels and went to Uni, I can barely remember any of it. Maybe its like the sixties. If you can remember it you were not there.

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