The Clash FAQ by Gary J. Jucha

ClashFAQ

The Clash FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Clash City Rockers is one of the best books on the Clash, and I’ve read a lot of them. The book delineates the relationships within the band and with their manager, Bernard “Bernie” Rhodes, quite well. It also describes in detail the difficulties they ran into with their record company, Epic. I am a long-time Clash listener (I bought Give ‘Em Enough Rope the week it came out). So, I know their music quite well and am more interested in band dynamics. Nevertheless, the book alerted me to some of the Clash’s musical highlights that either I hadn’t noticed or had forgotten.

Hard-core Clash fans tend to be either “Joe guys” or “Mick guys”. I’m a Mick guy, so I was pleased that the author, Gary J. Jucha, throughout the book was fair to Mick. He was so perceptive of Mick’s personality that I was surprised to read halfway through that he was actually a “Joe” guy. At any rate, the band breakup is well-documented, as is everyone’s post-Clash career. After reading the sections on B.A.D., I want to go back and listen to all of their records again. I also want to hear Carbon/Silicon, who I didn’t listen to at the time.

This book isn’t a memoir, but the author does describe some of the Clash concerts he attended. These descriptions are quite exciting and, even, correct some historical inaccuracies that have been passed down through the years. Finally, Jucha points the reader to some concert recordings of The Clash, Round Two that show what Cut the Crap might have been.

I highly recommend this book to both new Clash fans and hard-core Clash fans.

The Clash FAQ by Gary J. Jucha

Squeeze at Minneapolis’s State Theater

3 September 2019

“A lot of people compared songwriters Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook to Lennon and McCartney, but they were much younger.”
—Bob Dylan

Not quite true anymore. Lennon and McCartney split up in their late twenties and will remain young forever crossing Abbey Road. That left Chris Difford, Glenn Tilbrook, and the rest of us still aging.

Difford and Tilbrook, both in their early sixties, have aged well, though, as have their songs. Difford looks like an eccentric, Oxbridge don, while Tilbrook looks like he could play an Inspector on a BBC crime series.

In preparation for this concert, I went to the Squeeze website to catch up. Unless you’re really dedicated, it’s hard to keep up with Squeeze. Squeeze break up, and Difford and Tilbrook make a duo album; Squeeze form again; Squeeze break up again; Difford and Tilbrook make solo albums; Squeeze band together yet again. (There are even variations on this, such as speaking tours and VH1 specials where it looks like there will be a reunion, but there isn’t.) I was surprised to see that Gilson Lavis, a former drummer, and Keith Wilkinson, a former bassist, were no longer in the band. They were favorites of mine.  Gilson Lavis was an original member of the band and Wilkinson, while not an original member, had been with the group for some time. The new musicians are Yolanda Charles, bassist; Simon Hanson, drummer; Steven Large, keyboardist; and Steve Smith, percussionist. It took two people to replace Gilson Lavis. It seems a long time ago now that Difford and Tilbrook first broke up Squeeze because they didn’t have the heart to fire Lavis who had been drinking a bit too much. (They rehired him later. I don’t know why he left the second time.)

The new rhythm section of Charles, Hanson, and Smith seem younger than Difford and Tilbrook. Maybe this is the secret to staying young. Get a new, young rhythm section every ten years or so. (Although the Clash tried something like this and it didn’t work so well.) At any rate, Squeeze was on fire tonight at the State Theater. It was a far cry from when I saw a solo Tilbrook in a small bar in San Francisco without an adequate sound system, which was beautiful in its own way since he ended up performing unmiked.

Squeeze tend to stick pretty closely to their original arrangements when they play live, which makes their live shows a bit hard to review. So I’ll end with some unrelated, stray observations.

Stray observations

  • Tilbrook tends to stretch out a bit in his guitar solos when playing live. He is probably the best hard rock, lead guitarist playing in a melodic, pure pop band.
  • On the last song performed, “Black Coffee in Bed,” Tilbrook started out playing the song solo on an acoustic guitar. He also had a singalong with the audience. Later the full band came in.
  • I guess I can probably forget my dream of seeing Jools Holland or Paul Carrack live in Squeeze. Stephen Large did a pretty good job of playing Jools’ wild solo on “Pulling Mussels from the Shell,” though.
  • Silent films were played on a backdrop behind the players. Because of my location, I couldn’t see them all that well, but they looked good. It was more fun watching the band members.
  • I can live without Keith Wilkinson (as much as I like his playing) if they keep Yolanda Charles on bass. Maybe she’s the fire under this reinvigorated version of Squeeze. Her and Simon Hanson at any rate. I loved the deep bass sound Charles used. From where I was sitting, it looked like she was playing a Fender, either a Precision or a Jazz.

Set List

Release years are given in parentheses.

  1. Footprints (1987)
  2. Big Beng (1985)
  3. Hourglass (1987)
  4. Pulling Mussels (From the Shell) (1980)
  5. Up the Junction (1979)
  6. King George Street (1985)
  7. Someone Else’s Heart (1981)
  8. Third Rail (1993)
  9. In Quintessence (1981)
  10. The Day I Get Home (1991)
  11. Please Be Upstanding (2017)
  12. Annie Get Your Gun (1982)
  13. Cradle to the Grave (2015)
  14. Cool for Cats (1979)
  15. Slap and Tickle (1979)
  16. Love’s Crashing Waves (1984)
  17. Tempted (1981)
  18. Another Nail in My Heart (1980)
  19. Goodbye Girl (1979)
  20. If I Didn’t Love You (1980)
  21. Take Me I’m Yours (1978)
  22. Is That Love (1981)
  23. Black Coffee in Bed (1982)
Squeeze at Minneapolis’s State Theater

First Beatle Cars

These were the first cars bought by the young Beatles although Ringo was still a Hurricane when he bought his.  Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were much more successful in 1959 and 1960 than the Beatles (or whatever they were calling themselves at that time).   Hence, Ringo had a “flash” car before John, Paul, or George did.

I haven’t necessarily found images of the exact year (although they’re close) or color.  I got my information from Mark Lewisohn’s All These Years: Tune In (Extended Special Edition).  Any mistakes are mine, not his.

Ringo

Standard Vanguard

ringo_1_Standard_Vanguard_Vignale_1959_2080cc
Standard Vanguard

Purchased in 1959.  See page 559 of Lewisohn.

Ford Zephyr Zodiac

ringo_2_280px-Ford_Zephyr_111_Zodiac_1956
Ford Zephyr Zodiac

Purchased in 1960.  See page 708 of Lewisohn.

Neil Aspinall/Mona Best

Ford van

I have no idea whether this is the right model, but it is the right make, Ford.

neil_1_Ford_Thames_Van_1961_F_Rick_Feibusch_2009
British Ford van

Purchased in 1961.  This wasn’t the Beatles’ first mode of transport.  See page 942 of Lewisohn.

George

Ford Anglia 105E Deluxe

george_1_anglia
Anglia

Purchased in 1962.  See page 1145 of Lewisohn.  See page 1145 of Lewisohn for information on the race of “Ford Anglia against Ford Zodiac, Beatle vs Hurricane.”

Paul

Ford Consul Classic

paul_1_FordConsulClassic
Ford Consul Classic

Purchased in 1962.  See page 1307 of Lewisohn.

John

Driving test

John passed his driving test and had cars, but was probably one of the worst drivers in the world.

john_driving_test
John passes the driving test.
First Beatle Cars

“Young Hunting”: Child Ballad 68

YoungHunting

Young Hunting

“Get down, get down, Love Henry,” she cried.
“And stay all night with me.
I have gold chains, and the finest I have
I’ll apply them all to thee.”

“I can’t get down and I shan’t get down,
Or stay all night with thee.
Some pretty little girl in Cornersville
I love far better than thee.”

He layed his head on a pillow of down.
Kisses she gave him three.
With a penny knife that she held in her hand
She murdered mortal he.

“Get well, get well, Love Henry, ” She cried,
“Get well, get well,” said she.
“Oh don’t you see my own heart’s blood
Come flowin’ down so free?”

She took him by his long yellow hair,
And also by his feet.
She plunged him into well water, where
It runs both cold and deep.

“Lie there, lie there, Love Henry,” she cried,
“Til the flesh rots off your bones.
Some pretty little girl in Cornersville
Will mourn for your return.”

“Hush up, hush up, my parrot,” she cried,
“And light on my right knee.
The doors to your cage shall be decked with gold
And hung on a willow tree.”

“I won’t fly down, I can’t fly down
And light on your right knee.
A girl who would murder her own true love
Would kill a little bird like me.”

See Mad Love, Murder & Mayhem, by Joshua Hampton, for more about this ballad.

“Young Hunting”: Child Ballad 68

“The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington”: Child Ballad 105

BailiffsDaughterIslington.jpg

From A Book of Old Ballads, designed by Alice Havers

The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington

There was a fair and fine young man and he was a squire’s son
He loved a Bailiff’s daughter dear She lived at Islington
But she was coy and never would on him her heart bestow
So they sent him down to London town because he loved her so
And she sang
Lu lie, Lu lie lo, and a Lu lie lay
Lu lie, Lu lie lo as he rode away

When seven long years had passed away she put on mean attire
And went straight down to London town about him to inquire
Well as she passed along the road through peril toil and pain
She rested on a distant place and her true love he came riding
And he sang
Lu lie, Lu lie lo, and a Lu lie lay
Lu lie, Lu lie lo as he rode away

Well kind young sir, tell unto me where did you learn that tune?
From a girl that I loved dear when I was a youth.
But, That was oh so long ago to think I loved in vain.
She died so many years ago. I never saw her again.
Then she sang
Lu lie, Lu lie lo, and a Lu lie lay
Lu lie, Lu lie lo as he rode away

Well she is not dead but alive dear man and standing by your side
She is not dead but alive dear man and ready to be thy bride
And they sang
Lu lie, Lu lie lo, and a Lu lie lay
Lu lie lu lie lo as they rode away.

Performed by Raymond Crooke.

“The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington”: Child Ballad 105

“The Elfin Knight”: Child Ballad 2

ChildBallads

The Elfin Knight

There stands three trumpeters on yon hill
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Blaw their trumpets sae loud and shrill
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Gin I’d his trumpet in my kist
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And were in the lad’s arms that I like best
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Gin ye would be wed wi’ me
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There’s ae thing ye maun dae for me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

I maun hae a fine linen sark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Without a stitch o’ needlewark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Ye maun wash it in yon draw-well
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Where water never sprang nor fell
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Ye maun drt’t on yon hawthorn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
That hasna seen blossom since man was born
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Gin I mak’a sark for thee
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
There’s ae thing ye maun tae me dae
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

My faither has an acre o’ land
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Ye maun ploo it wi’ your ae hand
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Ye maun sow it wantin’ corn
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And roll it wi’ a sheep’s shank-bone
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Ye maun shear it wi’ a scythe o’ leather
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bind it wi’ a peacock’s feather
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

Ye maun stook it in the sea
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
And bring the whaetsheaf dry tae me
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

And gin you wark noo all this wark
Blaw, blaw, blaw winds, blaw
Come to me and you’ll get your sark
And the wind blaws aye my plaid awa’

“The Elfin Knight”: Child Ballad 2