Flashback: The Clash Rock Against Racism in 1978

The Clash – White Riot Live (1978 Victoria Park London)

Taken from the film Rude Boy

 

In August 1976 a heavily intoxicated Eric Clapton blurted out some very unfortunate remarks onstage at the Birmingham Odeon in England. “England is overcrowded,” he said. “I think we should send them all back.” He went on to add that England was in danger of becoming a “black colony.” Around the same time, David Bowie caused an even greater uproar when he shared some surprising political beliefs. “I believe very strongly in fascism,” he told Playboy. “The only way we can speed up the sort of liberalism that’s hanging foul in the air. . .is a right-wing totally dictatorial tyranny. . .Rock stars are fascists, too. Adolf Hitler was one of the first rock stars.”

Blondie: Success And Sexism

Debbie-Harry-contact-sheet-by-Chris-Stein

AS BLONDIE, THE BAND turn 40 and, against all odds, prepare to release their 10th studio album, Ghosts Of Download, singer Debbie Harry relives the trial-by-chauvinism endured by the post-punk icon who made the mistake of being both female and attractive.

As the group first crawled from the New York Bowery’s punk scene at the end of the 1970s to beam their transcendental pop to millions, the reaction of their hometown peers was not universally supportive. In a burst of misogyny not atypical of the milieu, legendary New York-based rock scribe Lester Bangs wrote of Harry: “She may be there all high and mighty on TV, but everybody knows that underneath all that fashion plating she’s just a piece of meat like the rest of them.”

In an exclusive interview that graces the cover of the new MOJO magazine (street date: Tuesday, March 25), Harry relates how she was initially traumatised by the flak.

“Y’know, I have to say, I got smart,” she tells MOJO’s Tom Doyle. “After the first touring experience and the first real criticism we got, I actually hid under the covers for a couple of weeks. Then after that I just didn’t read it. It was too upsetting and I was too unused to it. It didn’t do me any good in performance because I would be on-stage and all of a sudden one of those lines would flash and completely destroy my focus and concentration and make me not enjoy it. It’s a matter of opinion. There’s no accounting for taste, so f**k ’em! Poor Lester was so confused. He was definitely part of the male conspiracy.”

In a sparky Q&A augmented by exclusive unseen photographs from the archive of Blondie songwriter and guitarist Chris Stein (see above), Harry reveals how she dealt with the group’s early-’80s crash, mixed reactions to her solo albums, and her much-mythologised “retirement” as she nursed boyfriend Stein through a debilitating immunity illness…

“All of that stuff has been totally misconstrued,” Harry bristles. “It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I set the record straight. It was a very difficult time. All I can say is that I did move on in the mid ’80s and I started doing a series of solo albums which Chris wrote on and helped me with. I did not give up my career. I had a lot of tours and I had some smaller hits. I really think that there’s some great material on those solo albums that I feel to a degree has been overlooked.”

Elsewhere she recalls being hit on by Iggy and Bowie and immortalised by Andy Warhol. Despite the knocks, she declares herself satisfied with Blondie’s place in musical history and a life “being blindly drawn like a moth to a flame.”

“I can make a long list of things I would do differently,” she tells MOJO, winningly. “But if I were actually thrown back there, I’d probably do it all the same.”

MOJO’s Blondie issue hits the shelves in the UK on Tuesday, March 25. Watch out for in-depth features on David Bowie’s 1974 transformation from glam icon to soul boulevardier, Jake Bugg’s irresistible rise and Al Kooper’s portfolio of pop prestidigitation. Damon Albarn, Terry Hall, Jeff Beck, Ben Watt, Pixies, Metronomy, Slint and Death Disco – a free 15-track CD of post-punk greats – also await.

Brian Eno – 1971-1977: The Man Who Fell to Earth

About the Film:

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“…wisely sidesteps the trappings of the Behind the Music-style music doc(s) and instead focuses on the music itself.” – Derek Smith, Tiny Mix Tapes

Brian Eno: musician, composer, producer, music theorist, singer and visual artist. Probably best known for his early work with Roxy Music, his production duties for U2 and Coldplay and as one of the principal innovators of ambient music. This first-ever documentary film about Eno explores his life, career and music between the years 1971 and 1977, the period that some view as his golden age. Featuring numerous exclusive interviews, contributions from a range of musicians, writers, collaborators and friends, plus performance and studio film and an abundance of the most exceptional music ever created.

About the film

It comes as something of a surprise that only now are we being offered a brian eno SIDVD00_sleeve.inddfeature-length documentary about one of the most influential musicians and producers of modern pop. The artist, whose full name is Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, is captured in this 2 1/2-hour chronicle during the Seventies, namely the era he “invented” ambient music, played with Roxy Music, was in contact with Nico and former members of The Velvet Underground, cultivated his androgynous image and produced David Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy. Thanks to archive footage and testimonies from a colourful array of people in the business, we’re not given the Eno legend, but instead a reconstruction of an electrifying era. Eno is fully active to this day, producing U2 and Coldplay among others, a part of his career not included in this film, however.

Colour, DIGIBETA
United Kingdom, 2011, 154 min
Section: 2012: A Musical Odyssey

Directed by: Ed Haynes
Editor: Ed Haynes
Production: Sexy Intellectual Records
Contakt: Pavel Klusák
Starring: Brian Eno, Roxy Music, Robert Fripp, Robert Christgau, Jon Hassell, Percy Jones, Hans Joachim Roedelius, Brian Turrington, David Sheppard a další /and others

BBC News – Mystery of the man who fell to earth

Published on Jun 12, 2013

In September 2012, a man in his twenties was found dead in Portman Avenue, a suburban street in west London. He had suffered horrendous injuries to his head and face, but had no identity papers on him – and no one had reported him missing. It soon became clear that the man must have fallen from a plane flying overhead on to the street below. Rob Walker has been following the police investigation into who he was and how he arrived on Portman Avenue. It is a story that spans two continents and eight countries.

Video journalist: Andy Brownstone
You can hear more about this story on the BBC World Service Assignment programme

Brandon Flowers Writes Track-By-Track To The Killers’ Greatest Hits Album

The Killers

The Killers

Exciting news for fans of The Killers! The Nevada rockers will release their first Greatest Hits compilation – titled ‘Direct Hits’ – on November 11. The 18-song compilation features two brand new songs – ‘Just Another Girl’, which sees the band reunite with longtime collaborator Stuart Price, and ‘Shot At The Night’, produced by M83’s Anthony Gonzalez. Legendary Killers frontman Brandon Flowers has penned us an exclusive, revealing track-by-track for the record delving into memories of the past:

Mr Brightside
“I remember being in the studio, recording the demo but still writing the lyrics. I was procrastinating, and that’s why the second verse is the same as the first one, but it just stuck. What strikes me about it is how powerful that song still is, and the second verse is still as powerful as the first one, every night. There’s just something about it. It’s a moment.”Somebody Told Me

“This song really brought out the band’s strengths at that time. I was 20, 21, and just trying to write about what I was doing and seeing in these indie nightclubs in Vegas. I was listening to Pulp and David Bowie, trying to channel all of that stuff. It’s one of Mark’s greatest moments on the bass, too. It’s a really great collaboration.”
Smile Like You Mean It

“It’s more melancholy, but it really translated to a lot of people. It was very personal to me, and that’s one of the things that’s amazing about music – we all bring our own meaning to songs. It was quite a sophisticated song for where we were at that time, I think.”

All These Things That I’ve Done

“When that one was cooking I was really into U2’s ‘All That You Can’t Leave Behind’. I thought that was an amazing comeback for them, and I was blown away by how many great songs were on that record. There’s an earnestness, spirit soul to U2, and I was trying to channel that. I wanted a song that stood up to those songs. We also took the bassline from a David Bowie song called ‘Slow Burn’, from ‘Heathen’, although enough time has probably passed now that I think he probably won’t sue us!”

When You Were Young
“We’ve been guilty of having a lot of chords in our songs, and there’s not anything necessarily wrong with that, but there’s something great about simplicity. ‘When You Were Young’ is just one progression which repeats, with a couple of small variations, but it was instantly powerful and once I heard it, I came up with the melody and the title within 20 minutes. It was one of those exciting moments that you read about, and I’ve been lucky enough to be part of it a few times. This was definitely one of them. Live, it took a huge load off my shoulders too – there was a lot of pressure on us when ‘Hot Fuss’ did so well, and that song was just a total relief! I knew that song had something about it, and I’m thankful for it every night. It kept the fire in us, it kept the ball rolling.

Read My Mind
I love ‘Read My Mind’. Every producer is different, but they’re all leaders. That’s why we enlisted Flood and Alan Moulder for ‘Sam’s Town’ – they were two guys who had a huge amount of experience and had worked on a lot of records that we loved, and this was where their experience and leadership came into play the most. We had a different song called ‘Little Angela’, but it just wasn’t ‘Read My Mind’. My melody was a little too much like ‘Mrs. Robinson’, the lyrics weren’t great, and Alan had the balls and the courage to tell me – he said ‘Let’s keep this template, and write a different song over it.’ So the song was born out of us jamming that old song, and it grew from there. When we play it live, you can tell it means a lot to people, and that’s definitely one of the songs that attracts people to the band.”

For Reasons Unknown
“We wrote it on the road, while we were touring with Louis XIV. It was written really quickly, and it’s got a real urgency about it because of that. We recorded it live, and I’m playing bass on it – that’s the only song on any Killers record where I play bass.”