Saturday, July 25, 2015

Musical Isolationism...v.2...Safe European Home.


I really wanted that second Clash album.

And it turned out to be pretty good, I guess.

Especially if you dig the pre-Butch Vig bombast of Sandy Pearlman's production.

And the American critics sure as heckfire did.

Like it, I mean.

Which is just a meandering digressive way of telling you that 'Give 'Em Enough Rope' was not a game changer for me.

After all, I already had the green/real version of the first album and a whole lot more by that time.

But the thing I didn't know until pretty recently is that my copy of 'Rope' turned out to be a gateway to everything, both forwards and backwards, for my little brother who was four years my junior and in his middle teens at the time.

And it was he who became the real musician in the family with real bands and real tours and all that means.


Having said all that, I still get a kick out of the opening of the opener to the album, which is the shot-out-of-a-cannon drums/bass/guitar of 'Safe European home'. And then comes the classic, driving Strummer-dominant vocal that Pearlman apparently did his best to bury in the mix.

The thing is, when you listen to the isolated it's impossible to ignore, once again, just how important Jones was to the entire operation on every level...

And here's the entire thing, performed about 18 months after the fact, and a few months after the real masterpiece of the third double album was released, captured on To-Hell-With-Bloody-VHS-&-Beta Super 8 by some guy in the crowd...

Strummer talks about the how important he figured the ruthless driving of Johnny was...Here.
Volume 1 of 'Musical Isolationism' can be found...Here.



Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

I return to the Clash now and again. Like the way their records are all so different and so good on so many different levels. Are not many rock 'n' roll 45s better than White Riot/1977. Sure do appreciate them coming by Van a couple times. That first show on Granville was a firecracker.

What band(s) did (does) your brother play in?

Anonymous said...

US Festival, May 28, 1983
Glen Helen Regional Park,
San Bernardino, California

Leaving the bowl and walking back to the campground...
Scared shitless because 100 feet away were thousands of heavy metal wannabees screaming and calling us new age faggots.

Anonymous said...


The show on Granville that Mr Beer N Hockey refers to was at the Commodore, on a Tuesday; and the Clash were great!

God, we were lucky back then...the Commodore had a policy of introducing "unknown bands" on Tuesdays; a lot of them were from England, usually their first North American gigs. I saw pretty much every punk band from there that made it to North America (other than the Sex Pistols who decided to commit suicide touring the southern US).

Cost to get into the Commodore on those Tuesdays was #2.00

As Lou Reed said "Oh, those were different times"!

God I miss them!