(DISCLAIMER: this turned out to be a very long blog.. please, comment when you've read all of it. I'd like to dicuss it with you. Hmm, now I won't get any comments because I don't think anyone can be bothered to read all of this ^^ But if you do, thank you very muchos. Good Karma, baby. You'll be rewarded for it sooner or later.)
I'm seeing Paul this summer (August 17) performing with TGTBTQ! I'm looking forward to it very much (I thought about going to England or France or Switzerland to see him play, but now I don't really have to because he's coming to the Netherlands!) and I had an "I miss Joe" moment the other day, so I really want to write about the clash right now and share my clash-love ^^
I don't know if any of you ever go to their last.fm page, but I noticed that there's a bit of a discussion going on at the moment about Train in Vain (cf. the shoutbox).
Anywho, I'm writing this because I don't agree with the people who say that "clash fans" can't say thatTrain in Vain
is their favourite song. Okay, if Train in Vain is the ONLY clash song they know, and therefore they favourite, I get what you're saying. But that's not the case. This discussion is about people who know more clash-songs and who happen to like Train in Vain too.
So, anyway, what is "a clash fan"? There's just so many different people, you can't say when someone is a fan or not. I tried to think like other Clash fans, and I still found it to be quite difficult to figure out the favourite-song-of-a-clas-fan. You'll see why, I hope.
What's the favourite song of a clash fan, is it:
1. A very obscure track?
like Mark Me Absent
because only FANS of the clash know that song?
2. A B-side?
like Mustapha Dance
because that's the other half of Rock The Casbah and it's only available on Super Black Market Clash
, so a) you must be a clash fan if you own that album, and b) you must be a fan if you actually took the time and effort to listen to the other half of Rock the Casbah, because a REAL clash lover conciders the first half of it to be dreadful!
(I can hear some of you thinking: "The Clash sold out man! Rock the Casbah? That song is just way too popular! Fuck the Casbah if you ask me! A clash fan can't say that that Mustapha Dance is their favourite song, right?! Topper wrote that tune for fucks sake! A real clash fan only likes A Strummer/Jones song.. and well, okay.. Guns of Brixton is alright too, because Paul is a shy and hot cutie with a nice accent... and wow, reggae! Punk/reggae mix! And the song is on London Calling! A real clash fan LOVES london calling. Best record of the eighties.. yeah!")
3. A Clash MkII song ?
like We are the Clash
because only a clash fan would buy Cut the Crap
and say it's still a Clash album, even though half of the classical line up got sacked by then.. Clash-love till the end, mate!
4. A "Green Record" song ?
, like Career Opportunities
, because that's when they were PUNK! That's how they started! A real clash fan only likes their first album songs, that band is
punk after all, innit? Also, a real clash fan thinks of a cool album title for the first clash album.
5. A Give 'Em Enough Rope song ?
like Guns on the Roof
because that's one UNDERRATED album! Only a clash fan could appreciate the sheer beauty of it!
6. A Song with Mick-vocals?
because first of all, only a fan can say if it's Mick singing or Joe and second, liking a Mick-song must mean that you know the other bandmembers aswell, not just their "official" frontman, Joe Strummer. That's a real fan!
7. A London Calling song?
Not London Calling or Train in Vain, mind you, because they have had lots of airplay and everyone
knows them, and their other songs are more political
and about what goes on in the world
, you know. So a song like The Card Cheat
is probably a safe pick if you want people to know that you're a Clash fan!
(Clash fan #6 would probably like you too with that answer. But you'd probably have a row with Clash Fan #4 about who's more into the Clash!)
8. A "sell-out" song?
like Should I stay or Should I go, because only someone who's a Clash fan doesn't need to prove that by talking about unknown songs, and only a clash fan can proudly say: "My favourite song is SISOSIG.* This song's the reason that other people bought their albums and listened to their revolutionary music! I'm really happy for them that they finally got the fame they deserved."
(* A clash fan will never say "should I stay or should I go", it's just too long. SISOSIG will do.. and only other real clash fans will know what you're talking about!) My opinion
I hope you guys understand my point. I know my writing is a bit confusing, and don't take everything too serious/literally. I just think that there's no way that a favourite track can tell whether you're a clash fan or not. There is NO clash fan, there are different kinds of fans. Who know, you might not be a real clash fan to some people, even though YOU think that you're the most greatest fan of all.
Anywho. I actually LIKE train in vain a lot. It's not my favourite song, but it definitely is one of my favourites.
Fair enough, Train in Vain is a love song, but so what? The clash were about things that happen in the world, they wrote about what affected them. I think that love is a part of that too, don't you? They didn't do a lot of love songs ("too much songs have written about love already (..) The news is news, so it's not boring") why make such a fuss about it? It's not the end of the world to like a love song.
By the way, Fan #9 could say that being a clash fan means that a clash fan doesn't like ONE sort of song
and one sort only (their political/love/punk/backwards/jazz/honkytonk/etc. songs), but also the other songs they did.
Have you ever heard that drum intro? It's fantastic! I don't know how Tops does it, but it's brilliant! Have you ever heard how Mick's voice cracks when he goes: "lieieieieieieieiie" for the first time on, I think, one of the bootlegs? Have you ever watched the train in vain video and seen that Joe yells something at mick during the solo? Have you figured out what he's yelling? If you have, tell me, because I've watched that video a hundred time and I still don't know!
You see, train in vain isn't JUST a love song. It's like their other songs. The more you listen to it, the more you hear/see, you notice those little things that you hadn't noticed before. That's why I like this song! Not to mention that it's the song that cheers me up when I'm so disappointed in people ("You didn't stand by me, no not at all"), and don't forget: this GREAT song was written, rehearsed and recorded in one
day. Not many bands can do that.
I think a lot of people who in the clash shoutbox think I'm not a clash fan. So be it. For those of you who wonder what kind of fan I am: I think I'm Clash Fan 10.
10.almost all of their songs
, although they're too scared to listen to cut the crap because that was without Mick, and they just can't imagine the Clash without Mick. This fan talks to every kind of clash fan, just like The Clash did. Writes blogs about the Clash when she should actually be revising for geography. Buys books about the clash. Cried about Joe Strummers death. This person has figured out where Paul Simonon and Mick Jones live, but is too scared to send them a "thank you for everything" letter, because she doesn'T want them to think she's a stalker. But she should, because the Clash changed her life and they deserve a fucking thank you for that.
That's all I have to say for now ^^
bye bye x