The Clash, The Clash
CBS Records, April 8, 1977
Track Listing: 1. Janie Jones, 2. Remote Control, 3. I’m So Bored with the USA, 4. White Riot, 5. Hate and War, 6. What’s My Name?, 7. Deny, 8. London’s Burning, 9. Career Opportunities, 10. Cheat, 11. Protex Blue, 12. Police and Thieves, 13. 48 Hours, 14. Garageland
This is the only essay that matters. If you don’t want to read it, that’s your shit.
The siren goes off. It’s a public service announcement: Mick Jones slashing methodically through eight chords, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight. And just like that, the world is changed forever.
“And I wanna move the town to the clash city rockers
You need a little jump of electrical shockers
You better leave town if you only wanna knock us
Nothing stands the pressure of the clash city rockers”
-from “Clash City Rockers”
So begins the real deal, the only band that matters. Take cover. Spit it out, tear it up, work it out. Snarl, sweat—you gotta sweat or else what’s the point? Grab ’em by the balls. Whip it out and shove it down their throats. Make ’em choke on it, feel it deep inside.
“Are you taking over
Or are you taking orders”
-from “White Riot”
The punk rock DIY-our-band-could-be-your-life aesthetic is as liberating a revelation that you are ever apt to discover in this life: the realization that the only thing standing in your way is a shitpile of tired old excuses that are swallowing your fat ass up. Get up out of that bean bag chair, you sloth!
“You won’t succeed unless you try”
-from “Clash City Rockers”
Waiting for the phone to ring doesn’t get you any closer to answering it. There is really no need to answer it anyway. You know you can’t get rejected because you haven’t even written the story. You’d rather hide inside the what-ifs and unknowns—safety blankets that warm your cold hard insecurities. It is cozy here, playing host to your own private pity party. And that ass of yours is only getting bigger and wider. It’s getting embarrassing, really. You might consider investing in stretch pants.
“Career opportunities are the ones that never knock
Every job they offer you is to keep you out the dock
Career opportunity, the ones that never knock”
-from “Career Opportunities”
Truth is, you don’t need anyone. Not in this life. When you die, it’s all on you, baby. Sooner or later, you have no choice but to cut the crap and figure it out. Shit or get off the pot. Find a way. Need more clichés to kick start the engine? Well then, how about this: give it all you got and then give it some more. Why not? What the hell are you waiting for?
“We’re a garage band
We come from garageland”
You say you want it. Really? Then, try this on for size, fatty: do it! Do it! Do it already! It’s all there for the taking. And don’t just do it. Do it right, with precision. This isn’t three-chord-punk 101. Work harder than the next guy. Your pretty little face and golden voice mean jack here. You gotta make your fingers bleed, build calluses around your blistered psyche, shit on your port-a-potty fears, say what you mean and say it loud. Shout, damn you! Shout! I’m so bored with the U-S-A! Who snubs an entire continent on their first album anyway? What’s my naaaaame?! Naaaaame?! You mean, you don’t know? Haven’t you heard?
Ready or not, here I come.