On a rare day off on our recent U.S. tour, both The Zombies and the band supporting us, Et Tu Brucé had the honour of being given a fantastic V.I.P. tour of Cleveland's superb Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
We have actually visited before – as far as we can recall, though, not for eight years or so – but were absolutely stunned by the way the place has grown in that time, both in a physical sense and also the nature of what it has to offer. In actual fact, we stayed about three hours, and only managed to wander around about a third of it! It's an absolutely fascinating place, and one that now definitely demands to be visited several times – there's just too much to be packed in on one visit.
We started off by being given a kind and warm welcome by Greg Harris, who is, I believe, the head of the whole operation. Then we were shown around the vaults, to get glimpses of some of the stuff not presently available to be shown to the ...
The Clash possessed an indefinable chemistry that makes for a great band. Their explosive, uptempo punk-rock manifestos were unleashed with pure adrenaline and total conviction. Following the Sex Pistols’ dissolution in January 1978, the Clash became the central voice of the punk movement and remained at the forefront for five years. Their albums - The Clash (1977), Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978), London Calling (1979), Sandinista! (1980) and Combat Rock (1982) - captured the tumult of the times with unerring instinct and raw power.
Rhythm guitarist Joe Strummer – born John Mellor in Ankara, Turkey, on August 21, 1952 – wrote most of the words and lead guitarist Mick Jones contributed much of the music. Bassist Paul Simonon’s background in painting and sculpture helped shape the band’s aesthetic overview. Topper Headon was a journeyman drummer who found his niche powering the Clash. “As a mix of personalities,” noted writer Lenny Kaye, “the Clash was a perfect engine.” They ran hottest on a concert stage, where all their political zeal and undaunted idealism found expression in music erupted with an exhilarating forcefulness. Lester Bangs described the Clash in concert as “a desperation uncontrived, unstaged, a fury unleashed on the stage and writhing ...
The Jam rode to early popularity on the first wave of British punk. Yet the group, led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Paul Weller, consciously distanced itself from its safety-pinned compatriots and unashamedly looked back to the Sixties for inspiration from the Who, 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees the Small Faces and vintage American soul music. At a time when notions of youth rebellion were much in vogue, "In The City" stands out as a desperate plea for understanding between the generations: In the city, there's a thousand things I want to say to you/But whenever I approach you, you make me look a fool/I wanna say, I wanna tell you/About the young ideas/But you turn them into fears. The song was the title track of the group's 1977 debut, a landmark punk recording that showcased the group's bravado and musicianship. Weller's gift for hooks, insightful lyrics, slashing Rickenbacker guitar riffs and the equally urgent playing of bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler propelled "In The City" to Number 40 in May 1977 and ignited the group's hot streak of 18 consecutive UK Top 40 hits.
The Smiths placed 10 singles in the U.K. Top 20 between 1983 and 1987, yet "How Soon Is Now?" was not among them. Only in the years following the group's breakup did this towering Morrissey-Johnny Marr composition become one of the group's best-loved and most familiar songs. Guitarist Marr kicks it off with shimmering Bo Diddley tremolo chords and builds layer upon layer of echoing six-string sound effects as Morrissey croons his defiance: You shut your mouth/How can you say/I go about things the wrong way/I am human and I need to be loved/Just like everybody else does. Sire Records president Seymour Stein called the nearly seven-minute-long song "the 'Stairway to Heaven' of the Eighties."