White Riot

CHALKIE_clash

The Clash

The Clash’s third album London Calling was voted the best album of the 80’s and the 8th best album of all time by Rolling Stone magazine.  It went platinum and sold over 5 million copies.  The music was no longer Punk Rock, they were now a mainstream rock band and had commercial appeal.  Despite this their attitude never changed.  Joe Strummer (RIP) will forever be an iconic figure and he never let success go to his head.  For me it never got better than the debut album, loud aggressive guitar and angry vocals shouting out about what was wrong in society and the UK in particular.  If you want to get a feel for the times and the Winter of Discontent then just turn up ‘London’s Burning’, Career Opportunities”, White Riot’ & ‘I’m So Bored With the USA’.  You’ll feel it, if you don’t you are in a coma.

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Like most Punk bands The Clash sort of lost the plot as Punk dissipated into New Wave.  Suddenly it just didn’t make sense anymore to be bitching about the dole and unemployment when you had albums selling 5 million copies and could fill up stadiums.  The Clash tore themselves apart mainly because Joe Strummer never lost his man of the people attitude and still used to carry his personal stuff around in two brown paper bags where as  Mick Jones was becoming like the rock stars that Punk originally rallied against.  He was dressing like the Stones, hanging out with celebs & dabbling in hop hop / DJ type shit.  Joe and Paul were not seeing eye to eye with Mick and as is often the case the centre couldn’t hold.  After London Calling they lost relevance as far as I was concerned but I have always got those first 3 stunning albums to fall back on.   On this clip I am not sure who the prick in the stripy shirt is but you can just feel the energy pouring off Joe Strummer

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James Daubeney
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Undefeated

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Little Steven

I may have fucked this up, when I found this video I was a bit taken aback to see the dude with the white Mohican playing guitar.  I was looking for the original video I saw in the mid 80’s where as I describe in my book how Clarence Clemens was riding around on  chopper with a white Mohican.  I couldn’t find it and now it looks like it was never Clarence in the first place.  Oh well that’s why we have this web site so people can fill in the blanks.

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Little Steven is just brilliant, he is probably more famous for playing Tony Soprano’s Lieutenant in The Soprano’s than for being The Bosses wingman.  If you watch the Making of Born to Run you will see just how important he has been to everything Bruce has ever done.  Bruce will say that Steve just calls it like it is and that is what you need. 

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James Daubeney
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Turn Up the Radio

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Autograph

I got into this band while I was in Hornet, it was one of those songs that we were all trying to subliminally replicate.  Songs like this were suddenly all over the US charts and guitar solo’s were king.

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The budgets for the video’s steadily got bigger and bigger, it was getting to a point where record companies were paying out a fortune to all sorts of directors and film makers in an effort to compete.  Video’s were costing more to make than their albums but without them you wouldn’t get on MTV and without getting on MTV you weren’t gonna be seen. 

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James Daubeney
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Helpless

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Neil Young

Neil Young is a legend for me.  There are many who can’t stand him but I find him one of the most amazing artists ever.

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I’ll probably change this clip quite often because there is just so much of Neil to see.  This particular clip is taken from The Last Waltz which is The Bands farewell show.  Pretty much anyone who was anyone at the time gets a bit of stage time but some special magic happens when Neil walks on and just this 3 chord masterpiece called Helpless. In The Story of Rock and Roll I discuss the power of one man and a guitar and this is a very good example of what I am talking about. You could learn these chords in an afternoon but you’d never perform the song like this.

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James Daubeney
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Rat Trap

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The Boomtown Rats

I have already discussed The Boomtown Rats so I’ll keep this short.  Rat Trap is a fantastic song which I had missed and found it by accident when I was given a tape with no information on it at High School.  One side had the Ramones and the other side had A Tonic For the Troop.

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This is a live clip so you miss out on how well the studio album is put together, I’d advise that you listen to it if you like the Rats.  The funny thing on this video is how Bob Geldof looks like Jerry Seinfeld crossed with Mick Jagger.

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James Daubeney
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Going underground

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The Jam

Although classic songs like ‘Eton Rifles’ and ‘Going Underground’ are probably better examples of the Jam in full cry, ‘That’s Entertainment’ was the first track I actually heard.  Once again it was on Pop Shop, or Fast Forward as it became, that I first saw them.  I fell in love with the band but more importantly Paul Wellers lyrics.  He had a way of really getting the message across and he just got better and better at it.

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The Jam wore suits not safety pins and they were often referred to as Mods because of their look. In the same way as The Stranglers they became part of the Punk scene by virtue of the time they appeared and the attitude they displayed rather than the actual music they played.  None of what I refer to in the Story of Rock and Roll as the Big 4 survived more than 3 or 4 really good albums.  As Punk gave way to New Wave the Jam adapted to the changes and released some fairly commercial albums typified by the smash hit ‘A Town Like Malice’.  By December 1982 it was all over for The Jam, Paul Weller formed The Style Council and that was it for me.  I can’t find the video I originally saw for ‘That’s Entertainment’ which featured really miserable England, council flats and awful weather.  I remember it being hopelessly depressing in an uplifting way,  This clip of ‘Going Underground’ sums it all up for me, the world needs Punk again \m/

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James Daubeney
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You Got Lucky

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Tom Petty

Tom Petty had been around for a long time, His breakthrough album Damn the Torpedoes was released in 1979 and he was a great favourite at high school.  Tom Petty was one of the artists who really made some great video’s and the MTV explosion really benefitted him greatly.

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One of the reasons Tom Petty has had such a long career is that he is such a great songwriter.  Tom has been able to go from full blown AOR records to more mellow bordering on country / folk albums like Southern Accents.  He has had massive hits and then he just seems to throw it all away and refuse to be a pawn in the record companies game. 

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James Daubeney
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Free Bird

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Lynryd Skynyrd

Skynyrd were really a 70’s band and the matrics at school were listening to them when I first went to Potch.  It was only after I finished school that I could actually afford to get some of these albums.  Len and I used to sit in his pub and have a whole lot of toots mixing in all the brand new 80’s stuff like Quiet Riot, Q5, Night Ranger and Autograph with timeless bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey and ZZ Top.

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Skynyrd is timeless and they are the best example of Southern Rock that you will find.  In today’s great resurgence of Southern Rock they all acknowledge the debt that the world owes this band.  This video is just so good, check out Gary Rossington’s slide guitar on this, it just doesn’t get better. 

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James Daubeney
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Sunday Papers

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Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson was a real oddity at the time, he was a classically trained musician who won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music.  His true love was jazz and classical so to suddenly become a pop star was strange.  Joe said that his album Look Sharp ”positively reeks of London 1978 -1979.”  I guess that is really what it was all about, a guy who just made some incredible songs at a time when people wanted to hear them.

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I never really saw any of the Joe Jackson video’s at the time so this live clip of ‘Sunday Papers’ is great to see.  He was only 23 when he released Look Sharp but as this clip shows he had something about him when he was on stage. 

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James Daubeney
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Suspect Device

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Stiff Little Fingers

”When I heard Inflammable Material my brain once again exploded.  This album was twice as fast and twice as aggressive as any other punk album and Jake Burn’s voice was like a hot glass – he didn’t sing he shouted, and when he shouted he shouted about how pissed off he was about everything around him.”  The Story of Rock and Roll – James Daubeney

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Stiff Little Fingers to my mind epitomised what Punk was really all about.  I reckon that the fact they are still touring today shows that they firmly believe in what they are doing.  With SLF it was never a fashion statement or just an escape from the factory floor, it went to the core of everything they are.  There was a fantastic article in one of the Rock Magazines just after they released their 2015 album No Going Back.  The journalist who slated them in a review got a call from lead vocalist Jake Burns.  The journo says he shat himself when Jake and asked him to meet him down at a nearby pub to discuss the review.  Given Jakes’ reputation as a hard man the guy was expecting the worst.  When he walked in Jake bought them both a pint and then said something along the lines of “So tell me what you don’t like about this album”.  According to the journalist they had a long discussion with Jake explaining things and answering questions and by the end of the evening the journo just couldn’t help raving about what a rock solid regular guy Jake Burns is.  That story pretty much summarises what Stiff Little fingers are about, no bullshit, tell it like it is and bring everyone along with you.  And after the Paris terror attacks in 2015 who was the first band to play again in Paris….yep, Stiff Little Fingers,

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James Daubeney
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Gimme All Your Lovin

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ZZ Top

ZZ Top are probably the least likely band to suddenly become international superstars after being around since 1969 and not really getting anywhere.  While most bands were pretty much broken up or in the twilight of their careers the ”Little Ol’ Band from Texas” suddenly blew up like a supernova and sold 10 million copies of their album Eliminator.

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This is the classic video that pretty much everyone growing up in the 80’s saw first.  It had it all: hot chicks, Hot Rods and these 3 strange looking dudes.  Eliminator was a fantastic album and ‘Gimme All Your Lovin’ ‘ was a huge part of why it sold so well.  Once the ZZ guys cottoned onto this formula they rode it for all it was worth \m/

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James Daubeney
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I Wonder

rodriques

Rodriguez

There isn’t any good old footage of Rodriguez in his hey day that I could find.  The reason is pretty simple as I explain in the book, he never had a hey day because he never even knew he was a star.  Thankfully due to the efforts of Stephen Segerman he was rediscovered and not lost to the world.

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The whole Rodriguez thing is so strange.  Everybody knew him in the 70’s we thought he was an international superstar who had died of a heroin overdose.  The truth was very different and it was only in SA and Aussie that people even knew of the oke.  There are no decent video clips of him in the day and I don’t like looking at him all burnt out and old so just chill and listen to the song.  If you don’t have Cold Fact in your record collection you are really slipping up.  The lyrics and the simplicity of the recordings make it one of the best albums ever released in my opinion.  Or if you will permit me to  bastardise an old rock ‘n’ roll quotation, ‘Its fun to take a trip, put Rodriguez in your brain’

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James Daubeney
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Sultans of Swing

Dire Straits

In The Story of Rock and Roll I talk about Dire Straits a lot and in Chapter 4 it’s all about what a good album Making Movies was.  I switched out the songs here because So much of what Dire Straits started out to be got lost in the 80’s in the MTV years.  They were a band that just became too big despite the fact that they never wanted to be.

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I first heard Dire Straits when my mother bought their eponymous debut album.  I am not sure how she heard of them but that album became a mainstay of future listening.  Dire straits were another band that just didn’t fit in, they came out of the Punk era as it was morphing into New wave but clearly they were a throwback to the old days when musicians could really play.  Mark Knopfler will always be one of my favourite guitarists and a good reason to throw myself off a cliff when I try and play his stuff. 

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James Daubeney
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‘Hurts So Good

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John Cougar

John Cougar never wanted to be called John Cougar he wanted to be called by his real name John Mellencamp.  The record company didn’t want to hear fuck all about John Mellencamp so he was marketed as John Cougar.  It didn’t take long to hit the big time and as soon as his American Fool album went to No1 on the Billboard 200 he could pretty much call himself what he liked.

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I recall a classic story I heard in an interview with John Mellencamp.  He reckoned that he is a very lazy guy and all he wanted to do was sit around all day and listen to records.  His dad was one of those ‘wearing a vest and clutching a bottle of moonshine’ type dudes and he told John he needed to get a job cause he wasn’t ever gonna make a living playing records.  John set out to prove him wrong and became a successful DJ, then the classic bit… John reckons I started playing guitar and singing cos DJ-ing was too difficult, too much work 🙂

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James Daubeney
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It Says Here

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Billy Bragg

Not a lot of people I know even really know about Billy Bragg, I discovered him in about 1984 and was immediately hooked on his Brewing Up album.  Billy sings his songs of love, socialism and revolution without any drums or bass, just his electric guitar and his voice.  Its gritty and angry and you can probably learn more about England in one Billy Bragg album than you can in a whole textbook.

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Billy Bragg wrote ‘A New England’ and Kirsty McColl made it a worldwide hit.  Probably because she was a lot prettier than Billy and sang it ‘nicely’ not in an angry, shouty, broad UK accent.  Kirsty McColl was killed in a bizarre speedboat accident where she was hit by some drug lord fooling around in a bay in South America where Kirsty and her family were on holiday.  You can’t make this shit up !.  There are a lot of vid clips of Billy doing ‘A New England’ but I prefer this old clip of a young Billy Bragg singing like he did when I first heard him in about 1982, amazing stuff \m/

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James Daubeney
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Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)

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Motley Crue

I discovered Motley Crue in 1983, The Story of Rock and Roll details that experience and the disappointment I felt when I finally put an imported copy of Shout At The Devil onto my turn table for the first time.  The band were totally overhyped but their contribution to the whole Hair Metal L.A. scene is immeasurable.

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This is one of my all time favourite video’s, the bit where the kid realises who he has just skated past is classic.  Vince’s entrance into the studio and the whole hanging out in L.A. thing is just so fucking cool.  Motley Crue personified the whole L.A. scene at the time and although the only album I find really impressive is Dr Feelgood it is so good that I will forgive them everything else. 

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James Daubeney
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I Wanna Be Somebody

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W.A.S.P.

W.A.S.P. were designed to shock, their whole image was such that it was going to cause controversy.  The buzz saw blades and the blood and songs Like ‘Animal (F__k Like a Beast)’ were certainly going to get a reaction from organisations from the PMRC.  I am not a big fan of the video’s but the music was fantastic.  The debut album W.A.S.P. was one of the heaviest albums I had heard at the time.

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Blackie Lawless had a huge influence on the scene at the time, he carried off that great tradition of charismatic bass guitarists who were also front men.  Guys like Gene Simmons, Lemmy, Geddy Lee, Phil Lynott and Tom Araya all managed to give their bands a distinctive vocal sound while holding up the bottom end of the band.  Blackie had one of the best metal voices around and the band were massively popular at the time.  They have gone off the rails a bit in recent times but to my mind nothing will undo the brilliant albums made in the late 80’s.

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James Daubeney
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The Ace of Spades

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Motorhead

Motorhead are and will always be an iconic band.  It’s all about Lemmy and that larger than life character that he was.  Lemmy knew everybody and they all knew him. In the hundreds of articles and stories I have read about him over the years it’s always the same, the guy was intelligent, straight talking, well mannered and possibly one of the greatest reprobates the world has ever seen all done in a totally unique one of a kind way.  I am sad he is gone but I am happy that he lived probably one of the best lives one could possibly wish for.  Lemmy won, the dude beat the system RIP.

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This is the classic Motorhead song so even though I am talking about Iron Fist at this stage of the book the point is that when you talk Motorhead you have to talk Ace of Spades.  There is not much to say, let the original line-up do their work. 

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James Daubeney
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Fall of Rome

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James Reyne

I heard the video for ‘fall of Rome’ when I walked past the TV when Pop Shop which became Fast Forward was on .  I’d stopped watching because they were playing so much crap but when I heard the opening chords of this track it was a ”ain’t there one damn song that can make me break down and cry” moments.  If you really want to feel the brilliance take a listen to his track ‘Ain’t it Always the Way’ and soak up the 2 or 3 minute guitar solo on the track, a perfect example of a ”Big Chill”

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Out of Aussie James Reyne was great, not a lot of people knew him but I love this album and he was like one of my secret discoveries.  Looking at it now, about 25 or so years later he looks just like Shane fucking Warne, just as well we didn’t know of Shane in those days or I would never have bought it. 

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James Daubeney
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Rock You Like a Hurricane

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Scorpions

German metal is great, the Scorpions and Rammstein are sure to be the most successful bands the country has ever produced.  Scorpions managed what most metal bands strived for but only a handful succeed in doing i.e. becoming massive in the USA.  For UK or European bands the US is a vast untapped market that can take years of slog and hard work to break into.  The rise of hair metal and MTV in the 80’s gave the Scorpions the opportunity they needed and they grabbed it with both hands.

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Love at First Sting is a classic rock album, the Scorpions were rewarded for being good guys and allowing Klaus Meine their vocalist time to recover from his throat problems.  I reckon a good few other bands would have said sorry Klaus but we have a gap here and we have to take it.  The Scorpions were prepared to throw it all away and they stuck with their bandmate.  Klaus got better and the Scorpions went on to conquer the world. 

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James Daubeney
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