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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Midnight To Six Man



For the first time from Jamaica
Dillinger and Leroy Smart
Delroy Wilson, your cool operator
Ken Boothe, for UK pop parade
With backing band sound system
If they've got anything to say
There's many black ears here to listen

Joe Strummer's attendance at a reggae all nighter at Hammersmith Palais led to a set of lyrics for possibly their finest 45. It opens with the line up from the poster above and ends with his disappointment at the pop music on stage, the lack of roots rock and being threatened while hustling for drugs. In between it's got some of the finest lyrics he ever wrote- white youth and black youth needing a better solution, the new groups in their Burton suits turning rebellion into money, Adolf Hitler, Robin Hood and the 'British army waiting out there,weighing 1500 tons'.

In 1988 I was given a C90 cassette containing a load of Motown songs, all of which were brilliant. You can probably imagine the tracklisting. Tucked away on side 2 was Ken Boothe's 1974 number one Everything I Own. I don't know why the tape-maker stuck it on,a lone reggae song among the Detroit hitmakers, but there it was, a delectable nugget of Lover's Rock.

3 comments:

Erik Bartlam said...

All the things I love and find irritating about Strummer and the The Clash are wrapped up in that song. It's brilliant work for sure.

There's no way I can reconcile the lovely ken booth tune with Mowtown. Ha. Excellent

The Swede said...

I saw The Clash perform 'White Man' many times, most memorably during a concert at the Hammersmith Palais itself, on the 16 Tons Tour in 1980. 34 years ago, blimey.

C said...

Delectable nugget indeed.