Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Saturday, 11 March 2017

A Long Time Ago There Were Pirates



I found this image on the web the other night so it gives me a good excuse for a gratuitous Clash post and one of the most hair raising, adrenaline infused songs they recorded. The original Capital Radio was a freebie with the NME and the second hand price of it sky-rocketed. This appalled the band whose insistence on value for money and fans not being ripped off was a founding principal. So the song was re-recorded and included on the 1979 Cost Of Living ep, pound for pound one of the best value for money 7" records ever released (a four track ep led by I Fought The Law and supported by two of their best lesser known songs Groovy Times and Gates Of The West plus this one here).

Capital Radio starts with Mick playing a sweet acoustic finger picked riff. At twenty nine seconds Mick, off mic, shouts '1-2-3-4' and hits the main riff, a massive jolt of electric guitars. Joe joins in with a line about 'the Dr Goebbels show!' Topper's drumming is on the money. Joe and Mick alternate call and response style, railing against London's number one commercial radio station and it's refusal to play punk records and celebrating the pirate stations of the 60s- now silent 'cos they ain't got government license'. They make radio programming sound like the biggest injustice of modern times. At two minutes the band breaks it down and Joe comes in with 'hey guys, come on'. 'Yeah wot?' Mick responds, surly as you like. Joe then explores the possibility of The Clash being radio friendly and having a hit before they end with a brief breakout into You're The One That I Want, then at the top of the charts with Travolta and Newton John. Mick's strings squeal. Topper doubles the beat. More exciting and more fun than you can possibly imagine (as Obi Wan never said).

Capital Radio (Two)

While I'm here these pictures have been sitting in a folder waiting for a post so I may as well put them here or I'll end up doing a week of Clash posts.

Here's Joe and Mick in the USA, 1983, hanging by the pool- everything you need in late period Clash... Joe in Docs with mohawk and a busker's ukulele, Mick having raided the army surplus store.


Paul live in Paris, raising standards.


And lastly Topper and Paul, on tour c1979 somewhere far from the Westway.


7 comments:

The Swede said...

Brilliant stuff. A week of Clash posts you say? Sounds good to me.

George said...

Just played The Cramps cover. superb track, absolutely brilliant. Thanks

charity chic said...

As the Swede says a week of Clash posts would be most welcome

drew said...

Cool fucks, weren't they?

Anonymous said...

The coolest fucks.
Swiss Adam

Walter said...

Looking forward to the Clash-week. Great idea.

JC said...

Not forgetting the spoof ad that came at the end of Capital Radio (Two). A quite brilliant EP.