“1977” by The Clash


Just following punk’s mythic Year Zero, The
Clash chant “No Elvis, Beatles or The Rolling Stones,”
even if Mick once chased has namesake through London, even
though London Calling’s cover will invoke the Elvis
Presley album, even while the band’s revolving four-square
lineup echoes their illustrious predecessors’—just as
this song’s opening riff, critic Marcus Gray contends,
revisits The Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night.”
Subsequent years, moreover, portend a protracted
adolescence, from 1979 (“stayed in bed”), to 1981
(“toilet don’t work”), to the concluding throwaway
literary reference (“here come the police / in 1984”).
For Nietzsche, the Oedipus myth confirms that “where
prophetic…powers have broken the spell of present and
future,” some “unnatural abomination” must face “the
dissolution of nature in his own person.” So, for now, a
conflicted Clash focus on quick, snappy endings.

-Albert Transom

pic-atransomAlbert Transom has work forthcoming in the Lofi Poetry Series anthology devoted to The Clash’s London Calling album.

Questions, compliments, (hopefully not) complaints?

Contact Jackie Clark: jackie [at] coldfrontmag [dot] com.

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