The Clash – The Clash
Joe Strummer – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Mick Jones – lead guitar, vocals
Paul Simonon – bass guitar, backing vocals
Topper Headon – drums, percussion
1. Career Opportunities
2. White Riot
3. Janie Jones
4. London’s Burning
7. One, Two, I Got a Crush on You
8. Pressure Drop
9. The Prisoner
10. Capitol Radio
This particular album was a bootleg. I’m a little fuzzy about where I bought it. It was at one of two places, either the old Capitol Records Swap Meet in the Capitol Records parking lot in Hollywood, or Moby Disc in Sherman Oaks. Both places sold bootlegs for a while.
Anyway, this was the first thing I ever bought by the Clash, and it was as close to a perfect album as I could buy. One, Two, I Got a Crush on You is a damn near perfect track, and the only thing I didn’t care about was the interview segment tacked on at the end. Loved the album, love the band.
The cool thing about this was how cut-rate the packaging was. It was a big piece of cardboard folded in half, and the record was in a white wrapper fit in between the folded cardboard. Perfect.
I played the hell out of this album for many, many years until one day it (like a lot of my other albums) it was gone.
Rating: *** three out of three stars
The standout cuts are: One, Two, I Got a Crush on You, and Career Opportunities.
If you find it, give it a listen.
On to the story . . .
Some time back I wrote about how I ended up rapping with a couple of guys at a party.
Well, a few weeks after that party (and a few weeks after I said goodbye to rap connoisseur, Tiny, see previous article), I was invited to a barbeque at one of the guys in the rap group S.O.H., Todd. I was told it was their way of thanking me for writing the lyrics to their two songs, and bailing them out, and rapping with them at the party.
The place was packed. It was a who’s who of wannabe Valley gangsters. Todd had the grill packed with Carne asada, and other Mexican delights. And one by one I had people coming up to me, and asking either what “click I claimed,” or which “hood” I was from. Now, being a wise-ass I kept giving different answers. Since I lived in Reseda at the time, my answers were like this “Westside Reseda, I’m putting in work.” Or “Southside Reseda, recognize.” The responses were classic, “No shit, dog?” to “How long you been claiming Reseda?” And since I had moved to Reseda back when I was six-years-old, I would say over twenty years. Their responses were classic, “Hey, check it out, ese is a, O.G. veterano, twenty years in his hood!”
As I mentioned in the last piece the guy I got to write the music for the two songs I wrote for these guys was real paranoid about his music. If I took the tape out of his house, I had to guarantee not to let it out of my sight. And then promise to return it the next day. This was really no problem, as I am a pretty trustworthy guy. Well, here’s where things get weird.
After a few plates of the Mexican delights, I was ready to head home. Maybe, even try to figure out why I was being called an “ese.” Then it happened . . .
The music that I had tried so hard to protect was starting to bump over their oversized speakers. How the hell was this happening?
Well, I’ll tell you. A turn out the DJ at the party, a few weeks earlier, was friends with the two guys in the band, and as a favor to them he made a copy of the whole tape. This included two songs, not just the music for the one we “performed” at the party.
So, as I was getting up to leave the music kicks in, and I hear from one of the three microphones that were set-up next to the speakers, “Listen up everybody, we’re about the do our new song In Too Deep, written by our homie Big Mike. Big Mike where are you? Come on up here, and rock this with us.”
So, I get up, shaking my head, and walk towards the guys, and try to say “No, thanks.” They in unison break into the first chorus: “I’m in too deep, too many people losing sleep, what you sow is what you reap.”
Everybody was staring at me, probably wondering why I was standing there looking retarded, with the mike by my side. So, rather than debate it, I finished the song with them. Then as I was going to ream them for stealing the tape, I hear Scott announce “Let’s give Big Mike and hand. He’s going to help us rock our first track South of Heaven.” And just like the first time, in perfect unison, they hit the chorus,
“I spent too much time south of heaven,
never satisfied, with the way I was living.”
Then they nod to me, and I had not rehearsed this song with them. Jeff recorded the music, I wrote the lyrics, and gave it to them, and that was it. So, when it was my turn to rap . . . I had nothing. My saving grace was I had watched the movie Colors a few nights before on the midnight movie, so I improvised, or as it’s called “free-styled.”
“Blue and red.
on the streets, homies dying.”
For some strange reason my short line was a hit. I joined them on the two remaining choruses, and then we were done.
As I was making my way over to the PA system, to steal the tape back, I hear from behind me, “Hey Vato.” I turn around to see Tiny from the party. You’re getting good at this rap thing, Ese.” I thanked him. I didn’t want to spend any time explaining that I sucked, and never wanted to be a part of this. So, thank you, and I moved on.
Nabbed the tape, and bailed.
Two days later, I get a call from Todd. He tells me that he is going by the rap name “T-Dog” now, and that his friend Tiny is going to be doing a rap show. Apparently, Tiny is renting a hall, and wants S.O.H. to open the show with the two songs, In Too Deep, and South Of Heaven. I knew what this would mean. They would sucker me into performing again. So, I used a bit of a Jedi mind trick. So, I said to Todd, “So, now that Scott is working on his solo stuff who are you going to get to rap with you?” Todd says: “What?” I say: “Scott asked to write enough songs for him to record a demo.” Todd says: “Fuck Scott, T-Dog is going to put out a tape first. I got crazy rhymes.”
I called Scott, and told him the news. I said “I talked to Todd, and he said Fuck Scott, and he was putting out a solo tape.” And of course Scott responded: “No, fuck him. I’m already working on a tape. It’s going to be more rock.”
So that was it. S.O.H. was now dead. And Scott and Todd didn’t talk for about a year. And the best part . . . I never rapped again.
Sorry for blowing your show Tiny.
LIFE WON’T WAIT is out now, grab a copy today: https://www.createspace.com/4019318