Sunday, April 3, 2016

40 Year Itch : Joe Strummer's Lightening Bolt

That's Joe Strummer on the right

The 101ers : Keys to Your Heart

   On April 3, 1976 the Sex Pistols opened for Joe Strummer's pub rock / rockabilly/ R and B band, the 101ers, at the Nashville. Within five seconds of hearing the punk rockers' opening set, Strummer saw the light: "As soon as I saw them , I knew that rhythm and blues was dead and that the future was here," Strummer told rock journalist Caroline Coon later in 1976. "But hearing the Pistols, I knew. I just knew. It was something you knew without bothering to think about it. Punk Rock is the music of the now."

    Just three months later, Strummer, Mick Jones, Bassist Paul Simonon, drummer Terry Chimes and a third guitarist , future Public Image Ltd's Keith Levene, played their first gig, supporting the Sex Pistols at the Black Swan Pub in Sheffield on July 4. They called themselves The Clash.

     The band's early playlists included the Strummer-penned 101er single "Keys to Your Heart", "London's Burning", "White Riot", "Career Opportunities", "1977" and "I'm So Bored of You" ( later rewritten as "I'm So Bored of the USA").

     Also at the gig that April evening was future Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan who would later say of the Sex Pistols "They were the best rock'n'roll band of all time . I just couldn't believe it. This was the band I'd been waiting for."

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