Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Riot Of My Own

The Clash : White Riot 

On March 27, 1977 The Clash;s  single, "White Riot", a tune inspired by a real riot from the Summer before, entered the UK charts at #46 .

 On August 30, 1976 The Notting Hill Carnival erupted in riots between mostly black youths and police. More than a hundred police officers wound up in the hospital . So did 60 carnival goers. About 66 arrests were made. 

The riot is believed to have been ignited when police tried to arrest a suspected pickpocket. Members of the crowd came to the suspect's aid, throwing rocks and other objects. As the police protected themselves, the youths marched up the street throwing rocks through windows and tipping over a police van. 

Among the witnesses were Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of  The Clash. When they wrote "White Riot" they included the lyrics

Black man gotta lotta problems 
But they don't mind throwing a brick 
White people go to school 
Where they teach you how to be thick  

The song was recorded as a demo for Polydor in late 1976 and appeared on the Clash's debut album.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - these last two posts show how momentous March 1977 was