100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

September 20, 1979 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1979-09-20

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

The Michigan Daily-Thursday, September 20, 1979-Page 5

THE CLASH TAKE COMPLETE CONTROL:

The Ann Arbor Film Cooperative Presents at Nat. Sci.
Thursday, September 20
STAGECOACH

$1.50

White men in Masonic

By R. J. SMITH
I spent the summer working nights
sweeping french fries from behind oil
vats in a suburban McDonalds, and one
night I called a typically Detroit hack
d.j. after he announced he was going to
play a song by The Clash in a few
moments. I wanted to ask this guy to
play something bsids "I Fought The
Law" - a great tune, but by far not
their best. So why did radio stations
always play, only this one, a song not
even written by anyone in the group,
when there are so many other Clash
songs around? "We have to break these
guys in gently to the Detroit market," it
was explained to me, "not everybody is
ready for The Clash."
Judging from The Clash's show in
Detroit Monday evening, Motown still
ain't ready for them. What happened
Monday evening occasionally went
beyond being what anybody could have
bargained for and moved over ner-
vously into the realm of a confron-
tation. And you had better believe that
if there is a confrontation between The
Clash and their audience, one of those
groups is better equipped to come out
heads-up from the fray, and it isn't the
audience..
Before igo any further, I just want
to say that if you are looking for any-
great think piece on The Clash or
eren an in-depth examination of
their show at Masonic, read
somewhere else, okay? I mean from
the moment the smart guys get ahold
of some group like The Clash, they
start to drain out all the fun and
discorerv. And eren the incredibly
powerful feelings 4You feel towards
something or someone can dissipate,
or at least get screwed up,.when you
begin to talk wildly about your
feelings. And let me tell you, I had a
great tim' at The Clash's show Mon.
day erening, and I learned a couple
of things that I think I'll be digesting
for a long time to come, and ap-
plying far beyond that. I plan to
hold onto these things.
SO, THERE WAS a lot of tension.
From the start, the audience didn't get
into the slower reggae tunes The Clash
were doing, and soon after the show
began, so did the boos. Halfway
through, when Joe Strummer in-
troduced "White Man in Hammersmith
Palais" as "White Man in Masonic
Temple" (an acknowledgement of the
crowd's hostility?), he delivered to the
audience his version of the Mason's
greeting, a thumbed nose. After a
while, when the audience booed, the
lights would go out and the group would
boo pack.
But what better way to hear The
Clash? If we lost out on the coiled fir-
mness of their reggae songs and
anything that didn't sound rave-up to
the crowd, it was in exchange for even
more anger and intensity from the band
than usual. We were steeped in an at-
mosphere of confrontation from the
moment we came into the auditorium
and were frisked from the waist down,
by the security cops. And when one is
listening to music that denies escape
and demands direct confrontation, a
confrontation between the.group and
the audience can be a healthy thing. If
not everybody in the audience knew
that, The Clash sure did.
THE CLASH have the most apocalyp-
tic sound in rock. Imagine the fire and
brimstone finality of reggae encased in
enough guitar-overload to level a city,
and yop have The Clash on record. On
stage everything is battered flat - the
rhythm changes, the dynamics, solos,
vocals - and almost washed away in
the torrent of intensity. With each song
you feel the music getting harder and
faster, and you find yourself pulled into
a world where fists rise up from
nowhere. Songs like "English Civil
War," "Janie Jones" and "What's My
Name" are fractured, like a brick

thrown through a store front, by
resonant-drumming only hinted at on
vinyl. Mick.Jones and Joe Strummer
know when to axe out solos and when to
pound out the chords, and they know
when they don't have to do either to get
across their rage. One of the most
miraculous parts of the performance
was when "English Civil War" was per-
formed with only one guitar - Jones'
acoustic - and yet telegraphed a
horrible feeling of special impezdancy

no number of electric guitars could
match.
I have no words to describe the way
some of those songs flashed by. "Safe
European Home" had little of the jum-
piness its beginning has on Give 'Em
Enough Rope, but a dozen times the
cyclotronic frenzy of the rest of it. When
they did "Capitol Radio" they canned
the hilarious ersatz disco ending, let-
ting guitars and vocals get across a
story of frustration and disappointment
with radio stations that on paper is
fairly incomprehensible to anybody not
British.
AT THE SHOW, as if we were in any
doubt by this time, they proved that if
we can't hear what they're saying, it's
because they want it that way. It should
have been clear after the issuing of The
Cost of Living e.p. that even with strong
production, we aren't going to be able to
hear at least half their words on a first
listening. But still it was a surprise to
hear the occasional between-song
comments (as often shouts at the
crowd as any sort of dialogue) sound
as garbled, say, as 90 per cent of
"What's My Name."
I know I'm keeping out of the
emotional sector, but, after thinking
about it for a while, I think I should
say a few things about The Clash in
general. A friend asked me after the
concert if it was the ultimate Brent in
my college career that I was hoping
it would be. Well, no, it wasn't. I
thought the show was great, perhaps
the best concert I hare erer seen,
and I learned stuff at The Clash's
show - and how often does that
happen at a rock concert (nerer.)?
But watching The Clash took an in-
credible amount of real work. There
was so little feeling of release, of the
annihilation of one's problems
through loud noises and larger-
than-life personas, that the whole
show must be marked down as, well,
difficult.
I once wrote that "the Ram ones
are the Beatles of the Aerenties."
Whether or not that's true, it's pretty
irrele rant, because that's exact l
what we don't need. We'll nerer
again hare any Elris, any Dylan,
any Beatles or Stones, take away the
real pain we feel by the music they
make. We hare seen what happens
when we try to let the music we like
run our lires; whether it's Wood-
stock-era empty-headedness or disco
boredom, the fact is nothing hap-
pens when music is anything like the
be-all and end-all. What we need is a
group for the eighties that will do the
most important thing music in this
age can possibly do - make us face
up to our problems erery waking
second. What we hare is The Clash,
and if that's all we erer hare, well,
that's far more than we could erer
hope for.
Facing up is so rery hard to do.
That's why listening to the music of
The Clash is such work. In their
words there ain't no Springsteen to
prance around onstage, because
unless you don't hare any problems
much more consequential than
passing French 101, he isn't going to
help. The Clash talk about class
struggle and ciril war and racial
conflict, all in terms of the fist fight
on the corner or the tussle in the
dark alley. It is the details of op-
pressions that haunt them. And The
Clash don't write songs about
romance (except for a single B-side,
which I am tempted to disarow),
because lore is so irrelerant to what
they are talking about. With so
many people singing about lore and
romance as the only reason for life,
The Clash come on almost like they
disarow totally its importance. And
that's not true: it's just that they
realize that no loer or friend is

going to make you feel safP walking
the streets at night, or get you a job,
or change the rarious oppressions
hanging orer your head. That other
stuff - the Springsteens, the Stones,
the Elris' (take your pick) - is all
fun, and there's a place for it. But
The Clash are a lot more.
This is all not to say that The Clash
are the only group interested in
something besides romance or
creating a larger-than-life> mythos.
Lots of groups hare been into con-
frontation in the past, and lots hare

wanted to tear down the barriers
between audience and the group.
But after hearing The Clash, you
can almost draw a line between
them and ererybody else.
OH YEAH, I should probably say how
A'TS
David Johanson and this punky British
group called the Undertones played
before The Clash came on. The Under-
tones were proficient and forgettable,
and Johanson was real good. His band
is very, very bad, but as long as they

Temple'
did Johanson songs they were more
than okay. They did a good amount of
stuff from In Style, and the prerequisite
"Personality Crisis." The trick, I think,
to enjoying Johanson's set was to not
think about how "all the peacemakers
turn war officers," and.to put away all
thoughts of the clanging of jail guitar
doors. It wasn't easy.
Least easy of all, though, were The
Clash. How often can one have dissent
and antagonism waved in one's face,
how often will one turn to confrontation
instead of to unreal rock "heroes" or
the panacea of guitar backwash? These
are questions we were asking ourselves
after seeing The Clash in Masonic
Temple. Just what answers we come up
with depend on the nature of all our
troubles, but, also, on the nature of our
strength to overcome them.

(John Ford, 1939) T only NAT SCI
Probably the purest Western ever and the film that showed how a popular
genre could become art. JOHN WAYNE as the Ringo Kid became a star with
this film. A stagecoach full of misfits inches its way across the desert
through Indian attacks and personal conflicts. A film of power and subtlety with
a view of society turned on its head-seeing the respectable as crooks and
hypocrites, and treating the outlaws and marginals as heroes. CLAIRE
TREVOR, THOMAS MITCHELL, JOHN CARRADINE, ANDY DEVINE. Classic.
RIO Grande
(John Ford, 1950) 9 only NAT SCI
Underseen and underrated, this is the final film of Ford's cavalry trilogy
(Fort Apache, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon). JOHN WAYNE plays a troop
commander with conflicting loyalties-the cavalry and his family. One of the
few movies to truthfully depict adult marriage. Cinematically, one of Ford
and Wayne's best. With MAUREEN O'HARA.
Tomorrow: Gene Wilder in SILVER STREAK at MLB.
for s5.9
0tponerOsa
Oct. 7
-r
Save $1.59 on two
Extra-Cut Rib Eye Dinners
Dinners include: Baked Potato... All-You-Can-Eat
Salad Bar... Warm Roll with Butter.
Unlimited Refills on Coffee, Tea and Soft Drinks.
NMI CUT OUT THIS COUPON 1E fl CUT OUT THIS COUPON /N*
*Save*1.59 Save*1.59
E ATWO EXTRA-CUT
RIB EYE DINNERS RIB EYE DINNERS
$5.99 (Reg. $3.79 each) * $5.99 (Reg. $3.79 each)
Beverage and dessert are not included." Beverage and dessert are not included
Limit one coupon per couple. Lnimit one coupon per couple.
Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be used Not redeemable for cash. Cannot be used
with other discounts. Void where prohibited. with other discounts. Void where prohibited.
Applicable taxes not included. At Participating Applicable taxes not included. At Participating
Steakhouses . m Steakhouses.
Offer good Offer good
* Sept. 21 "U 1Sept. 21
thru Oct 7, thru Oct. 7,
1979 1979+
I COUPON IE flANl*flUCOUPON
3345 East Washtenaw Ave.
(Across from Arborland *
Shopping Center)
On West Stadium BId.
(Just North of Intersection
of Stadium and Liberty)

These folks would be Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin, folksingers a pair. The
Ark will be the setting'place this weekend for two concerts by Ringer and
McCaslin, and Daily critics promise catchy tunes and stirring harmonies
when theduo get together. They call their latest album, "The Bramble and
The Rose,"with Ringer, we suppose, playing the part of the Bramble.
ENERGY.
We can't afford
to waste it.

A skinny young golfer named Joe
Was distressingly listless and low.
'til he ate at the League k
Where the menus intrigue;
And now he's a PGA pro."
L.L.
Theftchigan
Next to Hill Auditorium
Located in the heart of the campus.
it is the heart of the campus .

CAFETERIA HOURS;
11:30-1:15'
5:00-7:15
SNACK BAR
7:15-4:00
Send your League Limerick to:
Manager Michigan League
227 South Ingalls
You will receive 2 free dinner
tickets if your limerick is used in
one of our ads.

-

NOTICE
GEO ELECTION,

The GEO's Return to Bargaining Position
which appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 18
issue of The Michigan Daily was signed by
people who were GSA's during Winter Term
1979, not 1969.
The Daily regrets any misunderstanding that may
have been caused by this error.

L

1 I
1 I
Any Quiche Dinner, Crepe
1 ┬░Dinner or Shrimp Delight
1 Sandwich. I
_, 1
1 Great idea for half-time - pick I
1 up one of our giant club sand- I
1 wiches to take to the game! I
1 Everything available for 1
1 take out. I
I I

TODAY
CTA DUIhII ADTICTC CAI I

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan