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February 20, 2003 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2003-02-20

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12B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magzlne - Thursday, February 20, 2003

Cleveland calling the Clash

. By Joel M.Hoard
Daily Music Editor

The year of 1977 was a watershed in
popular music, when pale-faced, leather-
clad punks from New York and London
laid rock-n-roll proper to rest. Elvis

Presley passed
away in August of
that year but drew
little sympathy
from the new
guard. In their
aptly-named song
"1977," the Clash
declared "No

Rock and
Roll Hall of
Part 2 of 4

Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones,"
and Elvis Costello, punk's answer to
Buddy Holly, furtively declared "Elvis is
King" on the cover of his debut record.
Twenty-five years later, it's happening
all over again. But this time it's happen-
ing in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,
now that the punksters can be induction.
The Hall has long been a rest home
for the aging elite - the fogies, the
dinosaurs, the oldfangled - a memorial
remembering rock's good old days, a
clubhouse where the Paul McCartneys,
Neil Youngs and Brian Wilsons can get
together and reminisce.
All of that changes with the induction
of the Clash next month, when the Hall
welcomes a band that's still relevant,
still vital, still cool.
Color & Design G
Your hO

This past November, when Mick
Jones joined Joe Strummer (the same
Joe Strummer who kicked him out of
the Clash in 1983) onstage for the first
time in nearly 20 years, a Clash reunion
at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony
was almost certain. Unfortunately, all
hopes of the band reuniting for the
induction ceremony were dashed when
Strummer died of a heart attack
(depressingly unpunk) last December.
The Clash entered a music scene
dominated by corporate rock with its
self-titled debut, which showed the band
at its punkest, full of primal rage and
fiery passion that would characterize all
of its work. And 1979's London Calling,
the Clash's magnum opus, combines
that same punk charisma with a varied
musical style that incorporated reggae,
rockabilly, lounge music and R&B.
The band's second
LP, 1978's Give 'Em
Enough Rope, which
fell between The
Clash and London.
Calling remains the
band's oft-over-
looked gem. Some
felt it was overproduced, others though
it strayed too far from punk's roots.
But the truth is, it ranks among punk's
finest achievements.
When it was announced that the
Clash would be working with Ameri-

can heavy metal producer Sandy Pearl-
man, best known for his work with
Blue Oyster Cult, on Give 'Em Enough
Rope, many hardcore punks shunned
the band, thinking that their beloved
leaders had gone soft.
Pearlman provided the Clash with a
cleaner sound while preserving their
trademark intensity. In retrospect, Pearl-
man was perhaps the perfect choice for
the band, as he took their sound to a new
and different level, one that featured the
fat guitar riffs of American metal without
compromising the Clash's punk appeal.
And while the album had a consid-
erably cleaner sound than the band's
first effort, the Clash had by no means
gone soft. Any worries were laid to rest
within the first few seconds of Give
'Em Enough Rope during the anthemic
"Safe European Home." From the
opening rimshot to
the massive guitar
riffs, it rocks with
enough energy and
fierce passion to
silence even the
most stubborn
But if the band's future was still in
doubt for some punk purists, any
remaining fears should have been
allayed with "All the Young Punks (New
Boots and Contracts)," the autobio-
graphical album closer and the Clash's
most personal anthem. On it, Strummer
exclaims, "All the young punks / Laugh
your life / 'Cause there ain't much to cry

for / All you young cunts / Live it now /
'Cause there ain't much to die for."
The band's lyrics took a step forward
on Give 'Em Enough Rope, showing
that they could pull off a good-humored
tune just as easily as a fiery rant. "Guns
on the Roof," while it may seem like a
tirade on government and warfare, actu-
ally tells the story of bassist Paul
Simonon and drummer Topper Headon's
arrest for shooting pigeons with an air
rifle on the roof of a London building.
Throughout the album, the Clash
members showed they had advanced
musically as they toyed with a variety of
styles, playfully teasing reggae and rock-
abilly and hinting at what was to come
on London Calling.
For Clash fans the world over, Joe
Strummer's death mere months before
the band were to be inducted into the
Hall of Fame is the ultimate bummer.
The long-awaited reunion that appeared
to be right around the corner won't be
happening next month or any other
month for that matter. I suppose seeing
Mick, Paul and Topper playing together
would be a bit of a consolation, but it
just isn't the same without Joe.

Continued from Page 913
"I would be concerned about how
women felt after eating a large
amount of food," Brzenchek said.
At the table next to Tunkel, the four
girls concede defeat and shed an Al
Gore-style light on it.
"We sit here and look at it and are
depressed," one of the girls says. "We
all wore sweat pants."
"I'm gonna explode," says another.
Some people employ any manner of
ritual to help them finish the pizza.
"These two guys went outside and
smoked marijuana," Cincinnato says.
"They couldn't eat a single slice."
He says contestants who stop at
the bar before eating rarely finish
and that most teams don't come
back for pizza for at least a couple
weeks after a contest.
The question of whether the contest
might send unhealthy messages does-
n't seem to have come up at the
restaurant. For Cincinnato, who pro-
vides free meals for the homeless and
has even bought them clothes, it is
more like an extended expression of
generosity and camaraderie.
Cinncinato admits he makes little
money from the contests because
most of the spectators who come to
watch don't actually buy any pizza.
"But we're going to keep doing it,"
he says.
That keeps options open for
Tunkel's rematch with the pizza.
As she slowly puts on her coat, she
smiles at her boyfriend's final quip.
"You want to do it again?" he asks.
Bella Napoli Pizza is located at 615
E. University Ave. and is open from
11 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily.
Vietnam/Iraq Comparisons
Ho Chi Minh was called Uncle
Ho by the Vietnam War pro-
testors. Like Saddam Hus-
sein though, Ho Chi Minh was
brutal. Go to:
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors

Jn up

and Nails

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