Tonight I saw an interview with John Cooper Clarke on television. Once called “the punk poet”, his star rose in the late seventies and early eighties with energetic performances – reciting his poetry on stage almost like firing bullets at you. Dressed up all in black he would look like a skinny scarecrow. John Cooper Clarke often opened punk gigs, warming up the audience with a near unintelligible stream of witty texts. I very much liked JCC’s vinyl albums where his recitals were enhanced with a musical backing by the Invisible Girls (lead by Martin Hannet, the producer of Joy Division and many other bands to follow).
Those initial years of fame were followed by decades of silence, and the interview explains why – he “just did not care” anymore. Now, he is back, performing live… looking older and frailer because of a past heroin habit, but still the energy and wit is there!
Here is a youtube video of an old performance – “Health Fanatic”. I love it!
Unfortunately Youtube “beeps” away lots of the rougher text parts, otherwise I would have linked you to the superb “Twat”. Also recommendable is “Beasly Street” which in the 1980s was regarded by many as a sign of the time. It is a pamphlet against Margeret Thatcher – the Prime Minister whose politics caused massive unemployment in the UK at the time.
OK let’s add it anyway. This one backed by the band.
I hope you will have a good time John. Rattle those sticks a bit.