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When Allen met Joe

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From the Allen Ginsberg Project:

“I was listening to a lot of punk, and I’d heard about The Clash from Steven Taylor. I went backstage once at their 17-night gig at Bonds Club on Times Square and Joe Strummer said, ‘We’ve had somebody say a few words about Nicaragua and (El) Salvador and Central America, but the kids are throwing eggs and tomatoes at ‘im. Would you like to try?’ I said, ‘I don’t know about making a speech, but I’ve got a punk song about that.’ Simple chords, we rehearsed it five minutes and got it together.. They led me onstage at the beginning of their second set, and we launched right into the guitar clang. It’s punk in ethos and rhythmic style for abrupt pogo-dancing, jumping up and down, but elegant in the sense of having specific political details. First stanza drags a little, but there’s one point where we all get together for two verses, an anthem-like punk song. Only one tape exists taken off the board. They gave me a copy and it’s been sitting around all these years like a little toy.”

The collaboration appeared on Ginsberg’s Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems & Songs 1949-1993, and Ginsberg performed on Combat Rock‘s ‘Ghetto Defendant’.

First posted: Monday, September 19th, 2011.

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