June 05, 2004

Police on Their Backs

I suppose I'm as amused as anyone about the story of the 35-year-old member of a Clash cover band who was investigated and questioned by a Special Branch officer because he texted lyrics from the song "Tommy Gun" to the wrong person. (He intended to text them to the singer, but made a mistake.) It's funny.

The text was: "How about this for Tommy Gun? OK - so let's agree about the price and make it one jet airliner for 10 prisoners."

OK, so whatever they were up to, 'twasn't terrorism. But what were they up to? Maybe just trying to figure out how the lyrics go, which isn't all that easy with Clash songs.

Nevertheless, and right or wrong, I choose to believe they were trying to get into their roles as fake band members, pretending that they were actually writing the song. It's so much better that way...

Posted by Dr. Frank at June 5, 2004 01:27 AM | TrackBack

This fits in nicely with Matthew Yglesias' theory that all current politics have an analogous Clash lyric to accompany them.

Here's a link to the most recent example:


Posted by: kandyd at June 5, 2004 02:24 AM

Incomprehensible lyrics are a golden opportunity to impose your own petty little personality on somebody else's timeless classic. You have no choice, you've gotta sing it, and your self-respect, and love for the song, won't permit you to go "nunka nunka, hunka boo! gunta gunta nunka NOO!!".

Pretending you are actually writing the song yourself from scratch, like you suggest these guys were doing, is pushing it. Maybe you can kid yourself. Like that Borges story about the guy who wanted to write Don Quixote himself, not just copy it, but actually, somehow, originate it himself, all over again.

(If that were possible, I'd have my band similarly "write" "Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn't Have Fallen In Love With?)" and/or "Child of the Moon" and/or the Chocolate Watchband version of "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" prior to our next performance.)

Posted by: Lexington Green at June 5, 2004 04:39 AM

Donna Reed is not my mum

Posted by: Georgina at June 5, 2004 10:41 PM