the clash


Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the US release of The Clash's London Calling. Maybe the greatest rock album ever by my favorite band. (Still have my vinyl copy.)

Now every cheap hood strikes a bargain with the
And ends up making payments on a sofa or a girl
Love 'n' hate tattooed across the knuckles of his hands
Hands that slap his kids around 'cause they don't understand how

Death or glory becomes just another story
Death or glory becomes just another story

The song takes me back to 1980 when I was the Administrative Supervisor of the US Census (if you can imagine that) in Worcester, Mass., and I kept a radio going in my end of the enormous factory floor that was our headquarters. "Train in Vain" played every morning on the local community radio station WCUW. And every morning Jeff Bahr called in a request for "My Way," by Sid Vicious. One of my staff, Igdalia, who faced me at her desk, was amused by me and my constant muttering, and told me often, "John, you talk alone."