John Cooper Clarke
April 19, 2021 04:30PM
I just finished reading Dr. Clarke's memoir, I Wanna Be Yours, which is both excellent and far from what I expected. It's chockablock with carefully noted details of a post-war childhood growing up in Manchester, an obsession with fashion that I never would have imagined, no end of bizarre and colorful characters (including both Nico and Chet Baker), wry, cheerful, almost zany accounts of the many years he spent addicted to heroin. It's thorough, unsparing, funny and informative. I suppose it helps if you're a fan, but I don't know that's essential.

Here's the weird thing. I know Johnnie Clarke's voice well from listening to his records for so long (I should have gotten the audio book he reads, but I popped for a hardcover before thinking of that), but I found myself hearing someone else entirely in my head as I was reading his words. Who? You may well ask.

I'll tell you.

Joseph Gilgun, a young British actor whose credits include Brassic and several seasons of Misfits, both available on U.S. streaming and both mind-bendingly hysterical. He hails from a town 20 miles outside Manchester and has a very strong accent. But although his TV characters are not punk poets, they get up to the same sort of inexplicable, often self-induced, scrapes: with the law, with drugs, with people, with everything, really. Like Dr. C, he always owns up to his shortcomings even while exacerbating the situations they cause, and finds the whole life thing an amusing, odd laugh.

I don't imagine anyone else will experience this, but I found it so strange and amusing that I thought it worth sharing.
Reply Quote
Re: John Cooper Clarke
April 19, 2021 04:54PM
Gilgun plays the same sort of character in Preacher. Dude clearly has a type.
Re: John Cooper Clarke
April 19, 2021 10:28PM
I hadn't thought about Clarke or listened to his records in years, but although he rarely gets cited as an influence, I can hear him in the spoken or half-sung vocals of so many recent British bands inspired by post-punk.
Re: John Cooper Clarke
April 20, 2021 06:32PM
Mrs Bip was binge-watching “the Sopranos” awhile back.... I just couldn’t get into it. Regardless, from the other room I hear it. ‘Wait a minute.... I know this.... could it be??’

They played ‘evidently chickentown’ in one of the episodes. Wouldn’t have expected that.
Re: John Cooper Clarke
April 21, 2021 07:59AM
Thanks for the tip. I had no idea Clarke had an autobio but I'd be up for a read of that one. It's so easy to conjure his voice in my head, I can't say my brain would ever plug another one in!

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