What’s My Name?

I can’t leave 1977 without doing punk and The Clash and a quick squizz round the internet brought me several celebrity Clash t-shirt wearers. From the top- supermodel Agyness Deyn, ex-footballer David Beckham and actor Kristen Stewart. I don’t have any issue with Agyness wearing a Clash t-shirt. She’s from just north of Manchester and lived in Rossendale, the place I had my first teaching job. She worked in a chip shop. She seems pretty real. I can believe she could be Clash fan. Plus, I like girls with short hair. David Beckham- member of the 90s United side, treble winner, generally seems like a nice chap. Not convinced he’s a Clash fan though. Kristen Stewart- I have no idea, maybe, maybe not. But if she wants to pop round to discuss her love of the band, I’m in tonight.

The Clash’s debut came out in 1977. In Sniffin’ Glue Mark Perry said that punk died the day The Clash signed to CBS. But he also said that the first Clash album was ‘LIKE A MIRROR. IT REFLECTS ALL THE SHIT. IT SHOWS US THE TRUTH. TO ME, IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ALBUM EVER RELEASED’ (use of capital letters is Mark’s). Listening to it right now, it must be the rawest, most unproduced album a major record label put out in 1977 or most other years. It was famously so raw that CBS in the U.S. wouldn’t release it, saying the ears of American listeners couldn’t cope. In What’s My Name Mick’s guitars could skin a cat. Joe Strummer is so alienated that even table tennis clubs won’t let him in.

‘I tried to join the ping pong club
Sign on the door ‘all full up’
I got nicked for fighting in the road
The judge didn’t even know

What’s my naaaaaaame
Naaaaaaame
Naaaaaaame’

Even by 1977 punk standards this is short- one minute forty seconds. Co-written by Keith Levene this is the punkest, most Pistols like song on the album. And it’s got very little to do with celebrities wearing band t-shirts.

What’s My Name

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