Breaking Rocks In The TV Studio

I found this somewhat unrehearsed but very endearing version of The Pogues with Joe doing I Fought The Law live on Irish TV back in 1987. Pogues guitarist Phil Chevron has recently been diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the head and neck- best wishes to him and his family. While I’m here, this is for SH and JG as well.

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Breaking Rocks In The Hot Sun

Today, from 11 til 2, I shall be manning the book stall at Park Road Nursery’s summer fair. Not exactly breaking rocks I know. And the weather forecast for M33 is for heavy rain and not hot sun. Last year the big sellers on the stall were various celebrity autobiographies in hardback (prices ranged from 30p to 50p depending on my judgement), a book on pond care and a dvd boxed set of five Steven Seagal films. But that was very much just the tip of the iceberg. The Quakers, Park Road, Sale- pop in if you’re free, say hello and leave with some quality literature.

I Fought The Law is one of the great rock ‘n’ roll songs, written by Sonny Curtis and The Crickets. I’m not sure The Bobby Fuller Four’s version has been bettered- as Paul Simonon pointed out, it’s the way those guitar chords are so ‘light and feathery’. I played this at a mate’s wedding and it went down a storm. Bobby Fuller met a very sticky end, found dead in his car with foul play suspected though the verdict was suicide.

I Fought The Law

The Clash’s version is superb- from Topper’s opening salvo through to Joe’s impassioned delivery. The breakdown on the line ‘robbing people with a -dum, dum, blum, blum, blum, blum- six gun’ is especially thrilling. This live version is The Clash at their most black-clad glorious. Best bit- when the three man front line step up to the mics in sync to bawl out the opening line.

It’s been covered endlessly, the 60s girl group version by The She Trinity being one of my favourites (‘He fought the law and the law won’). Most recently Johnny Marr has been encoring with it and doing it very well too. As evidenced here in San Francisco, along with fellow former Wythenshawe resident Billy Duffy.