Keys To Your Heart

Before The Clash Joe Strummer played London’s pub rock scene with squatters the 101ers. Joe brought his Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry influences and the kind of intense performance that got Mick, Paul and Bernie Rhodes to ask him to leave and join them. Joe’s style was described as ‘a man scrubbing a Telecaster’ and that chugging rhythm is well evident in this 101ers song, one of their best. When The Clash set out love songs were very much off the agenda, Joe as scornful of anyone about Mick’s lovelorn tunes. But Joe hadn’t been averse to them himself….

Keys To Your Heart

The new Sound System boxed set, shaped like a boom box (or ghetto blaster as we used to call them) has the tape counter on the front stuck at 101, a nice little nod of the head from the Simonon design team.

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At Leek Town Hall Tonight

A while back I wrote a post about a Half Man Half Biscuit song which referenced the Staffordshire town of Leek. I said Leek was well known to me as the birthplace of my Dad but that other than the HMHB tune the only other time it had popped up in song was in Joe Strummer’s wonderful reggae tinged At The Border, Guy. Recently a reader Sam Sherratt has left a couple of comments on the post adding further detail and deepening Leek’s rock ‘n’ roll connections. This was too important to be left dwindling as comments below a post and I feel deserved a posting in their own right. Sam wrote…

Can help with the Leek reference in the Strummer song. Joe’s pre-Clash band the 101ers had a couple of members originally from Leek (incidentally Joe at the time was known as Woody). This included drummer Richard Dudanski (aka Nother), who later went on to drum with PiL. The 101ers played in Leek at a club called Samantha’s (not Leek Town Hall) and on another occasion came to a party. I was in touch with Richard a few years’ back and he said he asked Joe about this reference and said that he must have been confused.
Nice to tidy up a little corner of rock trivia!

and added afterwards…

Leek was also responsible for poisoning the Rolling Stones on Christmas Eve 1963, which is mentioned in Bill Wyman’s diaries – I know the man who bought the pies!