For this week’s #MondayMemories we return to Tom Vague whose fanzine Vague chronicled the area’s punk and post-punk years. Here he recalls the zine's 1980 interview with The Clash in Poole... 

10 February 1980. The Clash went into the 80s with DJ Mikey Dread ‘at the controls’ supporting, Zigzag’s Robin Banks selling the Clash fanzine Armagideon Times and the poet-roadie Jock Scot as MC; as the Clash film ‘Rude Boy’ - Jack Hazan and David Mingay’s docu-drama story of the roadie Ray Gange - came out. When we were trying to decide who should interview the Clash everyone agreed that Steve Rudell can’t fail.  

In the Vague Clash interview at Poole, Steve Rudell asked: “How’s the tour been going Joe?” Strummer replied: "Not too good so far. We got busted the other night. We were back at the hotel having a party when the Drug Squad raided and I had half a gram in my top pocket. Four others got done including Topper. It’s the first time I've been busted. I'm not too pleased, but I'll only get a small fine. Then at Coventry we got a lot of gobbing. That really p***** me off and they just kept on doing it, so I jumped into the crowd to try and stop it and got this black eye."

Joe had a nice shiner: "There was more trouble at Sheffield. This time our van driver said we had too many in the van, so he refused to drive. We all got out of the van, took all our clothes off and stood in front of it. The driver got so embarrassed he told us to get in and drove off."

Regarding the Clash film Rude Boy he explains: "There was a sort of premiere of Rude Boy. We hired out the Empire in Leicester Square at great expense and only four CBS executives turned up to watch it which made me really mad. It's about Slob Ray. It's a true story, Ray was a junkie who followed us about and eventually became a roadie. It's about his life related to our music and racial problems and suchlike."

Steve: "It was a bit expensive tonight." Joe: "Yeah, I know, we're trying to do gigs cheaper but can't because of hiring out PAs, paying CBS and so on." Steve: "What did you think of the US scene?" Joe: "Not very good at all. Out of all the places we played about two of them had a good scene."

Steve: "What have you got planned for after the tour?" Joe: "I eventually want to do the first take live album, but we're not together enough to do it at the moment. Oh yes, this record company wants to release a 101'ers LP, but I'm going to stop that at all costs. The record company really ripped off the 101'ers. From the single 'Keys to Your Heart' we made £100 plus £90 sales and the company pocketed the rest. The 101'ers are over, it's in the past, that's why I don't want the album released.”"

Steve: "Finally, why don't you do 'White Riot' any more?" Joe: "We only do 'White Riot' if we're in the right mood. It's no good doing a half pace 'White Riot', it has to be done with everything in it."  

Published 6 July 2020