55 songs in 55 days - one for every year of my life...so far.
Two hugely pivotal events in my musical life, occurred in 1978 - within the space of 24 hours. On Friday July 14th I traveled to Bury St Edmunds and finally saw The Clash in concert for the first time. As I've reluctantly admitted previously, on this monumental night I was wearing both flares and a moustache - ouch. Flares were ditched from my wardrobe not long after, though the ill-advised moustache remained resolutely above my top lip for a further 18 months. What was I thinking? The gig came towards the end of the 'Out on Parole' tour, where at the early shows, Suicide occupied the support slot. By the time The Clash rolled into Suffolk they had a new opening act, The (Coventry) Specials.
Just prior to the appearance of the dreaded moustache. April 1978.
I couldn't hang around for too long after The Clash had completed their set, as I had an prompt start arranged for the following day. Bright and early the next morning, a hired minibus, driven by the hippy husband of a woman I worked with, pulled up outside my house. I got in. We were off to see Bob Dylan at Blackbushe. From a few hundred people at the Bury St Edmunds Corn Exchange, to 200,000 in a Surrey aerodrome within the space of 24 hours.
Souvenirs of Blackbushe.
I'll no doubt write in a bit more detail about these two massively important gigs one day, but for now I'm just marveling at the ongoing ramifications of that 24 hour period. Over the next 6 years I saw The Clash a further 21 times. And Bob? So far I'm on around 56 shows - and of course I'm still hoping to add to that tally, next time he comes to town.
One of the self-imposed rules for this series is to exclude my all-time favourite artists, so no Bob or Clash tunes today. Instead, here's 'Where Were You?' by The Mekons, one of the truly great singles of the period and another song introduced to me by the late great Johnny P.