Soundtrack Of Our Lives: John Cooper Clarke

He’s the Bard of Salford, the original Punk Poet, the Doctor. Evidently, we must be talking about John Cooper Clarke. Revered by many for his acerbic wit and slightly off kilter, but oh so accurate, take on life, hehas been an inspiration to many. His book, ‘Ten Years In An Open Neck Shirt’, is a world wide best seller and sits pride of place on many bookshelves. His TV appearances on the likes of ‘Have I Got News For You’ and Never Mind The Buzzcocks are unforgettable and be it touring with The Fall, having his poems feature heavily with the Arctic Monkeys, or collaborations with Inspiral Carpets and most recently with Hugh Cornwell and Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson – for a reworking of Jimmy Webb’s ‘McArthur Park’- the Doctor has always been intrinsically linked with the music scene.

But what about his own taste in music ? What would be his Saturday night tune? What was the first record he bought? On the eve of his first tour of the United States in 30 years, we pinched a few minutes of his precious time to get the Soundtrack Of His Life…

BM: What was the first record you ever bought?
JCC: The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton

BM:What do you listen to  ‘on the road’ ?
JCC: Recordings of My Own BBC 6 Music Show

BM: Your Saturday night tune?
JCC: Night Fever by Bee Gee’s

BM: …and your Sunday morning record?
JCC: Skylark by Ella Fitzgerald

BM: ..and the record we might be surprised that you like?
JCC: The Spaniard Who Blighted My life by Bing Crosby and Al Jolson

BM: What’s your favourite track made by your friends?
JCC: Janie Jones by The Clash

BM: Is there a band that you like that you think should have been/should be bigger?
JCC: The James Hunter Six

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BM: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
JCC: Yes, Son of My Father by Chicory Tip

BM: Which track is most likely to get you on the dancefloor?
JCC: I have two- Money In My Pocket by Dennis Brown…


JCC: …and I’m Your Puppet By James and Bobby Purify

BM: Your words have been an inspiration to many, is there a particular song who’s lyrics inspire you?
JCC: Granada by Frank Sinatra

BM: What would be your Karaoke tune ?
JCC: Moonlight In Vermont by Frank Sinatra

BM: What record will you have playing  at your funeral?
JCC: Peace in The Valley by Elvis Presley & The Jordanaires

BM: And finally, what’s the best track ever?
JCC: Impossible to answer due to my ever changing moods.

As for us, if we had to choose a favourite John Cooper Clarke track, evidently, I think it would have to be Chickentown…

As we eluded to earlier, John Cooper Clarke is all set to embark on tour of North America.Taking in 9 cities in 14 days, it will be  his first tour of the United States in 30 years. To coincide with the tour, Sony Music have re – released John Cooper Clarke: The Very Best Of on CD, and a DVD; Live In London, will also soon be available for download.


John Cooper Clarke is not to be missed at the following US dates:

Thursday, April 30 Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, May 2 El Rey Los Angeles, CA
Sunday, May 3 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA
Tuesday, May 5 Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL
Thursday, May 7 Music Hall of Williamsburg Brooklyn, NY
Saturday, May 9 Stage One Fairfield, CT
Monday, May 11 World Cafe Philadelphia, PA
Tuesday, May 12 Hamilton Washington, DC
Thursday, May 14 Berklee Recital Hall Boston, MA




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