August 30, 2013

The Clash - Icons of Energy


There is probably no music that has influenced me more than the music of the Clash. The gritty, political and diverse sound took hold of my conscience in high school. Yes, that was a long time ago, probably before you were born. Ok, I listened to most of their songs on LPs, which I still have stacked somewhere in my garage.

But what does any of this have to do with running? Hmmmm…..let me think about that. Because if I think long enough, the connection will roll right through my headphones, down my fingers and into the keyboard. Yes, this is working…just as I thought.

Maybe it starts with energy. Doesn’t everything start with energy? The little spark that triggers something inside that starts to smolder. Then burn. Then rage. Imagine you are holding a match and standing next to a 10-foot high pile wood soaked with gasoline. Now imagine yourself lighting the match. What do you see next? That is energy, ignited.

When I was eighteen I often found myself standing next to that proverbial pile of wood…that energy waiting to be lit. And whenever I listened to the Clash, the match would flicker and spark, then roar to life. Where things went next, well, that is another story. I turned out ok, I think. Let me just say running is a very effective way to generate and channel energy. There. A connection.

If you want to know more about an iconic band who’s music will never lose its message, read this article on the Clash in the Wall Street Journal. If you want to light your own match, then put on some headphones and turn the volume up. Way up.

Live my friends!

10 comments:

Stacey UltraPrincess said...

Memories of high school....... aaaaah!

Wonderful introspective and wood pile analogy!!

wcooperjr said...

Thanks Stacey, sometimes I wonder how I made it out of some of those wood piles alive. They kept things interesting at least!

Trail Plodder said...

Great stuff, I bought the LP back in the day in London. I played a bit bass guitar myself and it's not often a bass player makes the front cover - not like this anyway lol!

Matthew @ My Little Eye Surgery said...

Can't not love them!

Anonymous said...

I bet you didn't see yourself flying your entire family to Europe to race a 100 miler when you toed the line of your first 5k , did you ? Families start with a first kiss and the Wright bros. surly weren't looking to the Moon !!! Light that proverbial match and watch that son of a bitch burn ! CHEERS

it's all about pace said...

every time I see an armadillo cross the trail when I'm out running... "Rock the Casbah" cues up in my head.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJ9r8LMU9bQ

Ric Munoz said...

I really lucked out by getting to see all five of the shows they did at the Hollywood Palladium in June of '82 (Combat Rock tour). I'm sure you're aware, but your readers might not know: Joe Strummer ran the London Marathon twice and the Paris Marathon three times. Thanks for sharing the WSJ article!

Will said...

Pace...I love the bass riff on Rock the Casbah!

Rick...that is so cool...I was in the audience at the 1984 show. Didn't the English Beat open for them? Strummer was sporting a mohawk. I'll never forget that show! I didn't know that about Strummer running London and Paris marathons. That makes my appreciation for this band all the greater. Thanks for sharing!!

Ric Munoz said...

Just one more piece of trivia. The reason Strummer adopted the Mohawk during that era is related to the song on the Combat Rock album ("Red Angel Dragnet"). That song was inspired by the shooting death of one of the NYC Guardian Angels in '82 and features selected quotes of the lines spoken by Travis Bickle, the character Robert De Niro played in "Taxi Driver". In the film's final climactic scenes, Travis cuts his hair into a Mohawk - that's where Strummer got the idea to get his own Mohawk and wore it during the tour.

Anonymous said...

hey Ric , it's me , Bino from the Coure de alene marathon !!! how are you . Would love to catch up !!!