Listening to R5 on Friday, some interviewee with beautifully modulated middle-class tones was talking about the Clash - 'twas one Julien Temple, another nice boy fascinated by the wild side.
"I was born the same year as Joe Strummer, so in a funny way I couldn’t help but go through some of the same moves as him. I didn’t go to a public school, but I guess you could say that my parents were middle-class. We shared certain things, like that pivotal moment in the mid-’60s when we were at school. The Kinks and the Stones and that whole London thing affected both of us. Then, later in the 60s, there was the hippy thing, although I don’t think I was ever as much of a hippy as Joe, who went the whole way. Then the squatting. We shared things in common."
Public-school hippy ? You amaze me.
I first became aware of Joe when I was squatting in Notting Hill, just as he was ... then I got involved in the punk thing by meeting the Sex Pistols by chance. I was completely amazed to see Joe at the 100 Club, with his blonde hair, all punked out, totally unlike this hippy from before. It was an amazing transformation ... Joe was harder to get to know because he was always covering up his middle-class background. He was such a different person from before. He was wary of anyone who shared his past.
Full-on urban rebel, up and dahn the Westway, eh ? Trouble was, a lot of people who should have known better took it all seriously. I wonder when exactly the officer class started to feel the need to hide their origins - early 60s I'd presume, about the same time that nice middle class Mr Jagger invented mockney.
I first met Joe in the seventies, but then didn't see him again for about 25 years! Then one day he appeared in my garden. It turned out that his wife Lucinda was an old school friend of my wife ...
Asbo Comprehensive, perhaps ? I wonder which school that would be.
Later he said that he wanted to live here – and he did. He bought a farm up the road and we spent a lot of time together.
So Temple, the chronicler of London punk, ends up in rural Somerset, and good old Joe turns up to (in every sense) buy the farm up the road ! As you do. Just another example of urban hipsters letting us know what they really think. A long way from the Hammersmith Palais ...
"We're safe here ... miles away from explosions, inner-city crime, miles away even from suburbia."