Nostalgia/Beasley Street/Wonder Years

direction: camera pulls away from the american dream in the shape of a heavily finned 1960 chevrolet impala col. tasco turquoise poly and pans the neat suburban streets as Kevin Arnold finger-bangs Winnie on cunt smeared naugahyde upholstery the colour of gingivitis.

The first John Cooper Clarke record I ever heard was through an old Garard record player I’d salvaged from a skip, I was 14 years old and  the record was Snap/Crackle/Bop. I carried the miraculously still-pristine deck with frozen fingers miles home, hooked it up and played Blonde on Blonde, Swordfishtrombones, Hot Rats and Snap/Crackle/Bop. This was when cds were a massive luxury; there were no downloads or streamed music; instead I had a pile of TDK90s with painfully handwritten tracklists, a couple of CDs and pre-recorded tapes.

Snap/Crackle/Bop has, since that first listen, continued to be an all-time favourite. In addition to the rest of the his body of work, Snap/Crackle/Bop is a testament to his virtuosity at manipulating the english language to paint  poignant images, characters and scenes, that are simultaneously bleak, fascinating, hilarious and disturbing.

And I find myself at the bitter end of many an evening, at the Stephen Hawking end of the charm spectrum, flacid, liquor filled and sexually disinterested, trying to convince a random transexual or obese beauty queen that they should buy a John Cooper Clarke album as soon as they can, and that its probably not wise to take me home,










and enigmatic

I appear




Below is a link to Snap/Crackle/Bop, if you enjoy the album, please purchase an original copy.

Download Snap/Crackle/Bop


Beasley Street

by John Cooper Clarke

Far from crazy pavements –
the taste of silver spoons
A clinical arrangement
on a dirty afternoon
Where the fecal germs of Mr Freud
are rendered obsolete
The legal term is null and void
In the case of Beasley Street

In the cheap seats where murder breeds
Somebody is out of breath
Sleep is a luxury they don’t need
– a sneak preview of death
Belladonna is your flower
Manslaughter your meat
Spend a year in a couple of hours
On the edge of Beasley Street

Where the action isn’t
That’s where it is
State your position
Vacancies exist
In an X-certificate exercise
Ex-servicemen excrete
Keith Joseph smiles and a baby dies
In a box on Beasley Street

From the boarding houses and the bedsits
Full of accidents and fleas
Somebody gets it
Where the missing persons freeze
Wearing dead men’s overcoats
You can’t see their feet
A riff joint shuts – opens up
Right down on Beasley Street

Cars collide, colours clash
disaster movie stuff
For a man with a Fu Manchu moustache
Revenge is not enough
There’s a dead canary on a swivel seat
There’s a rainbow in the road
Meanwhile on Beasley Street
Silence is the code

Hot beneath the collar
an inspector calls
Where the perishing stink of squalor
impregnates the walls
the rats have all got rickets
they spit through broken teeth
The name of the game is not cricket
Caught out on Beasley Street

The hipster and his hired hat
Drive a borrowed car
Yellow socks and a pink cravat
Nothing La-di-dah
OAP, mother to be
Watch the three-piece suite
When shit-stoppered drains
and crocodile skis
are seen on Beasley Street

The kingdom of the blind
a one-eyed man is king
Beauty problems are redefined
the doorbells do not ring
A lightbulb bursts like a blister
the only form of heat
here a fellow sells his sister
down the river on Beasley Street

The boys are on the wagon
The girls are on the shelf
Their common problem is
that they’re not someone else
The dirt blows out
The dust blows in
You can’t keep it neat
It’s a fully furnished dustbin,
Sixteen Beasley Street

Vince the ageing savage
Betrays no kind of life
but the smell of yesterday’s cabbage
and the ghost of last year’s wife
through a constant haze
of deodorant sprays
he says retreat
Alsations dog the dirty days
down the middle of Beasley Street

People turn to poison
Quick as lager turns to piss
Sweethearts are physically sick
every time they kiss.
It’s a sociologist’s paradise
each day repeats
On easy, cheesy, greasy, queasy
beastly Beasley Street

Eyes dead as vicious fish
Look around for laughs
If I could have just one wish
I would be a photograph
on a permanent Monday morning
Get lost or fall asleep
When the yellow cats are yawning
Around the back of Beasley Street


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