In discussion with Roual Galloway on “Garageland” by the Clash (1977)
So what was your first encounter with ‚Garageland‘? Listening to the radio as a teenager?
I got a copy of the first Clash album in 1979 from a record shop in Edinburgh called GI Records, aged 11. My dad had done some work for the owner and payment was made to him in vinyl. Which meant that my sisters and I all had three records each to choose from the stock. I can’t remember what my sisters chose, but the three I selected were The Ramones “It’s Alive,“ The Skids „Scared To Dance,“ and the self titled Clash album. At the time we lived in a Scottish newtown called Livingston. In later life you realise that all newtowns are built in three stages, which are in the following order of building houses, attracting people and offering jobs. We moved there in ‘78 in between stage 1 and stage 2. This meant that unemployment was high and the youth were left disenfranchised. Like most newtowns it was badly designed and architecturally awash with concrete grey. Punk seemed like a natural rebellion against the injustices imposed on the youth of Livingston and had a massive following there. A local punk band called On Parole used to cover it and I suppose it became ingrained in my consciousness from that. I saw them live for the first time in 1979. I’ve always liked the sentiments of the lyrics, of standing up against selling out and of doing things for yourself.
Have you ever heard something like it before, or was this your first experience with Punk?
I was aware of punk in 1977, but I was too busy kicking a football about and chasing girls at the time. One of the first records I bought in 1978 was „Denis“ by Blondie, unfortunately the other two were „The Smurf Song“ and the Official Scottish World Cup Song of 1978. I bought these whilst I was living in Nottinghamshire just before we moved to Livingston, Scotland. There was no escaping punk in Livingston.
I have to ask this question. Why The Clash, and not The Sex Pistols?
The Sex Pistols released one proper studio album in 1977 and then Rotten left. They were never the same after that, although the cash-in albums were hugely influential at the time of release. The Clash on the other hand released six studio albums in their existence. They matured with each album, apart from „Cut The Crap“. The one regret that I have is that I didn’t see them at the time. If I had to choose between the Pistols and the Clash it would have to be the Clash every day of the week.
„Garageland“ was published as last song of their debut album. Did you like the album as a whole, or is this their standout track?
The first album is filled with classic song after classic song. From the opening with „Janie Jones“ to „Garageland“ it’s all thrillers with no fillers. How can you not like an album that’s as strong as this! Read the rest of this entry »