Sunday, November 21, 2010

"Rude Boy"(1980)d/Jack Hazan, David Mingay

"The only band that matters",really?I never saw it that way.I think the lyrics to "Suburban Rebels" by The Business sums up the vast majority of their fan base at the time,not counting the whole embarrassing Big Audio Dynamite debacle that was to follow(no coincidence they were called B.A.D.,it describes their garbage magnificently).And all this is decidedly before you factor in Joe Strummer's nifty Red Brigade t-shirt(I reckon he had about three shirts total) and rotten toofuses,and Mick Jones' horrible mullet.Don't get me wrong,I dig some of their music,for sure,they're a hard band not to like at least some of their stuff,they just never grabbed me by the cazzies really.I'm not out to whiz in the Post Toasties of anybody who feels differently about them here,just throwing my personal opinion out there for posterity.
One thing I highly dig is British culture of that same era,obviously,and this movie,equal parts fiction and documentary,apart from the misleading title(Ray Gange,the film's star hardly qualifies as a proponent of rudie stylee!More of a punk,don'tcha think?),does a pretty good job putting it up there for your approval.The soundtrack,which combines an assload of Clash tracks(naturally)and some original sixties bluebeat and reggae like Soul Sisters,The Slickers,and Junior Marvin,is pretty choice.The political climate that serves as a backdrop for the story,though admittedly pretty volatile(left v. right will probably be at each other's throats up until that final mushroom cloud signals our abrupt finito,Benito),never detracts from the action.Gange is a likeable salt of the earth type of geezer that I could buy into,Hell,I've probably known twenty or thirty guys just like him over the years.Ironically,The Clash themselves weren't big fans of the production,to say the least.Quadrophenia it ain't.Sorry,boys.
"But he's just like everyone,he's got a Ford Cortina that just won't run without fuel..." 'Ullo,Joe,got a new motor?
Ray(Ray Gange)watches ho hum...another protest forming on the streets outside his tower block,which is swathed in NF style graffiti like "get out you dirty black bastards","ku klux klan",and the ever-popular "Kill filth",and jaywalks to the unemployment benefits office.Roll credits over some fireworks,of which there aren't many from here on in.The socialists and communists protest,the National Front counterprotest.The cops have seen it all before.Meanwhile Ray toils away at a late night stroke shop,selling black sex mags to respectable British chappies.On his drunken walk home,he's harrassed by a detective,who puts him in her majesty's nick for coming funny.The next morning he's released with a five pound fine and drunk and disorderly charge,before hitting the local pub with a young skinhead mate he's not seen in some time.More organized protests amidst a see of coppers with tits on their 'eads.The lefties start chucking bricks and rocks at the bill.Oh,The Clash?They play some tunes.Ray is in attendance.He walks through the market over strains of "Police and Thieves"(the original,much better version,mind you).He plays some Clash vinyl in his flat,drinking a beer in his drawers while opening his dole cheque.Pub time,and a political chat with Joe Strummer.Ray slags off the left wing,and Strummer agrees with him,but still prefers his parlour tricks tinged leftish anyway.Ray wants to be rich,and have,as opposed to the have nots,which fucks his chances of getting into the Young Communist League or being a roadie for The Clash,dunnit?
Leave it out,ya piss-taking cunt!Skins rule,don't they?
The Clash rehearse in a garage.Ray attends a dance hall,getting his knob slobbed in the ladies room by a punkish space cadet,who later bails on him when he admits he doesn't believe in love.You think she blew you for nothin',matey?He later breaks into a poolhall with his bootboy pal,shooting a game over the skin's disgust for all things communist.The Clash play a "Rock Against Racism" gig in Victoria Park,and are joined on stage by Jimmy Pursey for "White Riot".Ray's in attendance,but his disgust for the reds in the audience gets him bounced off the stage.He ends up doing roadie work for The Clash anyway.At a gig,Mick Jones barks at Ray for trying to untangle cables on stage,so he wanders off and gets into a fight with bouncers who are kicking the shit out of some poor bastard backstage.On stage,the band yell at other bouncers for kicking the shit out of patrons who are dancing,not fighting(some things never change!)."Cool it!Simmer down.Control yer tempah!We've still got another song to do yet!"Like it'd have made a difference anyway,A.B.A.C.(All Bouncers Are Cunts),ain't they?I know I've probably been one when I'm on the door and/or working the stage.The Clash play a few more gigs,go into the studio to record "Give 'Em Enough Rope",play yet more gigs,Ray's on the piss,very nearly incoherent when he does manage to spit words out,and the band rehearses,as well.In Europe,one hundred and thirty-three minutes worth,in America,one hundred and twenty-seven.Probably could've gotten away with a condensed hour and change run time,and everyone'd have been a lot happier.
I'm totally having a Naks by the Tracks flashback.Sorry about the sink,James.Was all HER fault!
The directors did a decent job of encapsulating the working class punk rock lifestyle in England(probably a very alien,boring thing if you happened to be a posh cunt,but there you go)here between lots of live Clash performance footage.Where many critics claim the movie's failure lies,is the film's strength,in my opinion.I'd rather watch the daily banalities of a drunk conservative fuck stumbling through his depressing existence than a band playing sloppily in front of a entire park full of screaming leftist student-types more often than not.Former Sham 69 frontman Jimmy Pursey would probably disagree with me.Joe Strummer played with the Clash,who were eventually inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame,until 1986,staying musically active(even taking over for Pogues' front-drunk,Shane McGowan,for a time)until his death,due to congenital heart failure,in 2002.He also had a pretty extensive acting career,the high point having to have been cast in a non-speaking cameo as "Street Scum" in Martin Scorsese's King of Comedy in 1983.Rude Boy stumbles drunkenly out of the Sex Shoppe with a three pack of dirty mags,giving the abrasive Old Bill two wops worth on the rating scale.Worth a look,if you haven't seen it.
Jones gives his best "hard cunt look" to a mirror,I'd imagine.I'd be equally mad if I looked like that.

1 comment:

beedubelhue said...

Another interesting note,rapper M.I.A. samples The Clash's "Straight to Hell" on her single "Paper Planes",which peaked at #19 on the UK charts.I like her version better!Sorry,guys,I had to.


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