stay i n d e p e n d e n t

Dr. John Cooper Clarke Gets Us Back On Drugs

Dr John Cooper Clarke's poetry is our new drug of choice

get the weekly Outsideleft newsletter
by Lee Paul, for outsideleft.com
originally published: July, 2016
Get back on drugs you fat fuck

Dr John Cooper Clarke 
Birmingham Town Hall
June 2016

Dr. John Cooper Clarke is an icon. Iconic. His look... I won't mention the signature skinny suit, I won't say anything about the hair, although perhaps for a man his age it's right up there with Rod's as, well, in copiously suspiciously full, although in DrJCC's case little seems unnatural about it. Well maybe the top-knot, tonight at the town hall, if I quibble, - is that normal? I'd wonder. Anyway the dark glasses de rigueur as they have been for the past 50 years most likely. So, John Cooper Clarke does that John Cooper Clarke look so very well. I like it. I love it. I once went out and bought a dozen black suits and white shirts myself and then Men in Black came out and the sun in california came out and it just got too awkward and I got tired of explaining myself and you know I'd be doing a lot of that anyways. So I gave up attempting to forge an identity altogether. I suppose that drew a certain period of my life to a close.

So. Anyway. If you like John Cooper Clarke, but only in some dim and distant way, like, you remember the Innocents EP and maybe now are not sure whether he was Partrik Fitzgerald or you had a copy Beasley Street and had the Chicken Town record several decades ago, I'd have to say, if you fall into any of those categories, if you do get a chance to see John Cooper Clarke, then you should do, you'll be smitten because live, he is great. No two ways about that. 

Well. The lady in row 4 behind us was not so smitten at all times. She nattered about say, the regional origin of JB Priestley before our man the poet could finish his sentence about it. By much of the evenings events it must be said, I don't know what people want? More poetry, less poetry, offended by the stand up facets of the show or not, I don't know. And what's with that heckling loud enough only to annoy the person beside you not the performer in from of you. As ever, if you're gonna do it, do it right. You know it made me recall those odd occasions when I've accidentally dated teachers and an evening at a busy movie theatre... You know where there's two single seats miles apart on a row and you know it's only going to take a second for your teacher pal to get that row of cinemagoers seating arrangements inconvenienced sorted out in your dates' favor. That need to control anything. And for the third cultural event in a row with Warren the Shoe of Bearwood, he felt moved to ask someone politely to pipe down...

In the end, John Cooper Clarke read his poems, or maybe recalled them from memory while holding a notepad they may or may not have been written in. However He did it, He did it right.

On YouTube "Get Back on Drugs You Fat Fuck"

Lee Paul

I like to look at things while listening to things I am not looking at. But doesn't everyone.

more stories you really could read...


thumb through the ancient archives:

search for something you might like...


sign up for the outsideleft weekly. a selection of new and archived stories every week. Or less.

View previous campaigns.

How To Buy Your First Real Suit
Hack Attack
Christmas in July: Our tech guy gets out and heads to Defcon13, where else...
Telepathe: The Sinister Side of The Real Bang Bang
On the surface, Telepathe seems like amiable enough new wave revisionist trifle; but something darker lurks within.
The Hidden Race
Insidiously silent, sibling rivalry is on the mind of our Irish Editor, Shane
CD Rose Week: Who's Who When Everyone is Someone Else
CD Rose Week in Outsideleft is booting up with an excerpt from his critically acclaimed new novel
Elliott Smith Either/Or

March sees a greatly expanded reissue of Elliott Smith's most critically acclaimed album Either/Or

Some of our favorite things...