Mercury and the Clash

Mercury and the Clash

Cruising through the grocery store, I was listening to the insipid music over the tinny sounding speakers. The Clash’s Should I Stay or Should I Go cycled up. I smiled. The lyrics, the memories, the Clash in Austin, the fevered frenzy their music inspired?

Political punk that captured the sentiment of the seasons, when, well, it was along time ago.

I wandered around the store, gradually filling my basket with necessities, coffee, honey, store-brand lotions, and sundry items. Cold winter’s day and I was aiming for some mileage, ambling around the big store. Up and down the aisles, after all, that’s how I discovered Jet Fuel Coffee in the first place. The Clash’s song echoed and formed an ear-worm.

Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An’ if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know

  • Combat Rock, 1982

Yes, the forefront of the shifting tides in music, when the screen test was almost as important as the audio. The notion of the range of the music, a revolution for incendiary youth led by guitars — too much of the Clash, I suppose.

I watched, recall that song was released in 1982, not making airwaves in the US until probably 1983? Anyway, wandering in the local grocery store?

Young male, approximate age, undetermined, but I would hazard guess as born after 1997, but that was guess from demeanor, attitude, attire, and I missed the employee tag, but he didn’t seem to be in management, easiest estimate.

Mercury and the Clash

He was mouthing the lyrics, “Should I stay or should I go…”

Might’ve been singing softly, under his breath, I couldn’t tell, and when he caught my eye, he grinned, that sheepish, “Yeah, I was singing the song on the Muzak look.”

Right, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” I was casually humming the lyrics myself, and while his grin was the guilty look, I was more of the, “Yeah, I’m doing that, too.”

What struck me, though, the transcendence of the music itself, reaching across generations, clearly the music of the “In Betweeners” (Pluto in Virgo, roughly 1960 to 1970) and the post-punk, post Harmonic-Convergence 1997 and forward — yeah, we all like the same stuff. Probably for the same reasons, too.

London Calling by the Clash

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