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Baker's Dozen

A Tower Of Songs: Sylvie Simmons' Favourite Music
Manu Ekanayake , August 13th, 2020 09:48

Like a gamekeeper turned poacher, rock journalist Sylvie Simmons has a new album of her own music out. Here she guides Manu Ekanayake through 13 lifelong inspirations, from Leonard Cohen to Johnny Cash, Miles Davis and Black Sabbath


The Clash – London Calling
The next time that I went on the road with a band didn't last so long, in fact it was just for one night. It was The Clash in 1979 I and they were doing their first American tour. They were bit conflicted, especially Joe Strummer, about the whole thing. They were with CBS, a big label, you know? So I went to see them play at the Santa Monica Civic, quite a large hall in LA and then we went on the bus after the show and drove up to San Francisco for the next one, so I got to see that too. It was interesting to see them after the show: three members of the band went to the back of the bus, so they could sit and do a kind of post mortem – and glower at me mostly – except Mick who came back and was very sweet. You've done a show, the last thing you want is this person badgering you with questions and also probably using the toilet for longer than they would like. The Clash were my punk band, because to me they were a rock band. They were a band that I really loved as much as I loved the LA band, X, who really seemed like the LA version of The Clash in a way. I loved their rock & roll. I wasn't so big on punk when I was living in London, because I'd go to the shows and it seemed like a lot of pimply boys being a bit violent and spitting. I'm a girl, so I'd go home to my Joni Mitchell albums afterwards, or the first James Taylor album or Jackson Browne, you know? So The Clash kind of got me back into UK punk.