12 Days Remaining

Saturday 8th
posted by Morning Star in Arts

Attila the Stockbroker’s diary

I’M NOT superstitious in the slightest, so when my old mate TV Smith invited me to play at The Highwayman Inn in Okehampton last Friday week, there were no problems.

A truly extraordinary old place, built in 1282, it’s deemed the most haunted pub in England but I was completely unfazed.

A very good time was had by all, including a 9ft carpet python called Rodney.

Then, after a look round Dartmoor, we made our way to Torquay for another enjoyable gig at the Noble Tree Cafe and somewhere in our trip round Devon I caught the worst flu I have ever had.

It dumped me flat on my back for five days. Nevertheless, last Saturday I somehow managed to stagger up to Walthamstow to do a benefit gig for the Leyton Orient Supporters’ Trust.

Shafted by a frankly unhinged “owner” and with players unpaid and plummeting towards the Conference, Orient are in a very similar situation now to Brighton 20 years ago.

The O’s fans are fighting back, however, and I regaled them with some of the more humorous and inspiring stories from the Brighton fans’ long campaign and gave them a simple message: keep up the pressure, don’t get downhearted, just get in the “owners’’’ faces for as long as it takes and you’ll win in the end.

It took us 15 years, we did, and now we’re going up to the Premier League. (Yes, I’m that confident). I wasn’t there till the end, far too grotty, but I gather £1,500 was raised for the fighting fund. It was a rockin’ Saturday night out.

I really hope I’m back on form tonight for Clash Night at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, where we’re celebrating the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Clash LP, my favourite album of all time.

As I write this, I’ve got it on full volume and reliving the moment I first heard it — and the first time I saw them on May 9, 1977 at the Rainbow Theatre in London.

When I saw the Clash, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life and it is still a constant source of pride and wonder to me that I have managed to do it for the past 37 years, on my own terms.

I wrote this song for Joe Strummer a few days after he left us in 2002.



(For Joe Strummer, 1952-2002)


I guess in quite a lot of ways I grew up just like you

A bolshy kid who didn’t think the way they told him to

You kicked over the statues, a roots rock rebel star

Who knew that punk was more than just the sound of a guitar

And I’ll always remember that night at the Rainbow

When you wrote a soundtrack for my life,

Comandante Joe.



So many bands back then were like too many bands today

A bunch of blokes who made a noise with bugger all to say

The Clash were always out in front, you put the rest to shame

Your words were calls to action, your music was a flame

You were our common Dante, and you raised an inferno

And you wrote a soundtrack for my life,

Comandante Joe.



Reggae in the Palais

Midnight till six!

Rockin’ Reds in Brockwell Park!

Sten guns in Knightsbridge!

Up and down the Westway

In and out the lights!

Clash City Rockers!

Know Your Rights!



I guess in quite a lot of ways I grew up just like you

A bolshy kid who didn’t think the way they told him to

Like you I always knew that words and music held the key

As you did for so many, you showed the way to me.

Although I never met you, I’m so sad to see you go

’Cos you wrote a soundtrack for my life,

Comandante Joe.



• Attila’s new book of poems Undaunted is out now and available from