John Cooper Clarke is Britain’s best loved and most important performance poet. JCC toured with The Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello. He was one of the leading voices of punk and youth culture of the late 70s and became known as the “Punk Poet” or “The Bard of Salford”.
JCC’s recording of ‘Evidently Chickentown’ was used in the penultimate closing scene of my favourite TV show ever, ‘The Sopranos’. John also plays himself in Anton Corbijn’s Joy Division biopic ‘Control’.
Photograph by Michele Howarth Rashman.
1.) WHICH RECORD HAS HAD THE MOST PROFOUND INFLUENCE ON YOU?
‘How Great Thou Art’, Elvis of course.
2.) HOW MANY HOURS DO YOU SPEND A WEEK RECORDING/PLAYING/CREATING?
I’m like the police or a member of the Pinkerton Detective Agency, whose motto was ‘We Never Sleep’.
3.) WHICH OF YOUR OWN CREATIONS IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
It has to be ‘Evidently Chicken Town’. I can’t cross swords with my public.
4.) WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST REGRET?
It was a botched operation. Let’s leave it at that.
5.) WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?
I’m quite a languid person, so nothing.
6.) OTHER THAN FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHAT IS YOUR MOST CHERISHED POSSESSION?
7.) TELL ME THREE OF YOUR HEROES/HEROINES?
Elvis. John Wayne. James Cagney.
8.) WHERE IS YOUR FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WORLD?
*Los Angeles (apart from my home obviously). *Every thing I’ve ever loved has come out of that city.
9.) IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE YOUR ART WHAT OCCUPATION DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE DOING?
10.) IF THERE IS ONE THING THAT YOU WOULD WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT YOU HAVE NEVER CONVEYED IN AN INTERVIEW BEFORE WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
That I’m the kindest individual on the planet. I’m always thinking of the other guy. P.S. My boss is my public.