The legendary punk rock poet John Cooper Clarke returns to TRR Smart Camp!One of the highlights of my trip to the UK was getting to spend the day with JCC at his house and record this conversation at the very table where he writes and is currently writing his memoirs. We discuss the difficulty of writing the story of your life when your life continues to move forward. If anyone has a life story worth retelling it is this man who has tasted the whip of unemployment, been a friend to the China man's night cap, pissed pure gold, operated in the world of degenerate gamblers, the fickleness of fame and the feeling of being an iconic live performer. He's under pressure to finish his memoir before his deadline but he tells me that the defining turning point in his life was when he could start picking out his own clothes and have the style of his own choosing. We talk about the teacher who introduced the love of poetry into John's life, the 19th century romantic poets, how Poe knew how to drive people mad and how Baudelaire changed his life. In this lively chat JCC tells me the ten songs he would take with him on a desert island and the one book he would like to read forever other than the exciting fucking and fighting books of Shakespeare and the bible. We talk about his none poet heroes Elvis and Napoleon, wages and holidays and how the vanity of small differences is the psychological blip that keeps the whole world from collectively getting their shit together. It is an honor to call this man a friend as he is who I want to be when I grow up and that is why it is my pleasure to present to you now the one and only John Cooper Clarke!
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