A few more tidbits from this action-packed tome. One is diction. It jumped out at me while reading Egan's use of the word "risible" (i.e. laughable): in six instances. From page 22: "In 'Hate & War,' the contrast between the fluidity of Jones's lead guitar and the unimaginative stabbing on rhythm guitar by Strummer is at its most risible." Another is the use of the term "au fait" (conversant or familiar) five times. Example: "Those au fait with the work of Desmond Dekker would have recognized the phrase" (page 114).
Then there's an entire chapter contrasting The Clash with The Jam. The latter became England's darlings, with several hits on Top of the Pops. "In the Shadow of The Jam" shows how English and American "sensibilities" did diverge quite a bit from time to time. Though I dig The Jam and have given them a thorough listen over the years, I also understand how they don't fully "translate" -- even as The Clash became more popular in the USA. So far as I know, none of The Jam's singles were released in North America -- except for the Canadian market, which took in "Town Called Malice," a #1 hit in the UK. Album releases by The Jam also saw widely divergent receptions: All Mod Cons, for instance, peaked at #6 in the UK and at #204 in the USA.
|Paloma Romero/Palmolive on the far right.|
So, the risible moral of the ultimate Spanish story is: Be au fait and become a square. Ba da boom.
Today's Rune: Fertility.