John Cooper Clarke Poems

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John Cooper Clarke
John Cooper Clarke at Bedford Rhythm Festival, 2006.John Cooper Clarke (born January 25, 1949) is an English performance poet from Salford, Greater Manchester. He is often referred to as a punk poet, having initially achieved recognition in the late 1970s amidst the flourishing punk movement. His recorded output has mainly centred around musical backing from The Invisible Girls, which featured Martin Hannett, Pete Shelley, Bill Nelson, Paul Burgess and Steve Hopkins. Clarke has opened for such acts as the Sex Pistols, The Fall, Joy Division, Buzzcocks and Elvis Costello and his set was, and still is on occasion, characterized by lively, rapid-fire renditions of his poems, which were usually performed a cappella. He opened for Rockpile on their 1979 U.S. tour. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Clarke enjoyed some chart success in the UK with the single "Gimmix! Play Loud", and subsequent album Snap, Crackle & Bop. Often referred to as "the bard of Salford", he usually refers to himself on stage as "Johnny Clarke, the name behind the hairstyle". Having released a handful of records into the early 1980s, Clarke performed his live act less frequently and spent much of that decade battling a heroin addiction (and making an incongruous appearance in two UK commercial for Sugar Puffs in 1988, taking second billing to the Honey Monster). More recently, Clarke has turned some of his stage act away from an emphasis on performance poetry and towards more of a stand-up-oriented affair, but poetry is still very much a key part of his performance. He has in the recent past supported Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros. He also can often be seen supporting The Fall on British tours or performing as a headlining act in his own right. He also duetted with a poem entitled Last Resort with Reverend Jon McClure at a Reverend and the Makers concert at London's Spread Eagle, which Later was released as the b-side for the bands single Heavyweight Champion Of The World. Clarke also recorded a song with the band entitled Dead Man's Shoes which is rumoured to appear on the upcoming album The State Of Things. Clarke's recording of Evidently Chickentown from his album Snap, Crackle & Bop was also featured prominently in the closing scene of the The Sopranos episode Stage 5. A live performance of the same poem appears in the film Control with Clarke portraying himself in a re-creation of a 1977 concert where he supported Joy Division, despite having aged 30 years since the events depicted in the movie. He is from a Roman Catholic background, and is reportedly now living in Essex. He notably had a "domestic partnership" with singer Nico in the 1980s.

health fanatic
Around the block, against the clock:
tick tock, tick tock, tick tock;
running out of breat... [read poem]
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