- 13 Apr 21
I Wanna Be Yours is out now – published by Picador.
“And it’s bad enough with another race/ But fuck me… a monster from outer space.”
If I ever go back on the dating market the only question I need ask a prospective amour is “Do you find that funny?”
If the answer is “no” she’s a humourless old crone, if it’s “yes” then watch out for them skyrockets!
The term ‘national treasure’ is bandied around far too cheaply, but it most definitely applies to John Cooper Clarke who’s one of the few things about Albion I don’t find perfidious these days.
Paul McCartney, Alex Turner, Kate Moss, Steve Coogan and Ben ‘Plan B’ Drew are just some of the disciples, young and old, who’d agree with me.
There were attempts in the ‘70s to set his 100mph observations on the human condition to music, but the Bard of Salford’s power lies in the strength of his spoken words. And now his written ones.
Detailing his dalliances down through the years with everyone/thing from Bernard Manning, Mark E. Smith and The Cavern to Nico, Joy Division and heroin (John was a Chinese White fan, couldn’t abide Persian Brown), the reading of I Wanna Be Yours requires a girdle or otherwise your sides will undoubtedly split.
Clarke’s strict adherence to the Modernist dress and hair code – the spiked up barnet hasn’t changed in over 50 years – didn’t stop him gatecrashing the punk party, details of which are gleefully recounted in chapters 44 through 53 with The Clash, the Pistols, Buzzcocks, Ian Dury and Elvis Costello all making additional appearances.
There’s an explosive visit to Belfast, a close encounter of the Meat Loaf kind in Dublin and, well, a hundred and one other stories told with that dry Mancunian wit.