One of my favourite bands from the 1970s was Buzzcocks, an English outfit fronted by a man named Pete Shelley. Pete had been born as Peter McNeish; but when he took to the stage he changed his name to honour his favourite romantic poet. I was enthralled by this idea and when I wrote my masters thesis, I included three musical epigraphs: two from the Sex Pistols and one from Buzzcocks. It was perhaps a stretch - however in my youthful rebellious mind I thought it was apt.
But was it really so far-fetched to tie together punk music and romantic poetry? To test this, I thought I would be fun to have a quick glance at one of the classics of the era to see if there are, in fact, any Shelleyan overtones. That classic? Clampdown by The Clash from the album London Calling. Let’s dig in.