I have a vivid memory of sitting against the front of the couch in my parents’ living room, watching Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros perform “Johnny Appleseed” on Conan O’Brien back when their album Global A Go-Go first came out. I wish I could tell you that I instantly fell in love with the song and was converted to fandom on the spot. But no. “Meh,” I thought to myself, “It’s okay I guess. I thought this was the guy from The Clash. This should be more punk.” I could not have been more wrong. Subtlety is not a crime, High-School Adam!
The song is not just okay — it’s amazing. It re-entered my life yesterday via someone’s Myspace page and I’ve been playing the song non-stop since, getting goosebumps every time I hear it. The variety of instrumentation more at home in folk or traditional music (mandolin, flute and fiddles among them), the soaring vocals, the typical Strummer lyrics — the line “If you you’re after gettin’ the honey, then you don’t go killin’ all the bees” has been running around my head all day today. It’s a deadly combination and it’s got me eager to get the album — listening to the follow-up Streetcore (Strummer’s last album, finished after his death in 2002) for the hundredth time, while still great, just isn’t cutting it tonight.
So please, learn from my mistakes: Don’t be like High-School Adam — Listen and enjoy.
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Johnny Appleseed
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros – Johnny Appleseed (Live “Synth Version”) (Buy It)
posted by Adam