Monday, 6 December 2010


A blast from the past. An old aquaintance of mine from Salford, Johnny Clarke, the so-called punk poet aka the Salford Bard. Back in the 70`s he did regular performances in the upstairs room of the Black Lion pub in Salford near to Salford central bus station off Chapel Street. That was in the days before he was famous - before he did the sugar puffs add along with the honey monster. Although the pub no longer stands, Johnny Clarke, went on to big and better things appearing on such programmes as the Old Grey Whistle test. A favourite poem of mine was the one I remember him doing at the Black Lion, about Risley remand centre which started thus: 'Risley, Risley, Ree, they put you up for free...'I`ve looked for this poem but alas have been unable to find it. The last time I spoke to Johnny Clarke was outside the Free Trade Hall in the 1980s when I went to see Arthur Scargill at a miners rally. My mate asked Johnny Clarke, what he thought of Scargill and he replied in his inimitable style, "He`s a popular icon."

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