Britain’s best loved and most important performance poet. John is as relevant now as he was in the 70s; His biting, satirical, political and very funny verse, delivered in a unique rapid-fire performance style, resonated with the punk movement. JCC toured with all the seminal bands; The Sex Pistols, The Clash & Buzzcocks, and in the USA with Elvis Costello. He began to draw large crowds in his own right. Joy Division were proud to frequently support JCC and New Order later opened for him on their first Australian tour.
In 1978 JCC signed a major album deal with CBS Records. His records with the Invisible Girls, produced by Martin Hannett, are acknowledged as masterpieces. The unique fusions of JCC’s poems and The Invisible Girls’ highly original music, created influential records still name checked by people as diverse as Alex Turner, Plan B, Jarvis Cocker and Steve Coogan.
He also released a massive collection of his poetry and words “Ten Years In An Open Necked Shirt", which became the bestselling poetry book of the1980s, and is reprinted every few years.
A figurehead for the movement and all that it encompassed. He found himself as one of the leading voices of punk and youth culture of the late 70s. He became known as the “Punk Poet” or “The Bard of Salford” . Live, he was performing to thousands across the UK. Crowds gathered with open eyes and ears gazing up at his distinctive, and now iconic, visual appearance (tall and thin with a mess of black hair, black sunglasses, drainpipe trousers and Cuban-heeled boots) transfixed as he worked through a catalogue of work taken from his four studio albums and numerous singles.
So what of John now? Aside from being a key orator of British society during this time, his mark is indelibly seen in today’s pop culture. Aside from his fashion style spawning copy-cats all over the country, his effect on modern music has been huge.
His influence needs only to be heard in the satirical and keen social observations of the songs of the Arctic Monkeys. Alex Turner cites JCC as a huge inspiration and John’s work appears on the sleeve of one of their singles as well as Turner having a JCC tattoo. UK rapper and film maker Plan B asked John to appear in his directorial film debut "Ill Manors". Their duet Pity The Poor Fellow appears in the movie and on the soundtrack. JCCs recording of Evidently Chickentown was used in the penultimate closing scene of, "The Sopranos". John plays himself in Anton Corbijn’s Joy Division biopic "Control".
JCC had his own documentary "Evidently... John Cooper Clarke" networked on BBC4 in the UK .He regularly features on BBCTV and radio, as a presenter, performer and a socio-cultural commentator.
The punk revival has seen a whole new generation clamouring over John’s work and saw his star rocket once again. Continuing to write new work from his Essex home, he has a plethora of new poems and monologues which he performs solo, alongside his best known works such as Beasley Street and Evidently Chickentown. His shows are always packed and his audience always leave ecstatic.
JCC regularly tours throughout Europe and Australasia. As the hardest working man in show business he still averages over 100 shows a year worldwide.
No bigger accolade and platitude of his work is that he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in July 2013 by the University Of Salford. He is studied by many college and university students throughout the world, all ensuring that he will be forever ingrained in the psyche of the world’s youth.
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