You know what? I just finished tracking some of the filler

on London Calling. Fuck the Clash.


Let’s talk about the late, great Jam Master Jay instead.

Maybe that was my Punk Moment. (I’m not one of

those for who punk changed my life – seventies hard-

rock riffs have always meant more to me.) Hearing

Run-DMC for the first time in 1985 while in a suburban

Chicago strip mall parking lot, waiting for my mom to

come out of the store. I was flipping through the cool

radio stations, and heard metal riffs with Hendrix-esque

solos. Over the noise two guys were yelling raps –

dissing Michael Jackson and Kool & The Gang, while

proclaiming themselves the “King of Rock.” That was

the title of the song and I soon saw the video: Run and

DMC breaking Beatles busts and nodding in appreciation

to a TV showing founding rock forefathers like Buddy Holly.


Now that’s punk. Better beats too. I mean, I’m very

happy that English punks hooked up with rastas and

bonded over their oppression. But for me, Run-DMC

and Jam Master Jay combining metal and rap – the

music of white and black American underclasses – was

the sonic thrill of a lifetime.


Goddamn that deejay made my day.