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.