Monday, March 24, 2008

Brixton Prison Gigs

Fair play to The Alabama 3 for playing a Rock Against Racism gig for inmates in Brixton Prison last week, even if it does feel strange to hear Paul McDowell, the Prison Governor overseeing this suicide hotspot, talk about his love for Joy Division, Patti Smith and A Certain Ratio.

Alabama 3 are not the first musicians to play in Brixton Prison - Billy Bragg and Mick Jones of The Clash went there last year to promote the Jail Guitar Doors project (set up by Bragg in memory of Joe Strummer to provide guitars to prisoners). The band Cable released a live at Brixton Prison EP in 1997, Maroon Town played in 1998 and way back in July 1965 so did Simon and Garfunkel.

Musical inmates at the Prison have included Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones for cannabis possession in 1967 - he wrote 2000 Light Years From Home in his cell; Topper Headon and Paul Simonon of The Clash (for shooting pigeons in 1978!); and, in 1979, Glenn Danzig of US punk band The Misfits, who wrote the lyrics to their song London Dungeon while inside.

2 comments:

Wessexian said...

I can hardly believe it, we are really living in a fantasy world. Surely a government institution is the last place for such a party political campaign? What next, schools having programmes teaching children who they should vote for, hospitals with nurses recruited to encourage patients to vote Labour, maybe the police or the army draughted in for a party political campaign? It's almost like something from a totalitarian regime where every institution is politically co-opted.

I can hardly think of a better way of encouraging voters to vote for the BNP when they hear of this!

Transpontine said...

Yes Wessexian you really are living in a fantasy world if you think that a band playing a Rock Against Racism gig in a prison is an example of living in a totalitarian regime. RAR is not a party political campaign, I doubt whether Alabama 3 playing in Brixton nick will lead to anybody voting BNP other than those already planning to do so, perhaps including some old school racist prison officers - wonder whether you are one.