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Clash fan arrested under terror law
April 5, 2006 12:30 PM   Subscribe

"London Calling" sparks terror fear in cab driver. Newsfilter: "British anti-terrorism detectives escorted a man from a plane after a taxi driver had earlier become suspicious when he started singing along to a track by punk band The Clash, police said Wednesday. Detectives halted the London-bound flight at Durham Tees Valley Airport in northern England and Harraj Mann, 24, was taken off. "The taxi driver had become worried on the way to the airport because Mann had been singing along to The Clash's 1979 anthem "London Calling," which features the lyrics "Now war is declared -- and battle come down" while other lines warn of a "meltdown expected." Also reported here, where we learn this is not the first Clash-related terror scare. Joe Strummer is looking down and laughing, not least because it wasn't terror song Spanish Bombs.
posted by magpie68 (68 comments total)

 
... or London's Burning. 99999!

Hurm. I always though the '...with boredom now!' was .'..we're mortal now!'. Did I ever mishear that one.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:38 PM on April 5, 2006


That's pretty awesome that they have cabs where you can plug your mp3 player into the stereo system and force the cabbie to listen to your music. And by "awesome," I mean it's a terrible idea.
posted by rxrfrx at 12:41 PM on April 5, 2006


Good thing he didn't play Stairway to Heaven. . . . Backwards.
posted by jenovus at 12:43 PM on April 5, 2006


Because, as opposed to muslim terrorists, all Indian terrorists (yeaaaaaaaaaah, free the cows!) are avid fans of The Clash, Led Zeppelin, Drugs, Rock n' Roll, and all things western.
posted by qvantamon at 12:43 PM on April 5, 2006


....or The Guns of Brixton!
posted by NationalKato at 12:45 PM on April 5, 2006


i feel a whole lot safer now.
posted by wakko at 12:48 PM on April 5, 2006


Moron causes something to happen. Film at 11.
posted by delmoi at 12:48 PM on April 5, 2006


This just highlights the need for more Clash education in our schools.
posted by NationalKato at 12:50 PM on April 5, 2006


To add to the list of worse Clash songs he could have played Tommy Gun.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:51 PM on April 5, 2006


Panic on the streets of London
Panic on the streets of Birmingham
and I wonder to myself
will life ever be sane again?
posted by boo_radley at 12:51 PM on April 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I was arrested for singing The Clash lyrics "Go easy, step lightly, stay free" while I was in line to see a speech by GWB. My story is better.
posted by OmieWise at 12:51 PM on April 5, 2006




Great, now we're turning into America. .
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM on April 5, 2006


Great, now we're turning into America. .

Wait till you have a head of state that doesn't believe in evolution.
posted by scody at 1:02 PM on April 5, 2006


Great, now we're turning into America. .

Try the tacos, they're fantastic.
posted by rxrfrx at 1:03 PM on April 5, 2006


Great, now we're turning into America. .

You're all getting your teeth fixed?
posted by wakko at 1:05 PM on April 5, 2006


Stupidity wins again. People are no damn good.
posted by Jelreyn at 1:05 PM on April 5, 2006


I suppose that he would have been OK if he were listening to this little gem.
(Warning: It's like a right wing Dixie Chicks, soon to fade into obscurity, I hope..) Sent to me by my right wing, pro war 'friends'. Better rush out and buy the album now, and avoid the mobs...
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 1:07 PM on April 5, 2006


This just highlights the need for more Clash education in our schools.

Clash education is a job for parents, not schools. When I think my kids are old enough, I am going to introduce them to my 53 bootleg shows, and then we're going to move on to the last quarter of Sandinista, Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg and Topper's solo album.

But I am not going to tell them about Cut the Crap. They can find out about it for themselves or, fate willing, never hear about it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 1:07 PM on April 5, 2006


I read this article this morning here.
It has a little bit more info, but not much..
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 1:09 PM on April 5, 2006


Just as well for him he didn't fight the law, really.
posted by magpie68 at 1:10 PM on April 5, 2006


Just as well for him he didn't fight the law, really.

LOL! OK, you win!
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 1:12 PM on April 5, 2006


Moron causes something to happen. Film at 11.
delmoi, I sense a "meh" here, but who's the moron? Surely not the Clash fan? The cabbie or the cops, right?
posted by magpie68 at 1:14 PM on April 5, 2006


Wow, OmieWise, that must be a hell of a country you're living in.

I feel allowed to say that because you know mine is going downhill by the minute too
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:15 PM on April 5, 2006


Great, now we're turning into America. .

Better not croon Julie's in the Drug Squad then, unless you'd like all your earthly possessions sold off at a suburban hotel auction.

Gumbo!
posted by maryh at 1:19 PM on April 5, 2006



This is a public service announcement...with guitar!
Know your rights, all three of them.

(...)

Number 3
You have the right to free speech...
as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it.


-- The Clash, "Know Your Rights", Combat Rock (1982)
posted by teferi at 1:30 PM on April 5, 2006


Gumbo!

Does anyone really think that's the actual lyric? It sounds for all the world like "gumbo," but I can't figure out how that would make any sense. Is there slang that I'm ignorant of that would make sense? I think this is an unfortunate sound-alike, like "London's burning with porno now," and "I'm the all-night drunk-driving wolf," except that we may never know what was really said in this case.

posted by Mayor Curley at 1:30 PM on April 5, 2006


I'm guided by a signal in the heavens
I'm guided by this birthmark on my skin
I'm guided by the beauty of our weapons
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

Ah you loved me as a loser, but now you're worried that I just might win
You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline
How many nights I prayed for this, to let my work begin
First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin

posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:30 PM on April 5, 2006


Of course, if he'd been singing along to "Rock the Casbah", he'd have gotten a job offer from Fox.
posted by eriko at 1:32 PM on April 5, 2006


Well, it must be true, because I just heard "London Calling" on my iPod and now I have to go pick up my mother at the airport!

Damn, those terrorists are smart bastards.
posted by briank at 1:35 PM on April 5, 2006


Man, that Casbah sure is a letdown in real life.
posted by melt away at 1:35 PM on April 5, 2006


Of course, if he'd been singing along to "Rock the Casbah", he'd have gotten a job offer from Fox.

This was playing over the PA in my local supermarket the other day. It was awesome, but I'm not sure in what sense.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:44 PM on April 5, 2006


Hard to believe no one's linked to the lyrics for "Clampdown" yet.

"In these days of evil presidentes...."
posted by mapalm at 2:01 PM on April 5, 2006


Next up, man singing song in taxi by Canadian songwriter Bruce Cockburn triggers pre-emptive invasion of Montreal by the US Marines. Let's roll!

Here come the helicopter -- second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they've murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher...I'd make somebody pay.

I don't believe in guarded borders and I don't believe in hate
I don't believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would retaliate

On the Rio Lacantun one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation -- or some less humane fate.
Cry for Guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher...I would not hesitate

I want to raise every voice -- at least I've got to try.
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher...some sonofabitch would die


Note to NSA readers: I didn't write the song, I just posted it. I don't even sing it in the shower, I promise.
posted by digaman at 2:26 PM on April 5, 2006


Good thing he wasn't listening to Anal Cunt. Things might have gotten out of hand.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:32 PM on April 5, 2006


At least it wasn't Koka Kola...

Good thing he wasn't listening to Anal Cunt.

That reminds me of the time I saw the gayest guy on earth, down at the Model Cafe....
posted by SweetJesus at 2:34 PM on April 5, 2006


It could have been worse, he could have been singing MacArthur Park.
MacArthur's Park is melting in the dark
All the sweet, green icing flowing down
Someone left the cake out in the rain
I don't think that I can take it
'Cause it took so long to bake it
And I'll never have that recipe again
Oh, no!

posted by blue_beetle at 3:02 PM on April 5, 2006


the need for more Clash education

Useless British politics trivia of the day - the Conservative party's shadow Culture, Media & Sport secretary, Hugo Swire, is Joe Strummer's brother-in-law.
posted by flashboy at 3:10 PM on April 5, 2006


The Terroists 1 - The Free World 0
posted by AspectRatio at 3:37 PM on April 5, 2006


The Clash are not punk.
posted by cillit bang at 3:58 PM on April 5, 2006


The Terroists 1 - The Free World 0

Yup. This is precisely how the technique known as terror wins. They "hate our freedom"? What freedom?
posted by rollbiz at 4:03 PM on April 5, 2006


The Clash are not punk.

Agreed.

They're much, much better than that.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:10 PM on April 5, 2006


The Clash are not punk.
posted by cillit bang


The Skrewdriver fans always come out of the woodwork eventually.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:28 PM on April 5, 2006


Useless British music trivia of the day - Radio 2 DJ Mark Radcliffe used to be the drummer for Skrewdriver. Before they became neo-nazis, apparently.
posted by flashboy at 4:32 PM on April 5, 2006


They're just trying to one-up the colonies; when Henry Rollins was in Australia, he got into trouble for simply reading this book.

Similarly, Ohio University destroyed a student's bike over a This Bike is a Pipe Bomb sticker.

Henry Rollins, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, the Clash - all punks, ergo
punk rock = terrorism.
posted by aubin at 4:39 PM on April 5, 2006


London Calling is one of of the best rock songs ever. What an fignorant dick!
posted by ParisParamus at 4:49 PM on April 5, 2006


What a figurant dick!
posted by ParisParamus at 4:53 PM on April 5, 2006


I always feel better when it's with the "...best of intentions and ... genuine concerns,".
posted by Dareos at 5:12 PM on April 5, 2006


i first read about this in the Age, which ran it under the astoundingly stupid headline 'Punk music linked to terror'.
posted by nml at 5:57 PM on April 5, 2006


Great, now we're turning into America.

I'm so bored of the U S A. But what can I do?

Oh yeah, here's a generic self link.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:10 PM on April 5, 2006


According to Olbermann, he was also singing along to Led Zeppelin "Immigrant Song".

We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you'd better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

The cabbie doesn't recognize the Clash or Zeppelin? Either he was under 30 and stupid, over 60 and a little daft, or needs his British citizenship revoked.
posted by Ber at 6:28 PM on April 5, 2006


Good thing for him he wasn't carrying any Big Audio Dynamite.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:51 PM on April 5, 2006


Pathetic. We are so, so fucked up right now.

I'm an Urban Guerilla, I make bombs in my cellar.
posted by Decani at 7:00 PM on April 5, 2006


he was also singing along to Led Zeppelin 'Immigrant Song'

The one with the kittens?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:09 PM on April 5, 2006


I prefer Joe Strummer's version of Redemption Song to the original; a dangerous opinion which I think is treated as heresy in most civilised countries.
posted by blag at 8:27 PM on April 5, 2006


he could have been singing MacArthur Park

In which case arrest and summary execution would have been entirely justifiable. But he wasn't.
posted by magpie68 at 12:01 AM on April 6, 2006


The Terroists 1 - The Free World 0

That was the score from the first inning. It's now something like 10,000 - 1.

Detectives halted the London-bound flight at Durham Tees Valley Airport in northern England and Harraj Mann, 24, was taken off.

"Harraj" huh? I wonder if he's swarthy-looking.
posted by moonbiter at 12:54 AM on April 6, 2006


Decani - you know that song was banned by the BBC at the time? Nothing much changes...
posted by bifter at 2:17 AM on April 6, 2006


The Clash are not punk.
posted by cillit bang

The Skrewdriver fans always come out of the woodwork eventually.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:28 AM GMT on April 6 [!]

Mayor Curley, I'm guessing that not everyone here might be famliar with Skrewdriver, so would you like to explain just what it is that you are accusing cillit bang of? Do you think he's a neonazi skinhead or what? Or have I just had a sense of humour failure?

I'm starting to think it might be the latter but as someone who's had the odd run-in with actual Skrewdriver fans, I get twitchy.
posted by bouncebounce at 5:59 AM on April 6, 2006


a) I have no idea who Skrewdriver are
b) The Clash are not punk
posted by cillit bang at 6:23 AM on April 6, 2006


Mayor Curley, I'm guessing that not everyone here might be famliar with Skrewdriver, so would you like to explain just what it is that you are accusing cillit bang of? Do you think he's a neonazi skinhead or what? Or have I just had a sense of humour failure?

Stay with me. cillit bang said something that might be seen as denegrating The Clash*. I love The Clash, so I wanted to insinuate that cillit bang is a fan of a punk band that one should be embarassed about liking. My first thought was one of those currently popular bands that are sold as Punk by their label and obviously have nothing to do with 1977. But then I thought a second more and decided on Skrewdriver-- it's funnier to call cillit bang a skinhead for disparaging The Clash and the politics of the two bands are in direct opposition. Get it?

I'm not calling cillit bang a nazi skinhead. However, I should point out that I don't have any evidence that he is NOT a neo-nazi Skrewdriver fan either.

*even if I think "punk rock" was a marketing angle from its very inception and don't care whether it's applied to The Clash or not
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:28 AM on April 6, 2006


I charge everyone who has this song to play it LOUD and LONG for all government officials to fear.


god, i hate stupid people.
posted by Doorstop at 6:32 AM on April 6, 2006


a) I have no idea who Skrewdriver are

Sure you don't, Nazi shithead. And you and your buddies in the National Front don't trade Skrewdriver bootlegs at your meetings because you've never heard of the National Front, right?

b) The Clash are not punk

Who is? Nobody is because it's a meaningless term. But if someone gets to decide, it should be Malcolm McLaren because he invented the "movement" to sell clothes. Or maybe Johnny Thunders, who I'm told influenced the birth of the punk scene with his excuses for dressing like an ugly lady.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:36 AM on April 6, 2006


Wow. Do you want your goat back now?
posted by cillit bang at 6:52 AM on April 6, 2006


Wow. Do you want your goat back now?

You know I'm kidding, right? Except for the part about you being a nazi. That part's totally true.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:02 AM on April 6, 2006


*twitch*
posted by bouncebounce at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2006


I always thought G. G. Allin and the Scumfucs were the only punk band. Actually only G. G., the Scumfucs were just another rock band.
posted by Balisong at 9:17 AM on April 6, 2006


I got into the Clash just as the world was getting into the Cure. I bought a Cure album when Happy Mondays ruled the world. I currently think Nirvana are the coolest band in the world.
posted by magpie68 at 7:45 AM on April 7, 2006


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