one more clash story: somebody got murdered
Can you stand one more Clash post? Please?
Back in the early 80's, we used to do dangerous things, as young people are prone to do. Looking back at it now, I can say we were pure idiots and I wonder how we made it through our youth unscathed.
There was this road, Sweet Hollow Road. It was a one lane of dirt that beat a winding path through a town where the houses had bathrooms bigger than most people's entire homes. Sweet Hollow Road ran past these houses, but you never saw the estates, as they were called, because the driveways to their houses ran for a mile into the woods and up to the four car garages.
We drove Sweet Hollow Road for sport. There were no lights and deep woods on both sides. Armed with only cheap beer, a nickel bag of pot and our young bravado, we would enter the road, turn off the headlights and drive like a ghost was chasing us.
I usually sat in the back, fear making the beer in my belly want to come right back up. The fear was more intoxicating than the beer and pot.
Have you ever been in complete, utter darkness? The kind of dark that makes you wonder if anything outside of you exists at all? That was Sweet Hollow Road with the headlights off. Doing 60 on a road that called for ten, stoned out of our minds and shrieking like we were about to die.
It all came with a soundtrack and that one time that we almost went off the road, the soundtrack was The Clash. Sandista was the cassette and the song was "Somebody Got Murdered."
Someone lights a cigarette
While riding in a car
Some ol' guy takes a swig
And passes back the jar
But where they were last night
No-one can remember
Somebody got murdered
Goodbye, for keeps, forever
We hit a rock or a boulder or, as the story grew to unbelievable proportions days later - a wall of stone. The rock flew up from underneath the tire and hit the windshield. We screamed. One person thought we hit a body, another thought a UFO had come down to get us. And the driver, I believe his name was Mickey, thought he saw a man crawl down from the hood of the car and smash the window with a rock. This is how urban legends begin.
Either way, the sudden suprise of the crack! on the windshield caused Mickey to swerve and we went off into the woods, control lost, panic ensuing. Mickey managed to slam the brakes before we hit one of the huge trees in the woods and the car fishtailed to a stop. We sat in silence for a few minutes, nobody uttering a word. Nobody but Joe Strummer, singing Somebody got murdered, his name cannot be found. A small stain on the pavement, they'll scrub it off the ground.
We started the car, took off - with the headlights on - and never traveled Sweet Hollow Road in the dark again.