Laugharne regular celebrates forty (very) odd years in Bob Dylan’s haircut
Born in 1949 to George, an engineer and Hilda, an unpublished poet, John spent his childhood growing up in Salford, Lancashire. After teenage years as a Mod, John served a few jobs including an apprentice engineer, a tailors assistant, a lab technician at Salford Tech, where he was interviewed by another Manchester hero Tony Wilson, for Granada TV and also a lead type compositor. After a stint living in Dorset, John returned to Manchester and started properly on the path for which he would become most famous for; his poetry… working at cabaret clubs and tough venues around the city.
His biting, satirical, political and very funny verse delivered in his rapid-fire performance style resonated with the punk movement that had begun to pick up speed in the late 70s. After touring with most of punk’s seminal and ground breaking bands including the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Fall, and Elvis Costello, to name but a few, he began to draw large crowds in his own right, known as
the “Punk Poet” or “The Bard of Salford” .
His mark is indelibly seen in today’s pop culture, for instance in the satirical and keen social observations of the songs of the Arctic Monkeys. Clarke’s recording of “Evidently Chickentown’ was also used in the penultimate closing scene of “The Sopranos”. JCC is a regular presenter on BBC 6, had his own film “Evidently John Cooper Clarke” shown on BBC4, and three of his poems are now in the GCSE syllabus, including the remarkable Twat.