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POP MUSIC : Strummer on Man, God, Law--and the Clash

January 31, 1988|RICHARD CROMELIN

I'll tell you something. When you see you become part of the cycle of generations, you lose your ego in the process, because you ain't nothin' special. You're just another cipher in the generations. When you devote all your interest into another person, you lose your self-obsession, and that's when you understand what it is. You don't know (anything) without that moment. You don't want anything to harm this helpless being. That's a fantastic change. And that's when you understand what's happening. I never understood anything until my first baby looked at me. I didn't understand (anything). Now I understand.

Q: Are you as driven to create as you were, to make music?

Creativity don't stop. It just gets more intense if you feed it right. The only people that have to worry about their creativity is the junkies. The coke freaks and the heroin freaks, they're the ones that have to worry. . . . Bet you Paul Simon ain't no coke freak or no junk freak, you know.

Q: Do you feel good about things now generally?

Oh man, you know. There's certain things you gotta decide in life. . . . If you ain't confronting them--if you ain't thinkin' about man and God and law, then you ain't thinkin' about nothin'. There ain't no use thinkin' about sex or drugs or rock 'n' roll. That's all red herrings. If you ain't thinkin' about man and God and law then you ain't thinkin' about nothin'.

Q: What do you think about man and God and law? Do you believe in God?

Well, I would say it was about time that you believe in something. And sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll ain't it. . . . A lot of people used to think they were.

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