KEITH Levene, a founding member of The Clash, co-wrote songs on their 1977 debut LP and played guitar on Public Image Limited’s first three albums, including the propulsive dub inspired rhythms of Metal Box.
“It all happened so quickly in The Clash, and then I just walked away after a few months,” recalled Levene, who will headline this weekend's Louder Than Words Literature Festival in Manchester.
“It was me that got Joe (Strummer) into The Clash - when I stole him from an RandB band, The 101ers.
“We had a pint and I said: ‘Joe, come to my squat and play.’
“Joe was an anti-hero. He looked so cool, dressed in a mid-1950s rockabilly style baggy suit and a pair of black crepes.
“We just set up our amps, plugged in, and ripped through a couple of tunes, Janie Jones, and What’s My Name?
“It was just one of those moments, you know.
“The squat was dark and cold, just tiny, but the music was pure white heat and it was one of those moments that, to this day, remains burned into my consciousness.”
While Levene is best known for his abrasive guitar style, once alongside John Lydon and Jah Wobble in Public Image Limited, he is also a highly respected artist, composer, musician, producer and writer.
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