Dirty Punk

Album: Cut the Crap (1985)

Songfacts®:

  • The lyrics are odd, in that the aim for The Clash coming into recording the Cut the Crap album was to take the band back to their 1977 UK Punk roots. The lyrics of "Dirty Punk" are very American-centric, featuring lines such as "rock up your neighborhood," "up your boulevard."

    The song talks about a stereotypical dysfunctional suburban American family, including the arguing parents ("I could hear your momma scream, She's gonna waste herself away, When your daddy smashed that TV screen, I understand what he had to say") and the clean-cut hunky brother getting drunk, picking up women and going off the rails ("While my brother dresses clean, He used to be the local hunk, The girls all ride in my machine, How bout the time I made him drunk, And he insult my brotherhood").
  • The music is also oddly US-centric, sounding more like a brash '80s Hair Metal track not unlike the thrashier elements of Def Leppard or Bon Jovi, although most critics cited "Dirty Punk" as one of the few good moments on the Cut the Crap album (which may just be because the rest of the album was so terrible).
  • This song was only performed twice by The Clash, both times in 1984 at the Brixton Miner's Benefit gigs in December of that year.

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