Hateful

Album: London Calling (1979)
  • This song was written in the Vanilla rehearsals in April 1979, in the sessions which the band wished to record directly from their rehearsal space in Vanilla Studios, a small intimate space behind a garage in Vauxhall, London. Their record company CBS would have none of it, and demanded they use an actual studio, hence why they chose Wessex studios: it best replicated the intimacy of the Vanilla space in a full studio setup.
  • The song is heavily anti-drugs, following on from similar songs on Give 'Em Enough Rope such as "Drug-Stabbing Time." The lyrics had slightly more credence this time as the band generally shied away from hard drug use during the London Calling sessions, so the portrayal of helpless heroin addiction in the present song ("Anything I want he gives it, but not for free. It's hateful and it's paid for and I'm so grateful to be nowhere") has more weight to it.

    The words also contain an emotional reference to Joe Strummer's good friend Sid Vicious, who had recently died from a heroin overdose ("this year I've lost some friends"), and indeed if the entire song is discussing heroin addiction, it could be said that the whole song was inspired by Vicious' sorry demise.
  • "Hateful" struggled to find a place in the Clash's live repertoire, and was only ever performed live three times: at their July 1979 shows in London at the Notre Dame Hall and the Rainbow.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

James Williamson of Iggy & the StoogesSongwriter Interviews

The Stooges guitarist (and producer of the Kill City album) talks about those early recordings and what really happened with David Bowie.

Angelo Moore of FishboneSongwriter Interviews

Fishbone has always enjoyed much more acclaim than popularity - Angelo might know why.

Strange MagneticsSong Writing

How Bing Crosby, Les Paul, a US Army Signal Corps Officer, and the Nazis helped shape rock and Roll.

Dick Wagner (Alice Cooper/Lou Reed)Songwriter Interviews

The co-writer/guitarist on many Alice Cooper hits, Dick was also Lou Reed's axeman on the Rock n' Roll Animal album.

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors ExaminedSong Writing

Doors expert Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, talks about some of their defining songs and exposes some Jim Morrison myths.

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.