In conversation with Dr John Cooper Clarke: OnTheWight Podcast

When a conversation starts, “No one has the imagination big enough to envisage the extent of Human evil …” you know it’s going to be an interesting chat. OnTheWight sat down exclusively with John Cooper Clarke this afternoon for a wide ranging discussion.

John Cooper Clarke

As part of his latest show touring across the UK, USA, Canada and Australasia sharing his unique observations on life, but today the original People’s Poet, Dr John Cooper Clarke, is right here on the Isle of Wight.

Ahead of his Shanklin Theatre show tonight (Monday 12th November), we were lucky enough to spend a little time with JCC this afternoon in Shanklin.

Unconventional start
The interview /chat with John Cooper Clarke starts in a way that you’d imagine – unconventionally (listen).

The opening line – which I caught by hitting the record button when we were chatting about the Internet (of which JCC is not a great user):

“No one has the imagination big enough to envisage the extent of Human evil – I think that’s the Liberal delusion of the late 20th century – that people are basically good. There’s no evidence for that.”

We covered a lot
It took me a little while to get into the flow of how to sit down with him. We talked about:

  • Who the first performer JCC saw as a child was and what a huge impact that has on the rest of this life
  • The founding of America, including the Mormons
  • How English society has become more coarse
  • How he deals with people who walk along the pavement looking at their phones
  • How Leveson was an assault on the free press
  • Why his book and tour are called Luckiest Guy Alive (The latest tour just started on Thursday – although JCC calls on a lifetime of experience behind him.)
  • His recollection of a 1981 gig at Alexandra Palace
  • How he feels about his writing now, compared to the old days
  • The origins of horses in America and the revolution they brought to the Native Americans
  • Him receiving our ‘Make Vectis Gurt again’ T-shirt
  • How he’d predicted Trump would win, way before he did
  • Touch on Brexit
  • Tony Benn quote of the two questions he asked when he met other politicians: “Who are you and how do I get rid of you?”
  • We’re joined later by JCC’s pal and manager, Johnny Green
  • The time around his Chicken Town track was featured in The Sopranos and non-English films
  • How a recent gig in Finland, in a northern town had 2,500 Fins receipting his poems
  • How he tunes into his audience
  • John Peel and his friendship with Mark E Smith: “Always different – always the same”

The podcast contains some strong language, so best not to listen if you are easily offended.

See him today
Dr John Cooper Clarke will be performing at Shanklin Theatre this evening (Monday 12th November). There are still some balcony seats left if you fancy popping down.

Comedian Simon Day – who you might know from The Fast Show among other things – will also be performing, so you get two for the price of one!

Tickets are priced at £22.50 and can be bought via the Theatre Website, or on the door.

Monday, 12th November, 2018 6:38pm



Filed under: Island-wide, podcast, poetry, Shanklin, The Arts, What's On

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2 Comments on "In conversation with Dr John Cooper Clarke: OnTheWight Podcast"

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Pity this story was put out 24 hours after the event; would have liked to have attended, were tickets still available.

Sally Perry
This podcast was published just hours after recording on Monday afternoon, and before the event took place (not 24 hours after as you suggest). There was also a posting here about it in August (here) and it was listed on Events OnTheWight too (here) and regularly posted to our social media network over the last two months. Not sure what more we could have done to let… Read more »