A Friend Remembers.............

 

Thanks for a great Clash website. I've just found it
from Passion is a Fashion.
One correction is that the picture of Christchurch
House is too far down Christchurch Road. It is in fact
right on the corner of the A23 and South Circular and
diagonally opposite the Crown and Sceptre pub, I don't
know if it's still called that. I'm not sure if that's
the "Crown" in Stay Free but it also has a little bit
of rock history of its own as the landlord in the late
70's and early 80's was the father of Glen Cornick who
played bass in Jethro Tull.
Mick and I grew up together in Christchurch House. He
lived on the top floor flat, number 61, and I lived in
41 on the first floor 5 floors below. Both our flats
faced out onto Brixton Hill. Passion is a fashion is
wrong when it says that the flats were council flats.
When Mick lived there they were privately rented and
were later sold off. My father, who coincidently
shared the same birthday as Mick, was the first tenant
in the block in the 30's. It was a very upmarket
development.
There were few children in the flats. In fact I can
only remember a couple of others. We had friends from
school and the nearby council estates, but generally
just had each other for company.
Mick Went to Christchurch primary school. I went to
Glenbrook at Clapham Park until I also changed to
Christchurch.
I have lots of childhood memories and I think also the
earliest film of Mick playing the guitar! It was in
fact my guitar and he was playing it at my birthday
party.
We were always at the pictures, both loving epic war
films. The book says that Mick's favourite was Zulu
but I also recall The Alamo and 55 Days at Peking
being favourites.
We listened to a lot of music, the Beatles etc. I
always remember Mick liking the Kinks.
Then we got into football together, I remember going
in Mick's Dad's Tom's taxi to see Chelsea. We also
went to Crystal Palace a lot and were forever playing
football. There was a concrete pitch in the Estate
opposite us and we played endless games of "England v
Scotland".
I remember Mick going to the Strand, I went to
Battersea Grammar, and we stopped being so friendly
then. I hadn't seem him for a while and I remember
seeing Mick in Christchurch House with some friends
(maybe you!) and thinking how he's changed with long
hair. He was carrying in a bundle of records which
matches with your account.
Then Mick moved away. I stayed at Christchurch and
eventually bought the flat. But I was also very much
into the music scene and was forever at gigs in
London. The next time I saw Mick was at the
Roundhouse, probably in about 1975. He certainly
looked different from the rest of the denim clad
audience. Over the next few years I saw him regularly
at gigs in London when obviously The Clash were really
taking off. I haven't seen him since about 1978.
I remember Mick with great fondness. He was a
character with something of the cocky swagger about
him even as a kid. He lived with his Nan who was, if I
remember rightly, a real worrier for him. He was quite
sickly as a small child I think. He was very fond of
his Nan. His Mother went to the States when he was
quite young and sent back things to him. I still have
a sew on badge worn by US soldiers in Vietnam that she
sent back. His Dad was a smashing guy who met a lady
from the Council Estate in Clapham Park. I'm not sure
if they married. I remember going to Brighton with
them and Mick in his taxi and picnicking on the
downs.
Nobody who knew him in his early years would be
surprised at his success. Looking back there was
always something about him and he was able to exert a
strong influence - a bit too strong for my Mum and
Dad's liking sometimes!!
Anyway, sorry for the reminiscing ramble. If you know
Mick's e-mail perhaps you could forward this to him.
Cheers
Mark Pearson


markpearson_2000@yahoo.co.uk

 

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