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Penguin Post Office - Episode 1
Image for The Bard of Salford

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Last on

Sat 22 Aug 2009 23:30 BBC Radio 4

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 08 May 2008

Paul Morley traces the life and works of Manchester punk poet John Cooper Clarke.

Paul looks back at the punk movement in the mid 1970s, its DIY ethic and popular appeal and how Cooper Clarke, as the poet of the people, fit into the scene.

Through exclusive new interviews with Cooper Clarke, Paul delves into the most significant moments of his life and career, from his first job as a lab technician at Salford University to touring with some of the world's most famous punk bands, his domestic partnership and shared heroin addiction with Nico, the use of one of his songs in The Sopranos, his signing to the same label as Bob Dylan and his appearance in a Sugar Puffs advert.

Cooper Clarke has continued to tour and write new work for 30 years and despite being exasperated by the 1980s' flamboyant reaction to punk's DIY ethic, his influence today should not be underestimated. Jarvis Cocker, Noel Gallagher, Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, Lily Allen and Kate Nash have all cited Clarke as an influence, as his distinctive style continues to pervade popular music.

Contributors include Mark E Smith, Pete Shelly, Kate Nash, Phill Jupitus and Clarke himself.

An All Out production for BBC Radio 4.

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