Sing in tune, you bastards!
Punk rock baffled me until I moved to New York. Growing up in Florida listening to more melodic classic rock like The Beatles and Pink Floyd, punk never really made sense. I saw "The Great Rock & Roll Swindle" but all of the kids in high school with the trendy Sex Pistols patches made it seem like just another trend. There's no way these kids actually enjoyed the music, they were just pretending to like it to look cool.
Something about being in New York, hanging out in a lower East Side bar makes "Anarchy in the UK" or "London Calling" seem like the best music ever made. It's not just the fact that the Ramones started in that neighborhood, and created the spark that became the British punk invasion, but it's the energy in the air. Suddenly, a ferocious song under 2 minutes made so much more sense than a song anything that rambles on for 10 minutes of instrumental experimentation just to get to the good part of the song.
Anyway, now I love the Clash. I can appreciate the amazing early tracks like "London's Burning" or "Clash City Rockers," though I still tend to favor the later more pop/dub sounding songs. One of my favorite songs is "Straight To Hell." Joe Strummer's voice sounds like he has perpetual bronchitis, very infectious, and the biting lyrics of this song match it. On the live version of this song on From Here To Eternity, which I recommend, you can hear him yell "Sing in tune, you bastards!" to the audience as they all sing along. I find it hilarious for some reason, but you can miss it if you're not listening for it. It's near the very end of the song. Check it out:
Straight To Hell (live) mp3