Mick Jones received the Inspiration Award at the first (and last) NME Awards in Los Angeles in April 2008. As you can tell from the statuette, it was a rather silly affair, and I was glad there wasn’t a follow-up especially as the open bar offered low-grade spirits.
Anyway, Mick was the coolest. We chatted outside the El Rey Theatre beforehand. He remembered me from our interview at the Troubadour the previous November. Inside, he got up on stage to get the award, and then played two songs with Carbon/Silicon, the post-punk band he leads with Tony James (ex-Generation X).
Backstage afterward, Mick and I reconnected for an informal interview. We discussed the American political scene, which he follows intensely. His mother is a naturalized citizen who lives in Michigan. He even took a few swigs of my indeterminate cocktail as he explained the geography of Minnesota. He would make a great lifeline on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
I started to transcribe the tape later, but we’re both a bit incoherent. Anyway, here’s part of his acceptance speech from the ceremony:
“On inspiration. I saw this amazing thing on the television this morning. There was a dog from Illinois. I’m telling you this now because I hope you might share this by seeing this on the television, on the news, later. There’s a dog from Illinois called Lucy who had given birth to six puppies, and was a beautiful thing. And then after that, a cat mother died, and they had six kittens. And what they did was they thought, ‘Let’s try and put the kittens with the dog.’ And so they did. And would the dog take them? And she did. It’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever, ever seen. And that’s what inspires me. I know we’re in Hollywood, and you can make a movie about it. Maybe you can call it The Dogmother. Anyway, thanks a lot. Love you all, bye.”
NOTE: Largely unrelated to the above story, my gossipy rock bio Strange Days: The Adventures of a Grumpy Rock ‘n’ Roll Journalist in Los Angeles is available here. For more info, go to strangedaysbook.com
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