When I Was 14

from by Joe Solo

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    18-track CD album in shrink-wrapped jewel case with 8-page booklet with sleeve design by Kevin Pearson of Vagrant Art.

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I was in two minds about including some of the poems on the next album, but the reaction they get live has convinced me to put three or four on....you can always skip em.

I particularly like this one as it is basically my journey through music and what I got from where.....gives me a chance to say 'thank you' to a lot of amazing artists who saved my life in one way or another.

It is a personal journey, but I hope it's a universal one too. I think anyone who loves music has paved their path with heroes and all you need to do is change the names.


I was 14 years old when my journey began
It was needle on record...that crackle...then BANG
It was Stiff Little Fingers who hit me that night
It was just as if someone had turned on the light
And then handed me over the keys to the world
One that wasn't just homework and football and girls
But was everything I'd ever wanted to know
And for a kid with no friends
That was some place to go.

The Clash taught me music isn't there on a shelf
You live it and breathe it! You think for yourself!
They packed me off to Jamaica
Bob, Jimmy and Toots
Gave my rockers and radicals reggae and roots
Woody Guthrie said this land was my land to roam
Billy Bragg said with no band you go it alone
Joe Hill showed me legends can live down the ages
Paul Simmonds that stories can slip between pages
In history books, and it's our job to write em
Pete Seeger, injustices stand up and fight em
You don't fake it to make it
You don't beg for a deal
You write what you see
And you sing what you feel.

Johnny Cash taught me one thing I'll never forget
That's your voicecan ring truer the older you get
Dick Gaughan said I had to work out before
I start writing, what I'm fighting
And what I'm fighting it for
Propagandhi said hit hard and fast with no pity
Tom Waits showed me romance
Don't have to look pretty
Bruce Springsteen he said that it's ok to dream
Gillian Welch that a whisper can drown out a scream
Mega City Four that you're never alone
The Weakerthans that there's no place like home
Attila and TV Smith keep up the fight
And The King Blues the showed me
The kids are alright
Cos they've got it, they get it, they know what it means
They all had that moment I had at 14.

So Ii'm old now, I'm shattered
I'm tattered and torn
But like Rancid I'll stand here
And weather the storm no matter what
Because like them I know
When I got the music
There's a place I can go


from The Future Needs Us Now, released January 6, 2017



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Joe Solo Scarborough, UK

Joe Solo is an award-winning musician, writer, poet, activist, broadcaster and washing machine engineer from Scarborough.

Live he has an ever growing reputation as both a performer and raconteur, being thought-provoking, comical and punch-the-air political often in the same breath.

He is not an artist you forget in a hurry.
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