75 Years of Dr John Cooper Clarke
Literary phenomenon John Cooper Clarke is a British cult hero. Known as the ‘Godfather of Punk Poetry’ and the original people’s poet, John’s cultural influence spans literature, music and fashion.
From creating some of the most iconic poetry of the modern era, including the world’s most popular wedding poem “I Wanna Be Yours” (recently celebrating over a billion streams in its incarnation as a hit record by the Arctic Monkeys) to sharing his life story through his 120k selling memoir of the same name.
John is referenced as a major influence not just by the Arctic Monkeys but also by artists across the globe… As well as musicians like Alex Turner, The Sleaford Mods and Plan B, his legendary number “Evidently Chickentown” plays out the penultimate episode of The Sopranos. Watching John Cooper Clarke perform is an opportunity to see a living legend at the top of his game.
Doctor John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s. Captivating audiences with his unique poetry and delivery style, he clawed his way up from working mens clubs and cabaret venues in his native Salford and Manchester, to become one of the most prolific figures in punk.
John’s early live shows were renowned occasions, and headline gigs were supported by many soon-to-be superstars including Joy Division, New Order and Duran Duran, as well as playing as special guest on shows by the Sex Pistols, Buzzcocks and The Clash.
After the release of his seminal album on CBS “Snap, Crackle and Bop” where John’s poems were put to music by the legendary music producer Martin Hannett, he was firmly established as one of the most important artists of the Punk era. His recorded album was followed by the release of his first collection 10 Years in an Open Necked Shirt. The book is one of the best-selling poetry anthologies ever in the UK, Canada and Australia.
As relevant and vibrant as ever, John Cooper Clarke’s influence is just as visible in contemporary pop culture, with his trademark ‘look’ resonating with fashion-conscious individuals across all demographics and his poetry features in the UK national curriculum syllabus.
John’s 2018 poetry collection The Luckiest Guy Alive featured 30 new poems and his long-awaited 2020 autobiography I Wanna Be Yours is a groundbreaking piece of literature and a “riveting memoir”.
His sense of humour resounds throughout his career, and his latest live show is a mix of classic verse, new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat.
In 2024 John will be celebrating his 75th birthday with a new live tour of the UK’s major cities including a show at the London Palladium as well as at the Lowry Theatre in his native Salford. It’s a chance to see one of the world’s most important and entertaining spoken word artists at his bold and brilliant best.