It is all such a long time ago. In 1979, The Who already struggling to overcome the rigours of a career littered with successes and debris, I stumbled into The Ruts. We were on tour in the UK and (I think) they were supporting us at one of our Northern shows. I liked their set, they reminded me in some ways of The Clash – there was a political undertone to the feeling around the band, but also a lot of joy.
We became friends. At the time I had a studio and PA hire company and was able to help out at some solidarity events for Rock Against Racism. Also, The Ruts were close to the genuine Reggae band Misty In Roots, and the pleasure and privilege were all mine to give Clarence (Misty’s manager) some free studio time, and some gear to help them along. It was shortly after recording that Clarence was beaten by the police in a demo about Blair Peach. He sustained brain damage. Segs and I were utterly staggered. We weren’t blaming the police, but we couldn’t understand what had happened. Clarence was a gentle man, a wise man, a quiet man. He was a beloved guru to the boys in Misty.