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Music Video: The Clash Perform “Charlie Don’t Surf”

by on Friday, April 27, 2012 at 10:51 pm EDT in Arts & Entertainment, Music

Here’s a video of an amazing Clash song, “Charlie Don’t Surf,” from the Sandinista album.

The footage of the video was apparently pulled from a 1982 live performance in Tokyo, Japan, laced w/ scenes from Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, which had been the inspiration for the song. 

In the movie, Robert Duvall’s character, Lieutenant Colonel Kilgore, justifies his orders to reclaim a dangerous beach from the Vietcong so his men could do some surfing, with the phrase “Charlie Don’t Surf.” (Charlie, of course, was the American troops’ slang for the Vietcong).

The chorus:

Charlie don’t surf, and we think he should
Charlie don’t surf, and you know that it ain’t no good
Charlie don’t surf for his hamburger momma
Charlie’s gonna be a napalm star

My interpretation of this, though others may disagree, goes to how the U.S. forces western consumerism down the world’s throats. And for those who dare to resist its Capitalist imperatives, it is napalm for you.


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