Published Jan 01, 2006In no small way, you can blame Winnipegger Greg MacPherson's socially active, powerfully charged musical aesthetic on the Clash if one felt blame were to be doled out for such a beautiful creation.
"I've liked the Clash since grade five or four," admits MacPherson. "I remember being a little kid and I saw Rock the Casbah' on Video Hits or something. I just dropped what I was doing, like Lego and I threw my Lego aside and I was like, Man, that's the coolest thing, that sheikh running through the desert with a pink ghetto blaster.' Everything about them was so cool and the weird imagery and the fact that they were so in tune with the social climate of the world."
Much like the source of his childhood epiphany, MacPherson captures the spirit of the political as personal, working class aesthetic on his second CD release, Good Times Coming Back Again. MacPherson is an of the people' kind of guy, working three jobs to survive, riding his bike and public transport to get around and touring the country to share his articulate, honest, and downright inspirational tunes. He's a man who knows full well that the last way to communicate to listeners is by didactic preaching and I know better than you' attitude.
"I'm not yelling at people, I don't bang people over the head and go, This is what you have to do or you're wrong.' Who am I to tell anyone else they're wrong? Sometimes I raise an eyebrow when someone's going about things in a way I don't particularly understand or agree with. But I think it's easy for me to just write about what I know, and it just so happens that what I know, most people know. I'm not an intellectual or anything, I'm a janitor."
Being a janitor may be one of his jobs, but being a musician is his calling. Good Times Coming Back Again is a multi-faceted and intricate work incorporating the hardy spirit of straight-up rock'n'roll and the loud crunch and heartfelt ideology of punk rock. It's propelled by an underlying menace and disillusionment while maintaining subtle glimmers of hope. MacPherson is able to weave in and out of variety of styles and influences and create work that is fresh and timeless, deftly combining social relevance and activism with pure entertainment, an ability much akin, unsurprisingly, to the Clash.
"There are a lot of bands like that, but I think the Clash was the first band that I looked at and thought That's a complete package,'" says MacPherson. And, as the man himself proves, they were certainly not the last.