John Cooper Clarke
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Background information
Born 25 January 1949
Salford, Lancashire, UK
Occupation Poet
Years active 1970s-present
Performance Poet

John Cooper Clarke (born 25 January 1949) is an English performance poet who first became famous during the punk rock era of the late 1970s when he became known as a "punk poet".

Duran Duran were the support act for Pauline Murray (& The Invisible Girls) & John Cooper Clarke at the Lyceum show on the 9th of October 1980.

Clarke was a support act for Duran Duran in 1981.


Clarke was born in Salford, Lancashire in 1949. He lived in the Higher Broughton area of the city and became interested in poetry after being inspired by a teacher whom he described as "a real outdoor guy, an Ernest Hemingway type, red blooded, literary bloke".

His first job was a laboratory technician at Salford Tech. He began his performance career in Manchester folk clubs, where he began working with Rick Goldstraw and his band The Ferrets. His first releases were on Martin Hannett's independent label Rabid, starting with the EP Innocents in October 1977.

In 1979 he had his only UK top 40 hit with "Gimmix! (Play Loud)". Clarke toured with Linton Kwesi Johnson, and has performed on the same bill as bands such as the Sex Pistols, the Fall, Joy Division, the Buzzcocks, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Elvis Costello, Rockpile and New Order.

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