Killing Joke's Jaz Coleman Shares Childhood Memories of Brian Jones
After more than 30 years together, it's no surprise that Killing Joke do some reminiscing on their latest album, 'Absolute Dissent.' The record is the British post-punk band's first in 25 years to feature the original line-up and the final track, 'Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove,' looks back to the late 1970s, when that west London neighborhood was home to such bands as the Clash, the Slits, the Raincoats and their own nascent troupe.
"We all gravitate back to this area when we're in the United Kingdom," Killing Joke frontman Jaz Coleman tells Spinner. "I expect to see Raven walking towards me," he says of the late Killing Joke/Ministry bassist, who died in 2007, "or Joe Strummer. There are all the memories of what it was and there are a few hidden places that are still good. It's our tribal ground."
Before living in London, Coleman spent his early years in Cheltenham, the hometown of one of the '60s most iconic rock figures, Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones. "I used to see Brian every week," Coleman says. "He went to Cheltenham Grammar School with my uncle Bob. They moved to London together. Of course, at the time I was a little boy. He used to pick me up and talk to me. At Christmastime, he always made a beeline for me. He was very good with kids, Brian Jones. He was very close to my grandmother, too."
These days, the itinerant Coleman calls New Zealand, South America, Switzerland and the Czech Republic home. But even though Ladbroke Grove has grown increasingly yuppified, the area holds a special place in his memories. "It was what we made of it. Now its bankers and celebrities and the spirit has gone. The great tradition