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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Line
In a previous incarnation, Gary was an award-winning copywriter for CBS
Records, before he chucked it all to concentrate on making music fulltime
(he's supported himself nearly 14 years now without a day job—performing, writing and recording music exclusively). One of Gary's most
famous ad copy lines back in his advertising hey-day was for the UK punk
group The Clash—"The Only Group That Matters"—which festooned myriad
Clash print ads and posters, reverberated in a series of radio spots, and
seemingly imprinted itself in the national subconscious:
case in point, the much ballyhooed new Jim Carrey movie "Eternal
Sunshine of the Spotless Mind".
Amidst music video director Michel Gondry's psychedelic retinal assault,
and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's miasma of narrative time-shifts and
flashbacks, one of the 2 geeky lab technicians erasing Jim Carrey's
memories references Gary's very same Clash advertising line, and adds
that it was really, like, an appropriate line for The Clash, signifying
(to the geeky character) the famous Superman catch-phrase: "Truth,
The "...and the American way" part of the Superman slogan is
conspicuously omitted next—which may be Charlie Kaufman's ironic
comment on The Clash's British socialist background versus Superman's
foresquare American identity (praised in The Kinks "(Wish I Could Fly)
Like Superman"; mocked in Ian Dury's "Superman's Big Sister" and Laurie
Anderson's "O Superman").
Or maybe not.
In any case, Gary is tickled by the longevity and uses his Clash ad copy
has enjoyed—coined in 1979 for the US Epic Records release of The
Clash's "Give 'Em Enough Rope" album—and retro-fitted and boomeranged
back at him a few years ago by the magazine Time Out New York, who called
him "One of the only guitarists who matters" in a live review.