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"The only band that matters," Alphonse repeated, obviously not getting the reference. In his head he was probably running through various Monk or Davis line-ups.

"That's what they used to call the Clash."

"Oh, I remember them. What was that hit of theirs?" It took him a moment, but then he half-sang the chorus and title of "Should I Stay or Should I Go."

She nodded. "Except that was more Mick Jones's. Joe's lyrics were the ones with a political agenda."

"I don't much care for politics," Alphonse said.

"Yeah, most people don't. And that's why the world's as fucked up as it is."

Alphonse shrugged and went to serve a customer at the other end of the bar. The blue-haired girl returned her attention to her beer, staring down into the amber liquid.

"Did you ever meet him?" I asked.

She looked up to where I was sitting a couple of bar stools away. Her eyes were as blue as her hair, such a vibrant colour that I figured they must be contacts. She had a pierced eyebrow—the left—and pale skin, but by the middle of winter, most people have pretty much lost their summer colour. She was dressed like she was auditioning for a black and white movie: black jersey, cargos and boots, a grey sweater. The only colour was in her hair. And those amazing eyes.

"No," she said. "But I saw them play at the Standish in '84."

I smiled. "And you were what? Five years old?"

"Now you're just sucking up."

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