Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

John Cooper Clarke: I didn’t want to quit heroin

John Cooper Clarke has spoken about his habit (Yui Mok/PA)
John Cooper Clarke has spoken about his habit (Yui Mok/PA)

John Cooper Clarke has said he did not want to quit heroin.

The punk poet believed he was doing society a favour when he weaned himself off the drug.

He had maintained a long heroin habit before quitting to ease the worries of those around him.

Clarke has said that he did not really want to quit, and believes no addict does.

John Cooper Clarke
John Cooper Clarke felt the punk spirit vanish in the 1980s (Joel Ryan/PA)

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, the poet has said the tedium of working for money in the 1980s had brought an end to the punk scene and made life difficult.

Clarke has said that safety did not play a part in his decision to quit, but he did not want to be a source of anxiety for his loved ones.

He said: “I don’t remember fear being one of the factors.  I’ve been in scary situations around it.

“When I quit I felt really badly done to. I didn’t want to quit. I don’t think anybody does.

“You feel you’re doing it for society. I thought I was doing everybody a favour.

“Everybody was worried about me, what can I say? No-one wants to be a source of anxiety to everybody they know. You’re just trouble.”

Clarke has said that the explosion of punk music chimed with his own poetic ambitions, and he felt a kinship with the likes of the Sex Pistols and the lyrics of the new style.

He has said that when the 1980s began, true punk became unviable, and he was forced to seek money.

Clarke said: “Every drug addict is virtually the same person. There’s not really much point in dwelling on it.

“I needed money more than ever, so I had to work. The glamour was flaking off with every new job. I really felt like I was selling my sorry ass.

“It was a tedious saying among hippies, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

“I was very much part of the problem.”

Desert Island Discs airs on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio 4 on Sunday at 11.15am.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]