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Joe Strummer “I called myself Joe Strummer because I can only play all six strings at once or none at all”
In 1976, the summer was hot and long; a drag of the hippies’ joint still layered the sky; Abba played on the radio; disco was wild in New York City, and the tunes of progressive rock made the days unbearable. However in the dark dungeons of London a new sound developed, in small clubs and pubs a band started playing a raging, uncontrolled sound, slashing on the strings careless, with the feedback of a speaker far too loud for human ears. Sex Pistols, a band born in the backroom of a clothing store in the Kings Road played there the really first concert in Manchester organized by the Buzzcocks a Tuesday night 4 June 1976. Punk was born of the journalist desperately looking for something new as the small venue that night hosted probably more journalist than people out on the club that night.
Mick Jones “I decided that I’d go to art school in order to meet other musicians and get a grant, so I could buy some equipment”
In a small pub in Sheffield, one month later the Clash made their first live act as the support act for the sex Pistols. The Clash was larger than punk, more fashionable than the Sex Pistols, and took the best of punk; juxtapose of reggae, working class protest songs and Spanish guitars. Bands as U2 would never have happened if it wasn’t for The Clash, their style changed the attitude of rock and roll, once cool band high on cocaine driven their Rolls Royce into a swimming pool became utterly childish. The and world changed forever the night as Paul Simonon smashing his Fender Precision bass against the stage at The Palladium in New York City on 21 September 1979 during the Clash Take the Fifth US tour; their musical style, featuring elements of funk, soul, jazz ska, pop, soul, jazz, rockabilly, and reggae with lyrics that brilliantly described the life of streets and fear of a young lost generation.
The most stylish rock’n roll band in the history rock, The Clash
Paul Simonon “I wanted to be Pete Townshend, the bloke that throws his arms around and jumps up and down”
In 1976, Paul entered the stage in his self-customized Jackson Pollock shirt with a patch showing The Gladiators a reggae band. His bass painted with the word “positive,” from that point fashion did not happen in Paris, by designers or any other fashion store; fashion created when the Clash entered the stage, were The Sex Pistols shocked their audience with filthy tees and swastikas, the Clash stencil art shirts and their painted 1977 shirts told the world a new, smarter and street cool style of rock’n roll.
Bernie Rhodes should become an important style factor for The Clash as he used to watch them rehearse and say this is good; this is bad. Rhodes was very creative; his input was everything; he knew the trends, read all the right books and got the intellectual feel that made the Clash sound visible through their fashions, stencil art words and numbers, Pollock and the “Situationist.” The Clash made all their unified looks with their own stuff. Bernie brought in this girl Alex Michon, who got the Clash drawings of what they wanted and sew them up. She made a Union Jack jacket were the flag was cut up and rearranged; Joe Strummers hand stenciled “1977” shirt became one of their trademarks.
Big in America
Clash is one of few British band that became big in America, when they landed in New York, the Clash were on TV and radio in the city almost constantly; they played 15 shows in a row at the Bonds and when the tickets for the show were announced, queues formed the day before they went on sale and fans slept in the streets.
Topper Headon “drumming became my first addiction. I’d play for eight hours a day”
About the band, the Clash
The Clash formed in 1976 as a part of the original British punk scene; the key members of the band were Joe Strummer, Mick Jones Paul Simonon and Topper Headon. The band got its name after being called the Psychotic Negatives, afterwards we were the Weak Heart Drops, after a lyric in a Big Youth record, then Paul thought of the name The Clash.
They released six albums whereof London Calling (1979) was a double album, and Sandinista (1980) was a triple record. The album London Calling released December 1979 became one of the most important records and is the true manifest of punk, a feast of reggae, Ska music, soul, jazz and rockabilly sound. Ranked at number eight on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003 and sold over five million copies worldwide.
The Clash Studio albums
- The Clash (1977)
- Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)
- London Calling (1979)
- Sandinista! (1980)
- Combat Rock (1982)
- Cut the Crap (1985)
The Clash official website CLASH.COM
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