The Clash

The Clash


5/31/1976, London, England



Birth Name

The Clash


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The Clash were an British punk/rock band. Original members were: Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon. They were active from 1976 to 1986. Although the Clash were a success in the UK, they did not become popular in the US until 1980. Their third album,…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Beside main line up, other members of the band were: Terry Chimes- 1976;1977;1982, Keith Levene- 1976, Rob Harper- 1976–1977, Nick Sheppard- 1983–1986, Vince White- 1983–1986,and Pete Howard- 1983–1986.

    • Joe Strummer died on December 22, 2002 of an undiagnosed congenital heart defectat age 50.

    • The cover of the album London Calling featuring a photograph of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar against the stage at The Palladium in New York City, was voted the best rock and roll photograph of all time by Q Magazine.

    • Band's drummer Topper Headon was asked to leave the band just prior to the release of the album Combat Rock in 1982, due to his heroin addiction, which was hurting his health and also his drumming.

    • The Clash planned to record and release a single every month in 1980, but their record label, CBS, balked at this idea.

    • According to Mick Jones, their song "I'm So Bored With The U.S.A." was "I'm So Bored With You" until Joe Strummer added the S and the A.

    • Their song "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?", was used in a TV commercial for jeans in 1991, and the re-released single reached no.1 in the UK chart.

    • Band's members appear in the Martin Scorsese film "The King Of Comedy" (1983). They were credited as "street scum."

    • Jones and Strummer were in trouble throughout 1977 with the police for a variety of minor crimes: from petty vandalism to stealing a pillowcase, while on March 1978 Simonon and Headon were arrested for shooting racing pigeons with an air gun from the roof of rehearsal studio.

    • The Clash's song London Calling is ranked #64 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll.

    • The Clash is #19 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artist of Hard Rock.

  • Quotes

    • Joe Strummer:I think we're going to have to forget about the radio and just go back to word of mouth.

    • Joe Strummer: Do not go in there; do not sign with this company, or you'll end up like me - screwed and out on the street. And I am a living legend, you bastards!

    • Joe Strummer: People don't understand our song about being on the dole. We're not saying the dole ain't OK. What we're saying is on another level.

    • Topper Headon: It's taken Joe's death to make me realise just how big The Clash were. We were a political band and Joe was the one who wrote the lyrics. Joe was one of the truest guys you could ever meet.

    • Joe Strummer: When you blame yourself, you learn from it. If you blame someone else, you don't learn nothing, cause hey, it's not your fault, it's his fault, over there.

    • Paul Simonon: We could be as idealistic as we liked. If someone knocked us down for that then that was up to them, but it was our group and we did things our way. It might be the wrong way, but at least we were trying: why don't you go and try your way if you think it's better?

    • Joe Strummer: If you're enthusiastic about things…it's about sensing the possibilities. People who are cynical can't see any possibility in anything. Like a creative idea or something that excites you. You've got to be able to keep seeing the possibilities, having new ideas.

    • Joe Strummer: Everything that The Clash are asked to do, we have a voting system - one man, one vote. Everything we do is still a democratic decision. If there's a split we have an aggressive discourse.

    • Joe Strummer: You yell at people when you're young. Fair enough. But it can get pretty brittle if you kept shouting your whole career and your whole life. It would be a bit false if you're 47 and get you get up there and say: C'mon everybody, we gotta get there and go!

    • Mick Jones: How many people do anything after they come out of a big group? Very few, because everyone just wants to hear the same kind of thing. So I tried to do something as far away as possible from the Clash.

    • Mick Jones: I came into the punk scene because punk stayed with you, it has taught you something. A lot of the other music of the time left you as it found you.

    • Joe Strummer: You see, when you strip yourself down to your essence, when you're questioning yourself you gotta realize what is your strength and play to your strength. In order to play to your strength you gotta realize what they are.

    • Joe Strummer: Punk ain't the boots or the hair dye. I've been asked to define it many times so I've actually thought about it for a couple of seconds. It must be the attitude that you have, that approach everything in life with that attitude.