The Clash play ‘Safe European Home’ in newly unearthed live footage
02.07.2014
05:37 am

Topics:
Activism
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Clash


 
Web series The Big Fun Show, a project of One Billion Acts of Peace, has unearthed some unreleased footage of The Clash performing at Detroit USA’s Motor City Roller Rink in 1980. They’ve posted “Safe European Home,” from the LP Give Em Enough Rope, with the promise that if the video gets 100,000 views, they’ll post more of the show.

The video has been up for a few days now, and the hit count is still well below 5,000, so maybe we could give them a little hand? One Billion Acts of Peace is a charitable organization worth knowing about. A project of Peace Jam, it’s “an international global citizen’s movement led by thirteen Nobel Peace Laureates and designed to tackle the toughest issues facing humanity.”

Between now and December 31, 2018, average citizens around the world will work together to create one billion high quality projects addressing the root causes of the most important problems facing our planet—crucial areas like rights for women and children, access to clean water for all, and alleviating extreme poverty.

Additional information on the project is available at their web site. But OK, optimism, social change and Nobel Peace Prizes are all maybe a little hippie-ish for some of you, and you clicked on this to see The Clash. I’ll not keep you waiting.
 

Written by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
Sex Pistols, Clash and Motörhead covered Celtic folk style by Vyvyan from ‘The Young Ones’


 
Dangerous Minds has checked in on English actor/comedian/musician Adrian Edmondson before, to talk about The Idiot Bastard Band, his group with Bonzo Dog/Monty Python habitué Neil Innes, and his beloved BBC comedy The Young Ones, on which he played the insane and violent postcard-punker archetype Vyvyan Basterd. But we’ve only given passing mention to his fine band The Bad Shepherds, and that’s just absurd. The band’s specialty is Celtic folk covers of classic punk, though songs like Elvis Costello’s “Shipbuilding” and Kraftwerk’s “The Model” have found their way into the repertoire. They’ve released three albums worth of such interpretations, 2009’s Yan, Tyan, Tethera, Methera!, 2010’s By Hook Or By Crook and last year’s Mud, Blood & Beer.
 

 
Given Edmondson’s history in comedy, you could be forgiven for assuming this was a joke band, an inversion of the tired old novelty punk covers trip. But before you leap to conclude that, hear Edmondson out in these excerpts from an excellent recent interview with Outline Online

The whole mechanic of taking on cover songs is a huge mantle for you to take on; has there ever been a song that’s been too difficult, that’s wriggled away from you, that can’t be tamed?

Oh, hundreds of ‘em. Loads of ‘em. Yeah, we try loads of stuff and what we do probably represents about a quarter of what we try to do. It’s not that we don’t like the ones that don’t work, it’s just we haven’t found a way of doing it. We generally take the songs completely to pieces and then put them back together again without thinking about the original and try and find instrumentation for them. Primarily they fall down on lyrics because I’m a middle-aged man and they’ve got to suit my age, and most folk and most punk songs surprisingly do because they’re surprisingly adult in content, most of the punk canon, y’know. They were written by people who were really thinking; they’re not just solipsistic, selfish kind of ‘ooh, I’m in love, I’m not in love’ songs. They’re about social commentary and social protest and things like that and it’s very exciting. But some songs, for example, we’ve tried a few songs by The Damned and none of them worked because they’re all – and I don’t mean this to deride The Damned but they’re all just a bit childish when you take them to bits and you read the lyrics without thinking about what the music’s about. It just doesn’t work. It doesn’t go anywhere. We tried moving up the years as well thinking there must be a load of stuff in the 80s with Tears for Fears and OMD and stuff like that, so we scoured through those and tried to work on that and again, that kinda falls short, lyrically. It’s too childish. I mean, they’re brilliant, original things but they don’t fit the ethos of our band; they don’t become folk songs.

What is it about those genres that seem to lend themselves so well?


Because they’re forgotten songs and people all imagine that that sort of era is full of jumping up and down, shouting and spitting and it didn’t mean anything apart from anger in the performance. They’re disastrously wrong; they’re some of the most complex songs. The idea that all punk songs are three-chord wonders is completely erroneous. There are vastly complicated chord sequences and tuning in some of the songs we play.

 

The Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy In The U.K.”
 

The Clash’s “London Calling”

After the jump, Motörhead’s “Ace Of Spades” and more…

Written by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
‘Clash fan’ at Universal Music Group sends the most idiotic ‘cease & desist’ letter, perhaps ever…
11.08.2013
03:23 pm

Topics:
Art
Punk

Tags:
The Clash
Billy Childish


 
When art hero Billy Childish released his “Thatcher’s Children” pastiche/tribute/piss-take to the tune of The Clash’s “London Calling” back in 2008, probably the last thing he thought he would get would be a disgruntled letter from a conservative Clash fan, offended by the way Childish supposedly misrepresented the politics of the notoriously left-wing group. But (apparently) he did receive such a letter and it came from a legal representative of the Universal Music Group. At the end of an otherwise ordinary cease and desist letter, the UMe attorney just couldn’t resist adding the following clueless coda:

On a personal note as a fan of The Clash may i point out that your illegal use of the music of London Calling politicises the original tune in a way never intended by members of the group.

I appreciate that in its formative years The Clash may have been perceived as “anti-establishment” but the anti-right wing message contained in the lyric of Mr Chyldish is both insulting to the memory of Baroness Thatcher and President Reagan, and surely a sentiment that the mature songsmith Strummer would never have condoned. Such association could also jeopordise future commercial interest in London Calling by corporations who both fund and support politics that you misrepresent and hold up to ridicule, thereby depriving his family of income.

Wrong ‘em, boyo! I mean how much more wrong could this child of Thatcher possible be? Surely if Joe Strummer had outlived the Iron Lady, David Cameron would have asked him to speak at her funeral! Afterwards they could kick back at Strummerville!

To commemorate this stupidity of this “Clash fan,” Billy Childish is releasing a limited edition box set of “Thatcher’s Children” featuring a “God Save Margaret Thatcher” poster image he did in collaboration with Sex Pistols artist Jamie Reid and a sleeve that, ahem, strongly alludes to Pennie Smith’s iconic London Calling cover photo of Paul Simonon smashing his bass guitar (the lettering on that was inspired by an Elvis cover, so it’s not like there wasn’t already a precedent for this kind of thing. Quite a long precedent!)

Childish is also including a lithograph of this classically clueless letter from the Tory nincompoop at UMe, who deserves this disrespect, every drop of it… You can order it from L-13. You can also read the full letter there.
 

 
Below: Even better than the original?
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
‘Ian Rubbish’ (Fred Armisen) meets The Clash
10.17.2013
10:50 am

Topics:
Punk

Tags:
The Clash
Fred Armisen


 
In what looks to be a dream come true for him, Portlandia funnyman Fred Armisen interviews Mick Jones and Paul Simonon as “Ian Rubbish,” one-time member of Clash-wannabe group, Ian Rubbish and The Bizarros.

According to Billboard:

The Clash collaboration represents a full-circle moment of sorts for Armisen. “I first saw The Clash in 1982 at Pier 84 in New York as part of the Dr. Pepper music series, when I was about 14 or 15,” Armisen recalls on the phone from Portland, where he’s filming season 4 of IFC’s “Portlandia.” “And after the show, I was waiting outside the gate and Kosmo Vinyl, who was a tour manager, was pointing people in like, ‘You, you and you.’ And I totally got to talk to Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer. And then a couple weeks later I got to see a dress rehearsal of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ where Ron Howard was hosting, and I totally got to see The Clash play again. It was unreal.”

Ian/Fred even gets to jam with his heros!
 

 
Thank you Jo Caulfield!

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The Clash take on Tom Snyder, armed with a teddy bear, 1981
09.13.2013
07:51 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Clash
Tom Snyder


 
This footage is preposterously entertaining. It was 1981, the Clash were supporting Sandinista! The Clash had booked eight gigs at a nightclub called Bond’s Casino in Times Square in May and June of 1981—Richard has already written about that legendary stint in considerable detail.

(In related news, a comprehensive Clash box set dropped this week. The Clash: Sound System, designed by Paul Simonon to resemble an old-school boom box, contains the Clash’s first five U.S. releases—The Clash, Give ‘Em Enough Rope, London Calling, Sandinista!, and Combat Rock—three discs of rarities and outtakes, a DVD with videos, live material, and previously unseen footage by Julien Temple and Don Letts, and lots of other fun trinkets and doodads.)

Anyway, while they were in New York, they paid a visit to The Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder. If you’re into the Clash and you haven’t seen this, you are in for a treat.

During the interview, Joe Strummer keeps fooling around with a cute teddy bear, but, very much in the manner of an impatient fusspot dad, no-nonsense Tom keeps taking it away from him. The band decide to affix stickers all over Tom’s body and then Joe puts a “Have a Nice Day!” plastic bag over his head. Then they debate the ins and outs of squatting. I’m making it sound silly, but somehow all this happens and they also manage to answer Tom’s questions about vacant youth and so forth with a good mixture of seriousness and silliness, and it all happens in under nine minutes.

After the commercial the Clash entertains the crowd with vital performances of “The Magnificent Seven” and “This Is Radio Clash.” While the band is doing “This Is Radio Clash,” Futura 2000 is seen spray-painting text all over the back wall and there’s generally an undercurrent of controlled mayhem throughout.

This is must-see stuff.

The interview section is here:

 
Don’t neglect the performances of “The Magnificent Seven” and “This Is Radio Clash” after the jump….

Written by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg: The Clash’s alternate ‘Combat Rock’
06.03.2013
01:00 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Clash


 
It was 1981, and looking to soak up some revolutionary—and authentically countercultural—inspiration, The Clash famously recorded what would become their fifth album, Combat Rock in “Frestonia,” the 1.8 acre “free state” of London’s Notting Hill district, that attempted to (or did, depending on how you look at it) secede from the UK in 1977. 

The album, conceived to be a 2-LP set hot on the heels of Sandinista‘s three, was originally titled “Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg.” The band set up camp at The People’s Hall—the cultural center of Frestonian life—on Freston Road. Mick Jones did the first mix of the album, but the other band members were dissatisfied, and Glyn Johns (The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, etc, etc) was brought in instead. Johns added some considerable muscle to the tracks and the album was pared down to the single LP, Combat Rock.

However, the “Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg” mixes done by Mick Jones are quite easy to find on the Internet, and in good quality, too. Here’s a sampling of what you can download for very little effort.
 

 
If ever there’s a musical artifact of the legendary tensions within the group, it’s this Mick-mixed version of “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” It’s more playful than the version we all know, sure, but there’s no way this would have ever become such a massive hit single.

Interesting to note how much this sounds like, ahem, Big Audio Dynamite, right?

 
The Jones-mixed “Straight To Hell” is a minute and a half longer than the Combat Rock version.
 

 
Here’s another unreleased number from the original sessions, a very different take on “Rock The Casbah” which features Ranking Roger from The Beat on vocals. I’d take this over the released version any day! (At one point Mick Jones was going to join Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling in their post-Beat group, General Public. I went to a “sneak preview” of General Public in a club in London in 1984, but alas there was no Mick Jones, to the visible disappointment of the punters—like me—when the band walked onstage).
 

 
Ranking Roger again on vocals, on this heavily dubbed-out version of “Red Angel Dragnet.” This is pretty incredible, I think you’ll agree.
 

 
“The Fulham Song” AKA “The Beautiful People Are Ugly Too”
 

 
“Know Your Rights” in its original form. It’s wilder than the Combat Rock version, but it does tend to go on a bit (as many of Jones’s “Fort Bragg” mixes tended to).

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Shut yer fucking mouth: Punk started in New York!
05.31.2013
02:05 am

Topics:
Punk

Tags:
The Clash
The Ramones


 
In the ongoing debate (which shoulda been settled years ago) of whether 70s punk started in New York or London, I think Joe Strummer in this performance is sending the message that it started with four guys from Queens, New York. I know in the big scheme of things this ain’t a whole lotta much of nuthin’. But for some of us old punkers, it is a bone of contention. And punk is all about contention
 

 
And this should shut the mouth of the idiots who continue to claim punk originated in England.
 

 
Case fucking closed. The Ramones started it. The Clash took the energy and ran with it. The Pistols pissed it away.

Written by Marc Campbell | Discussion
New Jersey Calling: The Clash rock the Garden State on the ‘16 Tons Tour,’ 1980
05.24.2013
10:46 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Clash
Mikey Dread


 
The low-fi black & white video quality of this 1980 Clash concert doesn’t detract from the enjoyment and in fact may even enhance it (the soundboard audio is top notch).

Complete Clash shows are rare enough, but this also happens to be an especially great (and super energetic) Clash gig with one of the best set lists of any of their tours. Plus Blockhead Mick Gallagher on keyboards. PLUS dub legend Mikey Dread (how much footage exists of The Clash together with Michael Campbell?) and two encores. What more could you ask for? Listen LOUD.

Shot (with at least three cameras) at the legendary Capitol Theater in Passaic, NJ on March 8th, 1980.

Clash City Rockers
Brand New Cadillac
Safe European Home
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
Guns of Brixton
Train in Vain
White Man in Hammersmith Palais
Koka Kola
I Fought The Law
Spanish Bombs
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
Julie’s Been Working on the Drug Squad
Wrong’em Boyo
Clampdown
Janie Jones
Complete Control
————————————-
Armagideon Time (ft. Mikey Dread)
English Civil War
Garageland
————————————-
Bankrobber (ft. Mikey Dread)
Tommy Gun
 

 
Part II is here.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Paris Calling: Ferocious Live Clash show from 1980

Keith Levene of PiL on why he quit The Clash

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Punk+: Sheila Rock’s photos of The Clash, Siouxsie, The Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols and more


Siouxsie Sioux (Feb 1979) This is certainly a young woman who knew exactly who she was, wouldn’t you say?

Nevermind those sterile museum retrospectives, First Third Books has just published Punk+, a gorgeous new coffee table monograph featuring Sheila Rock’s documentation of the formative London punk scene. Although many of the faces are familiar, the emphasis on punk as a youth culture, as a tribe, makes this a welcome departure from many other books of punk era photography. These shots are from when the participants were still really young and Rock’s intimate images haven’t lost any of their power from being overused (85 to 90% of the photographs are unseen according to her estimate).

I get sent books like this, well, frequently, and Punk+ is far and away one of the best. Speaking as a former publisher myself, this is a high quality piece to be really proud of.

With a brief introduction by Nick Logan and commentary from some of the participants, Punk+ wisely lets Sheila Rock’s portraits do the talking. I especially loved the pics of a young John Lydon in what appears to be his own flat.
 

Jordan outside of Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood’s SEX boutique
 

Girl (Leather Jacket)
 

Subey (June 1977)
 

The Subway Sect, Chalk Farm (Dec 1976)

Rob Symmons: “They’re the only public photographs of us that exist from that time because we wouldn’t have any photographs taken. When you (Sheila Rock) rang the door bell, (that little black door at the side Rehearsal Rehearsals) you asked for The Clash and were disappointed they were not there, didn’t believe us and came in to see. To save a wasted trip, you reluctantly photographed us. After we told Bernie [Rhodes] you had come to the studio one evening and taken our pictures, he was cross. I remember his exact words: “When the cat’s away. the mice will play”

 

Generation X (1977)
 

The Buzzcocks (Nov 1977)

Paul Simonon: “We did a couple of shows with The Buzzcocks and we used to go on stage with Jackson Pollack Shirts. One time they did a show with us and came on with Mondrian shorts. It was great!”

 

The Damned (Nov 1976)
 

Paul Weller of The Jam (1979)
 
Sheila Rock’s Punk+ is available as a signed limited edition and standard edition directly through First Third Books.

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Paris Calling: Ferocious live Clash show from 1980
05.02.2013
08:02 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Clash


 
A few years ago, there was a several gigabyte torrent file going around of every Clash performance from American television, a separate folder of the British TV clips, another consisting of their European television appearances and one that was marked “miscellaneous.” It was gold, to say the least. (The same guy had other similar mega-torrents of The Smiths, The Fall and Mott The Hoople. Naturally I snatched all of them. You know who you are, and if you are reading this, God bless you!)

One of the jewels in that digital crown was this Clash concert in Paris, live from the La Palace nightclub in 1980 in support of London Calling. Exciting, well-shot (with cameramen onstage) and the band is as tight here as you are ever likely to see them.

Set list
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
Protex Blue
Train in Vain
Koca Kola
I Fought The Law
Spanish Bombs
Wrong ‘Em Boyo
Stay Free
Janie Jones
Compete Control
Garageland
Tommy Gun
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
The Clash: Listen to isolated tracks for ‘Safe European Home’ & ‘Rock the Casbah’

hsalcemohnoeporue.jpg
 
M’colleague, the wonderful Tara McGinley put me on to this exhilarating, stripped down version of The Clash’s “Safe European Home”.

Posted over at The Clash Blog, the track (from the album Give ‘Em Enough Rope) has been pared back to its constituent parts—vocals, guitar, bass, drums. These isolated tracks were posted on YouTube by user flip2k, as Clash Blog explains:

A good year or two back I wrote about the brilliant work being done by ‘flip2k’ on YouTube in relation to The Clash. I’ve still no idea who flip2k is but every time I share the work that he or she does a lot of people become extremely happy, myself included, so that’s reason enough to share the links again.

‘You see flip2k will from time to time take a track by The Clash and upload the segregated multi-tracked elements of just guitar, bass, vocals or drums. It’s actually far more exciting than it sounds. In the past I’ve focused on the amazing work done with Complete Control and London Calling but he/she has also added Safe European Home, Train in Vain and I Fought The Law. If you want to hear the precision drumming of Topper in its purest element you’ll just have to take the time to explore each of these. The same can be said for the enraged vocals of Joe (especially on Complete Control) and the almost motownesque harmonies offered by Mick on Safe European Home. That’s without me even getting into the guitar and bass tracks. I can guarantee you’ll hear elements you’ve never heard before, just try the guitar on Safe European Home for example.

Amongst other goodies, flip2k also has an isolated version of The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” (from Combat Rock), which we’ve posted below. Enjoy!
 

Vocals—“Safe European Home”
 

Guitar—“Safe European Home”
 

Bass—“Safe European Home”
 

Drums—“Safe European Home”
 
Via The Clash Blog, with thanks to Tara!
 
Bonus stripped down version of the classic ‘Rock the Casbah’, after the jump…
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
The Clash: Ferocious early footage from the ‘White Riot’ tour, 1977
02.26.2013
01:39 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
The Clash


 
Amazing early footage of The Clash during the “White Riot tour,” shot at Sussex University, Brighton, on May 25th 1977. Pity about the crazed speed-freak cutting between cameras and the herky-jerky camera work, but what can you do? Be happy someone thought to shoot it.

In part one they play “Capital Radio,” “Protex Blue,” “Cheat” and “Remote Control.”

In part two (here) they do “White Riot” and “Police & Thieves.”
 

Written by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Chuck Berry reviews Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, Clash and many more, 1980


Chuck Berry & Debbie Harry.
 
Chuck Berry interviewed by punk zine Jet Lag in 1980. Berry shares his thoughts about “what the kids are listening to these days.”
 

The Sex Pistols’ “God Save the Queen”:

What’s this guy so angry about anyway? Guitar work and progression is like mine. Good backbeat. Can’t understand most of the vocals. If you’re going to be mad at least let the people know what you’re mad about.

 

The Clash’s “Complete Control”:

Sounds like the first one. The rhythm and chording work well together. Did this guy have a sore throat when he sang the vocals?

 

The Ramones’ “Sheena is a Punk Rocker”:

A good little jump number. These guys remind me of myself when I first started, I only knew three chords too.

 

The Romantics’ “What I Like About You”:

Finally something you can dance to. Sounds a lot like the sixties with some of my riffs thrown in for good measure. You say this is new? I’ve heard this stuff plenty of times. I can’t understand the big fuss.

 

Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer”:

A funky little number, that’s for sure. I like the bass a lot. Good mixture and a real good flow. The singer sounds like he has a bad case of stage fright.


Wire’s “I Am the Fly” and Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures:

So this is the so-called new stuff. It’s nothing I ain’t heard before. It sounds like an old blues jam that BB and Muddy would carry on backstage at the old amphitheatre in Chicago. The instruments may be different but the experiment’s the same.


Click here to see larger image.
 

Click here to see larger image.
 
H/T WFMU and Music Ruined My Life

Written by Tara McGinley | Discussion
The Clash: On the Road Across Scotland, 1980

the_clash_edinburgh_1980
 
‘We seem to attract quite a bit of it,’ Mick Jones said about the interest of the local Bobbies in Dundee, in this short film of The Clash on the road across Scotland, from February 1980.

Joe Strummer joked The Clash were giving the Tayside police a change from the usual drunks, giving them the opportunity to have some fun with some lads from down south. ‘And we could do well without it,’ Jones added.

An hour before their concert in Edinburgh, Strummer preps his voice with some honey and lemon. Outside young fans, some without tickets, have been waiting since 2 in the afternoon just to get a glimpse of their idols. Later, the band will let in a few of these youngsters into the concert for free.

This is The Clash when they were still living a precarious existence, hand-to-mouth, constantly on the move.
 

 
With thanks to Nellym.
 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
‘The Punk Rock Movie’: The Clash, The Pistols, The Banshees and more in Don Letts’ classic film

thepunkrockmovie_donletts
 
Film-maker and musician, Don Letts was working as a DJ at the Roxy club in London in 1977, when he filmed most of the Punk bands that appeared there, with his Super 8 camera. Letts captured a glorious moment of musical history and its ensuing social, political and cultural revolution.

Letts decided he was going to make a film with his footage, and had sell his belongings to ensure he had enough film stock to record the bands that appeared night-after-night over a 3 month-period. Eventually, he collated all of the footage into The Punk Rock Movie, which contained performances by the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Wayne County & the Electric Chairs, Generation X, Slaughter and the Dogs, The Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Eater, Subway Sect, X-Ray Spex, Alternative TV and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. There was also backstage footage of certain bands, and Sid Vicious’ first appearance with the Sex Pistols, at The Screen On The Green cinema, April 3rd, 1977.
 

 

Written by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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