Monday, July 7, 2008

The Clash - Kings Of Radical Rock

Thanks, Wikipedia.

The Clash was a British punk rock band, active from 1976 to 1986.

It also experimented with reggae, funk, hip-hop and rock and roll.

Its major members were Joe Strummer [John Mellor who was of Armenian ancestry] (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals) [he is of Russian-Israeli ancestry], Paul Simonon (bass, backing vocals) and Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums, percussion).

The Clash was a major success in the UK from the release of its debut album.

Its third album, London Calling, released in 1979, brought it popularity in the United States. Rolling Stone magazine declared it the best album of the 1980s.

The Clash's style and rebellious attitude, along with its music, had a far-reaching influence on rock and alternative rock.

In January 2003 it was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Strummer died of a heart attack in 2002 at the age of 50.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked The Clash No. 30 on its list of the 100 Greatest Artistes Of All Time.

Most of the band's founding members were already active in the London music scene at the time of The Clash's formation.

Paul Simonon came up with the band's name, The Clash, as it was the first word that came into his mind while reading the newspapers one morning.

The Clash had its first gig on July 4, 1976, supporting the Sex Pistols in Sheffield.

It released its first single White Riot and self-titled debut album the following year. In the same year, Headon joined the band.

After the hugely successful London Calling, The Clash came up with an album titled Sandinista which paid tribute to the Nicaraguan Revolution of 1979.

It also came up with the hit Rock The Casbah, a song about religious fascism in Imam Khomeini’s Iran.

In 1982, Headon quit The Clash. Four years later the band called it a day in music.

The Clash’s dissolution did not stop its ex-members from collaborating musically, however.

In 1999, Strummer, Jones and Simonon cooperated in the compiling of the live album From Here To Eternity.

In 2002, Jones and Strummer shared the stage, performing three Clash songs during a London benefit show by Strummer’s new band The Mescaleros.

In January 2008, Jones and Headon performed together in London.

The Clash’s music was often charged by a leftist political ideology.

The band is credited with pioneering the advocacy of radical politics in punk rock.

It was never driven entirely by money. Even at its peak, tickets to shows and souvenirs were reasonably priced.

The group was also involved in the Rock Against Racism initiative at London’s Victoria Park in 1978.

Strummer was noted for his devotion to fans. He never left a venue until everyone who had waited around got an autograph and talked with him personally, a process which often lasted for hours.

Strummer also founded The Carbon Neutral Company, an organisation dedicated to planting trees in various parts of the world in order to combat global warming.

He was the first artiste to make the recording, pressing and distribution of his records carbon neutral through the planting of trees.

Many other artistes such as Foo Fighters, Coldplay and Pink Floyd have followed suit.

At the Grammy Awards 2003, London Calling was performed by Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters), Pete Thomas and Tony Kanal (No Doubt) in tribute to Strummer.

Simonon is also a talented artist.