The Last Gang in Town

by Marcus Gray

   

 

 
                                  These photographs were inspired and made possible by research conducted by Marcus Gray in respect of his in-depth Clash biography The Clash : Return Of The Last Gang In Town. This website is not an officially sanctioned project. Anyone interested in the story behind the pictures should read the book, copyright Marcus Gray 1995 and 2001. Current editions : UK, Helter Skelter, July 2001; US, Hal Leonard, November 2002. Foreign language rights, multimedia and electronic rights, and film, TV and radio rights are all controlled by the author. Enquiries should be directed to : Marcus Gray, Author The Clash : Return Of The Last Gang In Town, c/o Helter Skelter Publishing, 4 Denmark Street, London, WC2H 8LL.
 
" Revised edition of the superb band biography. Gray masterfully deconstructs the Clash's self-mythology. It throbs with anecdotes." * * * *  Q.
   
" Meticulous research and extensive interviewing make it the only book ever to get close to the reality behind the Clash myth." Mojo.
   
(Mick with his Mother, who had move to America)

Michael Geoffrey Jones was born on 26th June 1955.When his parents divorced Mick, aged 8 years old, lived with Stella, his grandmother, at 61,Christchurch House on the busy Christchurch Road, Streatham, South London.

   

Top left is 61, Christchurch House.

 

A Friend Remembers...

 

 

The Courtyard entrance is to the side of the Christchurch House building and through the white porch way.

 

 

The Courtyard was well-maintained with a private entrance to flats 35-64

 

 

 

 

The " CROWN AND SCEPTRE " pub is directly opposite to the Christchurch House flats on Brixton Hill.

" And if you're in the Crown tonight have a drink on me. "

 

 

        In September 1966, Mick Jones and I attended Strand Grammar School in Elm Park road, just off Brixton Hill and near to  Christchurch House. It was an old-fashioned, boys-only grammar school with over 450 pupils.

 

 

      Edgware Road Station leads off to Lisson Grove, Daventry Street, Praed Street and the Edgware Road.

 

   In 1968, Mick and Stella moved to a flat at 90, Park West, Edgware road between Kendal Street and Burwood Place, close to Hyde Park.

Park West was a nine-storey, private mansion block near Hyde Park.

Park West was the place where Mick lived for much of the remainder of his schooldays.

 

 

 
   

In September 1973, Mick commenced the Art Foundation course at Hammersmith School of Art and Building at 40, Lime Grove, Shepherd's Bush.

"He's stick thin with tight red-and-white checked trousers, black high-heeled slingback shoes, a girl's fitted jacket that's too tight, all topped off with fluffy, backcombed hair. The building students erupt at this spectacle, shouting and cat-calling, but he ignores them and struts confidently to the middle of the canteen queue, pushing in to join his mate.

I just know this boy's going to be my friend; even though my look isn't as extreme as his, I like his bravery and style, he's my kind of person. I make eye contact with him and burst out laughing. I laugh with a mixture of recognition and relief because I know our friendship is inevitable, we're obviously like-minded people so we may as well get straight to it and dispense with the slow polite phase of getting to know each other. But I've offended him and my laughter is met with a wounded expression.

So I say, 'Hello, I'm Viv.'

In a soft voice with a South London accent, the boy replies: 'Mick Jones.'

(pp.77 - 78 Viv Albertine: Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys)

Mick gives the reason most budding musicians of his generation chose this educational path:

'I only went to Art School to join a group anyway. I thought, Pete Townsend, Ray Davies, Keith Richards - they all went to Art School...'

However, he soon became dissatisfied, and found he could only muster the enthusiasm to attend on grant day.

SHEPHERDS BUSH UNDERGROUND STATION / Goldhawk road with the famous Empire nearby.

         The station is just down from Lime Grove and Davis road.

    

 

Before starting Art College, Mick, aged 17 years, worked at the DHSS as a clerical assistant in the Benefit Office at 5,Praed Street, Paddington.

Praed Street, W2 - Edgware Road Underground Station

Mick Jones worked here during the IRA's letter bombing campaign. As the most junior employee, he was required to open all incoming mail, which explains the line 'and I won't open letter bombs for you' in the song 'Career Opportunities.'

   

                 Mick and his 73 year old nan, Stella, moved to the 18th floor of a high-rise at 111, Wilmcote House, on the large Warwick Estate near Harrow road, during the first half of 1973.

He lived at Wilmcote House between 1975 & 1980.

 

 

 

 

Mick spent a year playing along to records in his bedroom.

 

 

 

 

 

Woodchester Square, W1 - Wilmcote House (Warwick Avenue Underground)

Mick Jones used to live on the 18th floor of this towerblock overlooking the Westway with his Grandma in early 1976, he still had shoulder-length hair like his idole, Mott the Hoople, when he started to hang around with Chrissie Hynde:

'I persuaded him that he should at least have the ends trimmed. I showed him how they were all split and horrible. So we were round to his Gran's and...I was pretty sneaky about it as a matter of fact. He was standing up so it was hard for him to see what I was doing. But eventually he started to see how all over him there were these pieces of hair about four or five inches long and... I can still remember how he reacted when he realised what I was doing. He clutched his stomach and was groaning 'Oooo, I've got to sit down, I've got butterflies...' But anyway, I finished it off and turned it into a good Keith Richards.'

Mick went to a Royal College of Art concert that night, and the NME write-up mentioned a perfect Keith Richards lookalike in the front row; Chrissie was soon forgiven, but wasn't included in the line-up when Mick formed his new band, The Clash. However, she did contribute: Warwick Avenue tube station is on the Bakerloo line, explaining the line, 'Standing in the carnage of a Bakerloo' in The Clash's song 'Protex Blue,' the lyric of which - although uncredited - Chrissie claims she wrote.

Mick's hair grew shorter, and, influenced by The Sex Pistols and Clash manager Bernie Rhodes, he and Joe Strummer began to write songs about their environment. The Sound of the Westway was born, the best example (lyrically speaking) of which is 'London Burning': 'Can't think of a better way to spend the night / Than speeding around underneath the yellow lights.' Those twin cliches of punk's subject matter, dole queue and towerblocks, actually evolved directly from The Clash's experiences.

When the band got their advance from CBS, Mick sent his Gran off to the States to visit relatives, and moved his friend Tony James (Generation X) into the flat. One day, his Gran phoned up unexpectedly to say she was homeward bound, and Tony had to go. However, he and Mick got a flat together soon afterwards.

 

Mick Jones' front room in Wilmcote House....

   

   

The Clash Literature included J.G.Ballard's  Concrete Island (the Westway novel), Crash and High Rise.

   

    Mick's music interest included the Flamin' Groovies, Iggy Pop & the Stooges, MC5, the Fugs, the Standells, the Sharks and the New York Dolls.

 
 

         Most Saturdays, Mick could be found down the Portobello Road and around the Notting Hill scene in the Duke of Clarence, and Hennekey's (now the Earl of Lonsdale on the corner with Westbourne Grove).

 

      Mick started visiting the "Speakeasy" at 48, Margaret Street, off Oxford Circus at the age of 17 years.

     He was aware that the Speakeasy was the " in-place " to be seen in, if you wanted to be a future rock star.

Now an office building.

   

  

       For a short while, Mick worked  at the Economists' Bookshop, 106 Hampstead Road, before commencing his Painting course in September.

 Now known as Myriad.

   In January 1975 the College became known as the :                      

     Chelsea College of Art and Design.

   

 

Warrington Crescent is situated to the right of Warwick Avenue tube station.

  The Warrington musical scene was a basement flat at 47A Warrington Crescent where like-minded musicians met.

To the left of Warwick Avenue tube station, Wilmcote House was only a few hundred yards from Warrington Crescent.

 It became a convenient hang-out and meeting place for the youthful Mick Jones.

        

 

Mick met Bernard Rhodes for the first time at the Nashville in West Kensington.

 

 Bernie worked at Malcolm McLaren's shop Sex, 430 King's Road, Chelsea.

 

       Mick had visited the shop and bought a T-shirt bearing the legend that had also been the shop's previous name:       

'Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die '

                                  

 

         

The initial conversation started up due to the fact that Mick was wearing this T-shirt when he first met Bernie at the Nashville gig.

Bernie Rhodes found a dingy basement rehearsal room under a cafe called the Paddington Kitchen, at 113-115 Praed Street.

It was here that musicians performed for Mick's London SS band.

               The rehearsal room was next to the Fountains Abbey pub on the corner of Norfolk Place and just down the road from Park West where Mick Jones lived.

Paul Simonson visited Paddington Kitchen and was said to have the " look " but not the vocals they were looking for.

Towards the end of 1975, Paul Simonon had a chance street meeting with Mick Jones and they stayed in casual contact over the next few months.

 Terry Chimes tried out as drummer, but was not called back. Nick Headon was offered the job, took it, but left after a week.

      

      At the popular skin-head stomping venue, the Locarno on Streatham Hill, Paul enjoyed listening to and dancing to the music of ska.

It closed down for a while and then reopened as the more adult-oriented Cat's Whiskers.

Now known as CAESARS.

 

In late March 1976, after the London SS had split up, Mick got in touch with Paul and suggested that he consider learning an instrument in order to join Mick's new band.

 Mick and Paul saw the Sex Pistols on 3 April at the Nashville and it was here that Paul was won over to the idea of punk.

 

 Mick became friends with fellow art students Viv Albertine and Alan Drake who lived at 22 Davis Road, Shepherd's Bush, a few hundred yards along the Uxbridge Road from the art school's Lime Grove site.

Another regular visitor to the Davis Road squat was Alan's old friend, Keith Levene.

 

 

   22, Davis Road became the focus of Mick Jones life.

 Paul Simonon soon moved into the Davis Road squat's small front bedroom.

            Rehearsals took place either at Davis Road or in Mick's equally tiny bedroom in Wilmcote House. Sid Vicious became a frequent visitor and eventually moved into Davis Road.

By the beginning of June 1976, Bernie Rhodes was the Davis Road band's manager, and took it upon himself to find a more suitable rehearsal space.

After Joe Strummer had met Bernie Rhodes, twenty-four hours later on 1st June, 1976, he showed up on the doorstep of the squat where Mick and Paul were living and told them that he wanted to join the new band that would be known as  The Clash. 

 

(Billy Watts, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Alan Drake & Keith Levene)

 

Viv Albertine (The Slits) walking down Davis road with Keith Levine and Mick Jones, in 1975 - reference page 103 Viv Albertine 'Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys'

 

 

     The Clash on Broadway three-CD box set has a superb informative booklet with a picture on page 22 showing Mick and Paul with a group of friends posing with guitars in front of the 22,Davis road squat, Shepherds Bush, London during mid-May 1976. Just down the road is the Chelsea College of Art & Design where Mick studied.

   

June, 1976: Rehearsal Rehearsals was situated just inside the gates of the British Rail Yard, on Chalk Farm Road, halfway between Dingwalls and the Roundhouse.

It is the building in the distance.

 

   It was a disused and dilapidated two-storey end-terrace railway storage shed.

 

          Bernie found what he considered to be the ideal place right under his nose: not too far from his flat at 268 Camden Road.

Bernie had a Renault garage in Chalk Farm Road, Camden just a few yards away from Rehearsal Rehearsals.

 

   

By mid-June, Terry Chimes had become the new drummer.

   

 The Sex Pistols' image was based on Malcolm McLaren's SEX shop in King's Road whilst the Clash was based on their original basic Oxfam Mod look and the individualised Pollock style - after action painter Jackson Pollock, famous for his splash- and drip-painted abstracts giving way to Pop-Art/Lettrism and urban-guerrilla looks.  

   
 Politically provocative stencilled slogans included 'Hate And War'-'Sten Guns In Knightsbridge'-'Creative Violence'-'Heavy Manners' -'White Riot'- 'Heavy Manners' - 'Chuck Berry Is Dead.'

   

Paul had noticed how often the word 'Clash' appeared in London's Evening Standard newspaper one day and as a result the band soon became known as The Clash.

   

The Official Ramones Site.

The Clash were influenced by the high-energy MC5 and by the first Ramones album which lead to their desire to be an explosion coming off the stage.

   

Their first gig was to support the Sex Pistols at the Black Swan Pub in Sheffield on Sunday 4th July 1976.

   

Their second gig on Friday, 13th August 1976 was a showcase based at Rehearsal Rehearsals.

   

The room was tiny but all the gear was laid out as if onstage and it seemed natural to rehearse at full speed.

The Clash's first London gig was to support the Sex Pistols at the 'Screen on the Green' cinema, 83 Upper Street, Islington,N1 on Sunday, 29th August, 1976 

    Charles Shaar Murray's New Musical Express review of The Clash at Screen On The Green was to become the most famous of their career.    

https://youtu.be/S0v29O_Kmnc
 

On Tuesday, 31st August 1976, following the Notting Hill Riot, the Clash were booked to support the Sex Pistols at the 100 Club.

On Sunday, 5th September the Clash made their first venture without the Sex Pistols at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm Road. Mick had visited the venue while still at school and played by Joe when with the 101ers. It was to be the last Clash gig for Keith Levene, who was sacked within a week of it.

   

The Clash did fund-raising gigs at the Hope And Anchor, 207 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1984.

".............at the Hope and Anchor, Islington, between the Clash shows......it didn't take much persuasion....to stick a couple of guitars in cases and drive Mick and Joe up there."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.226)

 

   

In time the impact of their gigs would be seen in terms of playing with frightening conviction and intensity.

The Clash Live, Boston, 1979

   

By mid-November 1976, The Clash recorded their first demos of five songs at Polydor's own studio at 17-19 Stratford Place, just off Oxford Street : '1977'    'Career Opportunities', 'Janie Jones', 'London's Burning' and  'White Riot.'

The building is now made up of a variety of different departments.

   

Terry Chimes left the band in November, 1976 because he found the Clash regime restricting; rehearsing seven nights a week meant you never got involved with much else.

Strummer at the start of The Clash era, November 1976

   

The Anarchy Tour opens Friday,3rd December 1976.

   

   

   

The Clash agreed to headline the official 1st January 1977 Roxy opening night in Neal Street.

The Roxy became the core, the centre of the whole Punk scene. The Clash were friends of Don Letts. They would come down to listen to the reggae and just hang out and drink until the club closed at one o'clock.

 Bernie held a meeting in the Ship in Wardour Street during which he told the Clash he wanted 'complete control.' Joe's and Paul's immediate response was to burst into hysterical laughter.

 The Clash signed for CBS, Soho Square on January 27, 1977 and booked themselves into CBS Studio 3 to record the album over three consecutive Thursday-to-Sunday sessions, beginning on 10 February 1977.

               On 24 March, the band went to see the Kinks at the Rainbow in Finsbury Park. Mick bumped into Nick Headon, one of the few successful applicants for the London SS's drummer vacancy, and invited him along to audition for The Clash.

April, 1977 Topper Headon joins The Clash.

After auditioning over 200 drummers, they finally found a replacement in Nicky "Topper" Headon. Then aged 21, he was a wiry little man from Dover who practised Tae Kwon Doe martial arts and had been drumming professionally since he was 15.

The Clash appeared at The Rainbow on 9th May, 1977.

   
(Mont de Marsan, 1977)

   

  The infamous 'Pigeon Shooting Incident' on 30 March 1978, Paul and Topper went up on the roof of Rehearsal Rehearsals to try out an air rifle and shot and killed what they thought were three ordinary pigeons, but were in fact expensive racing birds. They were arrested and sent to Brixton Prison. 

   

   " I walked back to the prison gates to meet Topper, Paul and Crocker as they came out. We milled about outside in the bleak morning air."     

( A Riot of Our Own, p.55)

 

   

 Topper and Paul were sent to CLERKENWELL Magistrates Courts for sentencing. They pleaded guilty to "criminal damage" and were fined £30 each. Paul had to pay £20 towards his legal aid and Topper £10 towards his legal aid. They also had to compensate the owner £700 (from £1500) for the lost of his pigeons.

The Rude Boy video has film clips of the above images.

There's a scene in Rude Boy when a cab pulls up to meet Topper and Paul outside the court that day. Some people get out and walk to the court : Tony James, Robin Banks, Mick Jones and Kris Needs is seen paying for it........

 

The Prince Albert pub in Acton Street is located opposite the Clerkenwell Courts.

Turn right out of the station into Whitechapel High Street, and turn left into Osborn Street.

   

The band recorded 'Pressure Drop' and 'Complete Control' at Sarm East studios, 9-13 Osborn Street, Whitechapel.

   

   

 

 

   

   

   

Sarm East Studio, Whitechapel is much smaller than the Sarm West studio in Basing Street.

   

Near the end of 1977, the Clash were put under pressure to record their second album. Mick and Joe went on holiday to Jamaica to write some new material. They based themselves at The Pegasus Hotel, Jamaica.

   

(Joe Strummer was hospitalised at Saint Stephens Hospital on Fulham Road in Chelsea when he allegedly contracted Hepatitis B in January, 1978 from swallowing a gob from the audience)

    

Between April and May 1978, they worked with their producer, Sandy Pearlman at Basing Street studios  , just off Ladbroke Grove.

                   " After all that time at Basing Street, CBS and Pearlman still weren't satisfied with the mix of Give 'Em Enough Rope. CBS had put so much money into the recording...asked Joe and Mick to go to San Francisco for overdubbing, and then New York for mixing."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.103)

   

 

 
   

            During the recording of Give 'Em Enough Rope, The Clash parted company with manager Bernie Rhodes on 21 October 1978 and decided to move out of Rehearsal Rehearsals.

   
   

The Rude Boy was defined as a film about racial and political tensions in the UK.

   

 Johnny Green and the Baker found Vanilla studios, a dingy low key rehearsal room in Causton Street, Pimlico. In March 1979, the Clash moved in with all their musical equipment.

In Spring 1979, Joe was living in a high-rise flat        31, Whistler's Walk on Chelsea's World's End estate, where the King's Road runs closest to the Thames.

 'London is drowning and I live by the river.'

 

 

Back stage at San Francisco with

Bo Diddly, 1979

     

The Clash released Sandinista ! on 12 December 1980, a triple album.
   
 

 

    

 

            By late August 1980, Joe moved again to living just off Ladbroke Grove in a tiny rented flat. Joe thought it was also time to bring back Bernie Rhodes.

 

 

 

 

 

May, 1981 BOND residency in New York, USA.

 

   

On the roof of BONDS, overlooking 45th Street.

Mick Jones was staying in a building on 89th Street during these shows as he was dating Ellen Foley who lived there.

The Clash stayed in The Iriquois Hotel situated at 49 West 44th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues, near Times Square New York City.

The Gramercy Park Hotel situated at 2 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10010,

 

  PALLADIUM in NEW YORK (1979)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk_7zMKQOGs
 

Click on picture to the left to view images of the Latimer Road area in January 1977 for a series called Punk London are amazing...so bleak and so timeless.
 

In August and September 1981, Joe wanted the follow-up album to be recorded quickly and cheaply in the UK at Notting Hill's Ear studios rehearsal room, in the People's Hall, Freston Road, in the shadow of the Westway. Joe just wanted to get back to the sound of the Clash using an 8-track studio.

 

Most of the more conventional tunes from what was then known as the Rat Patrol sessions were recorded here: 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go', 'Inoculated City', 'Know Your Rights', 'Ghetto Defendant' and the original 'Overpowered by Funk'.

The band had to abandon the sessions for a string of concert dates and when they returned, Mick Jones wanted to produce Combat Rock at Electric Ladyland, New York otherwise he wouldn't be at the sessions.

Frestonia declares its independence: It happened here.

Choosing a rehearsal studio in which to write songs for their 1982 album ’Combat Rock‘, The Clash picked a location with a suitably rebellious history. Ear Studios (formerly The People‘s Hall) on Freston Road, W11 was certainly handy for Notting Hill inhabitants Mick Jones and Paul Simonon, but the story surrounding the building would have appealed to their revolutionary nature.

In October 1977, the Greater London Council planned to knock down the derelict buildings on Freston Road but met resistance from 120 squatters, who declared themselves to be the Free And Independent State Of Frestonia. They applied for membership of the UN and The People’s Hall became HQ, where residents would watch 'Passport To Pimlico’ and a film on the Sex Pistols for inspiration. The Minister of State for Education was two-year-old Francesco Bogina-Bramley and the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs was dwarf actor David Rappaport-Bramley. All inhabitants adopted the surname Bramley so that the GLC would have to rehouse them as one family if they succeeded in their eviction. The Frestonians even designed their own postage stamps, and commissioned a national anthem (they ended up with three of them).
With TV crews from New Zealand and Japan surrounding the area, the GLC agreed to talks and former Tory MP Sir Geoffrey Howe even sent a letter of support. Eventually, a public enquiry was set up and Frestonia won. Over time they rebuilt the area with ‘foreign aid’ from Great Britain and, in 1980, Ear Studios took over The People’s Hall. It wouldn’t be long until The Clash and miscreants like Motörhead moved in to be inspired.

 

http://www.frestonia.org

 

http://www.frestonia.org/article-from-kensington-news-and-post-published-november-4th-1977/
 

It's proximity to Mick's and Paul's flats- it was just half a mile west of Notting Hill- meant it was conveniently located. Mick now lived in Colville Gardens, off Portobello Road.

 

 
   

          By mid-February 1982, the Clash started to push themselves during the Sydney tour in Australia, when they would head for the recording studio straight after the gig and work through the night.  

The 'Combat Rock' album was released during May 1982.

   

In December 1981 Topper Headon was fined £500 after being busted for heroin possession at Heathrow airport. Topper's addiction signalled the beginning of the end for The Clash.

 

Topper quit the band on the 21st May 1982 due to a difference of opinion over the political direction the band will be taking.

Terry Chimes was available for the US tour starting on 29 May 1982. On the second leg the Clash were invited to support The Who's 22nd September 1982 retirement tour at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York.          

Last T.V. appearance on 9th October 1982 "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE USA."

Performing 'Should I Stay Or Should I Go' and 'Straight To Hell.'

 

   

In January and February 1983, Joe Strummer produced and directed a fifty-minute silent black-and-white film, Hell W10. The film starred Paul and Mick as rival underworld characters in Notting Hill, warring over a consignment of heroin. The scene at the end where they all get shot was filmed on the bit of waste-ground next to Westbourne Park bus garage.

For years, Hell W10 was believed lost. Then in 2002 the film turned up on a London market stall, and the following year it was included as an extra on the Essential Clash DVD.
   

Playlist: US Festival 1983 The Clash

Their last show was on 28th May, 1983 at the U.S. "Computer Generations Festival" in front of 200,000.
   
   

On 10 September 1983 Mick Jones was sacked due to a "lost of communication."            

       They had wanted their new material to pursue a back-to-basics angry punk direction.

Mick had grown increasingly bored with both his and the band's traditional role, and wanted to move towards hip hop and groove music. His demos for new songs used drum machines, synthesizers and samples.

 

Mick formed a new band called Big Audio Dynamite and released This Is Big Audio Dynamite.

                      He was keen to re-establish his roots in London, and specifically the Notting Hill area, and was one of the reasons why the recording sessions took place in Sarm West, the former Basing Street studio.

           The album sleeve is black and white and feature the band grouped closely around Mick which is evident in the covers for both The Clash and Sandinista ! The inner sleeve shots were posed just off Portobello Road, in Golbourne road with Trellick Tower in the background.

 

 

April 1986 and Paul and Joe feature in Mick's  B.A.D video for their third single.Medicine Show.....and they were supposed to be not talking !

   

The band reached huge success with the singles "Rush" and "The Globe" in 1991.

          The Big Audio Dynamite Management: based at 

95, Ladbroke Grove. Just down from the tube station.

   

   
   
Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon busking in York just before the end of The Clash............
   

Joe Strummer in York on the 1985 busking tour by photographer Peter Byrne. Peter says "It was published in the NME & kick-started my photography career."

(Leeds - 1985)

                Joe and Paul went on to release an LP called " Cut The Crap."  but by November 1985 Joe realised it was the end of The Clash.

The back cover shows the inside of a room at 53, Oxford Gardens, which was just off Ladbroke Grove, W10 and was owned by Paul Simonon.

The Clash II rehearsed in Finsbury Park. It was a dingy basement in Blackstock Road. Meetings, band ones, were always in the Kensington Hilton. And drink meetings were in the Soho Brasserie in Old Compton Street. (p.222)

 

Joe formed his final group, the Mescaleros, who juggled Latin, African, Irish, Indian, Arabic and hip-hop elements along with punk and reggae, at the end of the 1990's and their debut Rock Art & The X-Ray Style was released in October 1999.Their second album, Global A Go-Go, was released in 2001, that title a reflection of his interests in world music.         

 

 

" It took ten years to recharge my batteries. I felt isolated and wanted to wait until I'd stopped being the singer from a once-famous group and was this guy who needed help."

 

The BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME tour during November 2002 was well received by his fans. Unknowingly,Joe's last ever gig was at Liverpool University on November 22nd.

 

"...don't forget you're alive... You know sometimes when you walk around the city or when you yourself are in a bad mood, you can think hey wait a minute we're alive, you know? We don't know what the next second will bring and what a fantastic thing this is... And this can get easily forgotten in the routine of life and something I try to bring to my attention at all times. Don't forget that you're alive... that we're not dead... this is the greatest thing"  - Joe Strummer.

 

 

(Paul and Pearl Harbour)

 

1979 Fender P-Bass

 

Paul married the 26 year old model, Tricia Ronane at the Roman Catholic St. Pius X Church, St.Charles Square, Kensington on 28th July 1990; they have two young boys.

 

An article in a National Newspaper dated 26th November 2006 has suggested that lingerie label AGENT PROVOCATEUR owner Serena Rees has run off with Paul Simonon.

 

(Cover design : the woman is Tricia Ronane, former BAD PR agent)

 
 

Simonon formed a group called Havana 3am, named after an album by Cuban bandleader Perez Prado, in Los Angeles with his best friend Nigel Dixon who sadly died of cancer, he returned to London and painting.

The ex-Byam Shaw Art school student commenced the Fine Art diploma course in October, 1974....original address : 70, Campden Street, Notting Hill Gate, London W8 moved to 2, Elthorne Road, Archway in 1987. The building has now been converted into flats, but the facade remains.....

   
   

.....................gave up music, worked at the drawing basics in the British Museum, the National Gallery, the streets of West London and evening classes, and had his work exhibited with the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin. He has spent the past five years on his Thames series.

The expiry of his post-Clash outfit, Havana 3am, 10 years ago was the cue to get serious with his painting again in 1993; which recently culminated with an exhibition of his paintings, " From Hammersmith to Greenwich," a series of London riverscapes  (prices start around £4,000) on show in St. James's at Hazlitt, Golden and Fox, 38 Bury Street, London SW 1Y 6BB, the grand, ultra-traditionally gallery from 25th September to 11th October 2002 (Monday to Friday 9.00 - 5.30).

       

 

 

 

 

Simonon exchanged murals for huge canvases (most of them are 60" x 84" )-working in oils. His heroes are Auerbach, Constable, Leon Kossoff, Gilman, Gore, Pissarro, Rubens, Sickert and Van Gogh.

His paintings are about the very heart of the city - the Thames.....with views of sky, water, bridges and buses.

 

 

The Clash on Broadway three-CD box set retrospective emerged in the UK in June 1994 and helps to outline the cool rock'n'roll image they left behind alongside the brief musical career of :    The Clash

   

 

   

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