A Riot of Our Own NIGHT AND DAY WITH THE CLASH

 by Johnny Green & Garry Barker

(Indigo paperback original : ISBN 0-575-40080-3)

 At the very beginning.........The Clash were based just inside the gates of the British Rail Yard in Chalk Farm Road, Camden Town, London in a first-floor British Rail goods yard known as Rehearsal Rehearsals (p.52)..........within walking distance of the musical venues of Dingwalls and the Roundhouse.                                                   

Chalk Farm Tube Station.

Camden Lock Hotel  in Chalk Farm Road is the perfect hotel to commence your journey.

 

Visit Camden Lock Hotel's COFFEE LOUNGE and experience their Clash corner over some refreshments....

 

(Johnny Green - Roadie based at Rehearsal Rehearsals)

 

The Entrance to THE STABLES, Camden Market is open every weekend.

 On walking through the STABLES entrance, you can see the GIN HOUSE with a big red door on the right which was the entrance to Rehearsal Rehearsals. It was a disused and dilapidated two-storey end terrace railway storage shed.

           
      Johnny Green (14.10.02) stated that very few people actually walked through this BIG door as it was used for loading containers in & out. You had to step up about three feet into the Rehearsal Rehearsals room. Only on occasions did the Baker and Johnny Green go through the big door.

Inside Rehearsal Rehearsals : on the RIGHT were the barbers chairs and the juke box and it was where the press stood/sat when watching the band perform.                

               On the LEFT was an arch shape feature with Paul Simonon's mammoth oil-on wood 'car dump overlooked by tower blocks and the Westway' mural and it was where the band set up their equipment with Topper's back to the mural, as seen in the brilliant German produced film PUNK IN LONDON; and it is very similar to how the Subway Sect band are set up in this film.
        The members and friends actually went IN and OUT through the green door to the left of the big door; although apparently Robin Crocker would religiously climb the drain pipe to the left of the green door and into the office!!
 

(The door near the red telephone box above is the place where the photograph below was taken - Topper's foot on the same steps)

 

Proud Galleries was housed in the Rehearsal Rehearsal building with a massive poster of the London Calling photo on the side of the building...
 

CLICK HERE FOR A MODERN DAY VIEW OF THE FIRST FLOOR AT REHEARSAL REHEARSALS

 

Upstairs at 'Rehearsal, Rehearsal'.

 

 

On walking through the green door, turn right and walk into the Rehearsal Rehearsals room. Up two flights of stairs was Johnny Green's office on the FIRST FLOOR. To the LEFT of the office was the kitchen, skylight, water tank, toilet and to the Right was the main office with a fire place between two windows looking out towards the 'stairway.'

 

 

And with a window looking out to the main road with a desk underneath with a variety of posters scattered on the walls; and at the back of this office was a long room where Johnny Green stored his mattress.

 

 

Inside Rehearsal Rehearsals....... with part of a barber's chair.

Hidden underneath Rehearsal Rehearsals were a series of tunnels which Paul Simonon and friends would spend hours exploring.....source: www.thebaker77.wordpress.com

 

 

The room on the RIGHT is nowadays a large office space, very similar to the SECOND FLOOR photograph below.

 

 

 

At present, the GROUND FLOOR of Rehearsal Rehearsals is used for selling modern day clothing.

 

The above left photo as viewed from the BIG door and the right photo as viewed from the opposite end.

 Through the side window of Rehearsal Rehearsals, in the below left photo, there is a scene  of the band performing in the superb Westway To The World video.

       Looking back towards the BIG door and to the right a transparent RED florescent cover can be seen....behind this cover is the door where the Clash members would walk down and into where the clothes are presently displayed in the original Rehearsal Rehearsals room. The tunnel was bricked up and covered over by Paul's mural and was where the band set up with Topper's drum kit up against the wall.

Opposite the BIG door is the location of the " stairway "   as used by The Clash on their first album cover.

 

                 

  Simonon's mammoth oil-on wood 'car dump overlooked by tower blocks and the Westway' mural is now an elongated tunnel of clothes...........

 

                      The white door above is the rear door of Rehearsal Rehearsals. The Garages were located nearby with Bernie Rhodes owning one of them.

 

            If you walk through the STABLES entrance and turn left, the stairway of The Clash's album cover now leads up a flight of stairs. This is brilliantly illustrated in the film PUNK IN LONDON.

Johnny Green replaced Roadent, a casual roadie on the tour, and stayed on full-time and promptly moved into Rehearsals. The Punk in London film shows an interview with Roadent in the office of Rehearsal Rehearsals.

" Paul and Joe had lived there, and it was the garage land of the song. It was threatening, dark and unpleasant."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.40)

 

(Front cover photographed outside          Rehearsal Rehearsals by Kate Simon)

 

 

" I had to stand on a chair to look out on a cobbled, former British Rail goods yard, now dotted around the sides with garages and lock-ups....Rehearsal Rehearsals was an old Customs warehouse, with thick, black, damp walls."  

(A Riot of Our Own, p.34)

 

Pubs opposite Rehearsal Rehearsals.

" Topper was the first to arrive............but would often want to shoot over to the pub for a quick drink first to calm his nerves." (A Riot of Our Own, p.35)

 

The historical venue of Dingwalls.

 

 

The photo was taken on a gloomy day in 1977, outside the famous Roundhouse in London's Chalk Farm. www.rockarchive.com

The Roundhouse

PAST

A CERTAIN ENGINE SHED

"Built by Robert Stevenson in 1846 as an engine turning shed, the Roundhouse was only used by the railway for 20 years. For nearly 100 years the Roundhouse became a bonded warehouse for Gilbey's famous gin but was adapted as a performance space in 1964.

Over the next twenty years the Roundhouse became synonymous with theatrical and musical adventure, playing host to some great performances including :

JIMI HENDRIX, THE DOORS, PINK FLOYD, THE ROLLING STONES, THE WHO, DAVID BOWIE, PETER BROOK'S THE TEMPEST and Oh Calcutta !

In 1983 the Roundhouse closed. In dire need of work and officially classified by English Heritage as a 'building at Risk,' the Roundhouse stood empty for 13 years constantly battling to remain standing as successive plans for its future foundered.

The Roundhouse now has a new owner, The Roundhouse Trust, which is committed to sustaining the memory and spirit of this legendary building."

Capacity : 998

The Roundhouse,100 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 2RU.

(020 7424 9991)    

 

(Aerial Photograph of The Roundhouse)

Camden stables market.......RIP (November 2007)

 

The Rehearsal Rehearsal building is still standing but the insides have been renovated. The buildings to the right of Rehearsals have been knocked down and parts of this area have been boarded up.

The "stairway" remains (22.2.08)

View from top of the "stairways."

Rehearsal Rehearsal building in the process of being renovated.

 
 
 

The Clash performed at the ill-ventilated Electric Ballroom, 184 Camden High Road a big hall next to

Camden Town Tube Station.(p.225) on the 15th February, 1980.

 

(The final live performance by Sid Vicious on 22 August, 1978 before heading off to New York).

The Music Machine, at the end of Camden High Road, is where the Clash played on several occasions.

    " We blasted back into London to do four nights at the Music Machine, Camden."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.82)

       Now known as Camden Palace.

Present name KOKO (22.2.08)

 

 

On the wall of Camden Palace exists a plaque explaining that the last Goon show of ALL starring  PETER SELLERS, SPIKE MILLIGAN and HARRY SECOMBE was recorded by the BBC in this Theatre on 30th April 1972.

 

 

Food & music-press interviews were based at George's Cafe run by an Italian family, near Caernarvon Arms and opposite the entrance to the market near Dingwalls. 

" We collected a paper from over the road, strode past the lock, down Chalk Farm Road, over the canal, past the Caernarvon Arms and into George's Cafe, a home from home, run by an Italian family who ran a slate for us when we were skint-which was often."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.37).        

Now known as the " Fusilier and Firkin."

 

Just under the Camden Lock Railway bridge is the HAWLEY ARMS pub where these photographs hang proudly on the walls inside................it use to be Amy Winehouse's local.

 

 

 

 

Johnny Green (27.8.02) confirmed the location of George's cafe to be on the corner of the new clothes shop,

in the below photographs. (Riot of Our Own, p.37)

 

Shops on the opposite side of the street to George's cafe.

   

       

 

 

 

 

Camden Fire Photographs (9.2.08)

 

     Walking down Camden High Street, the Underground is on the left and Proud Galleries at 10, Greenland Street is further down on the left where Bob Gruen's photographs on The Clash were exhibited on Wednesday, 26th September 2001.

 

 

 

 

The Clash manager Bernie Rhodes lived  nearby in a top-floor flat at 268 Camden Road, near Holloway Prison.

(Riot of my own, p.41)

 

  

           The Derek Block Agency had offices in Oxford Street and replaced Bernie as the manager of The Clash.                    

(A Riot of Our Own, p.121)

 

 

Joe Strummer lived in a small room right at the top of 31,Albany Street, London.

    (A Riot of Our Own pp.49-50)

 

 

 

".......their lead singer was sitting on a mattress on bare floorboards in his room, browsing through his books stacked against the skirting board."  

(A Riot of Our Own,p.83)

 

It was the nerve centre for the Clash's 'design arm', Upstarts, and also quite close to Rehearsal Rehearsals, it was not a wise move for Joe as far as street credibility was concerned.

            31, Albany Street

"......................big white fifteen-bedroom house fronting Regent's Park. At the back, it was just a tall terraced building." (pp.49-50)

 

 

Running alongside Albany Street is the GREAT PORTLAND TUBE STATION.

 

 

View from Albany Street.

 

Joe moved into a terraced house squat,a former shop, at 34, Daventry Street (off Edgware road) Marylebone, London. (p.103) with his girlfriend Gaby Salter.

The Sex Pistols band members, Steve Jones and Paul Cook lived around the corner in Bell Street.

     Joe also lived with his girlfriend in her mother's high-rise council flat at World's End, Chelsea. His new home, 31 WHISTLER'S WALK, was 'on the route of the 19 bus', which took him from the King's Road to Vanilla and, when necessary, all the way to Wessex (p.176).

 

The sign shows the World's End Estate linked by walkways.

Joe and Gaby Salter's local was the Roebuck pub at World's End.

 

" (1980) When Joe learnt Tymon had spotted a potential squat in an empty house close to the British Museum in Bloomsbury (a large Georgian house in Gilbert Place), he asked if he could come and live there. Some of the perpetual difficulties in Joe's relationship with Gaby had become more than usually dominant and he had decided to move out of World's End." (Redemption Song p.294)

 

" But a crisis befell the Gilbert Place collective when Joe was away on tour: bailiffs and police appeared on the doorstep to evict the occupants." (Redemption Song p.295)

 
 

" Joe rented a second-floor flat at 109 Ladbroke Grove, which he moved into with Gaby - back together again." (Redemption Song p.295)

 
 

" (September 1985)  .......would regularly see Joe around lunchtime as he had his breakfast at Bites cafe on Westbourne Park Road. Joe's Bites breakfasts enjoyed an unswerving routine: a sardine sandwich and a 'special' coffee into which was injected a slug of brandy from a bottle stashed beneath the counter reserved for this one customer." (Redemption Song p.406)

 

Mick Jones lived in a tower block, on the 18th floor of a council high rise on London's Harrow road, called Wilmcote House....with his gran.

(Riot of Our Own, p.36)

 

    The Westway, the main route west out of central London, the A40(M) was the inspiration by a visiting Joe Strummer to write the lyric for 'London Burning.'

Complete Control was written by Mick in his bedroom at Wilmcote House as a result of their manager, Bernie Rhodes, wanting to take complete control of the band.

 

Turn left out of the lift.

 

Press the appropriate buttons on the door to enter the corridor & 111 Wilmcote House flat is situated on the right.

 

 
 

                   Exit the lift, turn  right and the view of the Westway and the M4 motorway can be seen through the glass panels.

 

 

" I looked out the window over the Westway, thinking that the punk classics from the first album were written on this balcony."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.36)

 

" It meant hanging around for the lift with dodgy people who wouldn't look you in the eye; the place smelling of piss....cliched, but true."                               

(A Riot of Our Own, p.36)

During 1978 Mick Jones lived in a flat in Chepstow Place.

 

Later on, round the corner from Westbourne Grove....early in 1978 : 

" Mick moved to plush Pembridge Villas, off Portobello Road, with Tony James of Generation X."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.51)

 

" I was standing on the doorstep of Pembridge Villas, holding a pack of hair dye I had just bought from round the corner in Westbourne Grove....."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.69)

 

 Westbourne Grove High Street.

 

" I let myself in and took the stairs two at a time up to the top flat of the plush converted house which Mick and Tony shared.

(A Riot of Our Own,p.69-72)

 

 

" (Pre-May 1980)....Mick Jones meanwhile had come up with the deposit to buy a flat in Powis Gardens in Notting Hill." (Redemption Song p.295)

 

  Different houses in Pembridge Villas.

 During the 70's and 80's, Mike's Caff, an hospitable greasy spoon on Blenheim Crescent, was a popular rendezvous for local musicians, artists and ne'r-do-wells. Beans, eggs and toast were the order of the day, as well as jokes, catching up and diverse rantings. Around December 1982, Mick lived in a flat in Colville Gardens, Notting Hill. just around the corner from Mike's Caff.

The Punk scene.....

 

The Cambridge, Charing Cross Road near St.Martin's college was a popular venue for punks to meet.

" The bar had been a regular haunt for the Pistols, Clash and the small core of punk rockers throughout 1976 and 1977."

(A Riot of Our Own, p.45)

The Sex Pistols West End rehearsal rooms at 6,Denmark Street- off Tottenham Court.

www.vintageandrareguitars.com

 Now a "Vintage and Rare Guitars" shop.

  Managed by Adam "Flea" Newman, the ex-roadie soundman for Big Audio Dynamite. 

(1983-1997)

 

A display board has 'good luck' comments...............

 

The Ship on Wardour Street was the pub closest to the Pistols' office in Dryden Chambers.

Bernie Rhodes held a meeting in the back of The Ship demanding "complete control " of the band which led Mick Jones to writing the tune and lyrics of Complete Control in his nan's flat at Wilmcote House.

 

The Marquee Club in London's Soho, 90 Wardour Street, largely avoided punk acts after unruly crowd behaviour when the Sex Pistols appeared on 12th February, 1976.

 
The Marquee was a scruffy, uncomfortable space with a sticky floor, and was the most famous and influential rock venue Britain has ever seen. Musicians didn't just play there, they went as regular punters. The original Marquee was in a basement in Oxford Street to showcase jazz (1958). Given notice to leave the Oxford premises six years later, the Marquee moved in 1964 to a disused Burberry warehouse in nearby Wardour Street. It was an odd shape, with a long corridor leading to an oblong room. The Wardour Street Marquee closed down in 1988. The name was bought and it moved round the corner to Charing Cross Road, but with the demise of the live music scene, the Marquee finally closed in 1996.

Now known as MEZZO.

It is now the site of Sir Terence Conran's MEZZO restaurant.

The NEW 1,200-capacity Marquee Club, Islington opened on 5th September, 2002.

 

        The Vortex at 201 Wardour Street was scheduled to open on 4th July 1977 and became by default the centre of the punk scene. Paul Weller was so affected by the oppressive atmosphere that he was inspired to write 'A-Bomb In Wardour Street.'

Now known as PROPAGANDA.

 

Johnny Rotten, lead singer of the Sex Pistols, lived at 45,Gunter Grove, Fulham, London SW10.

(A Riot of Our Own, p.81)

" Rotten.................often asked Paul round to his place at Gunter Grove, Fulham. I usually went with him because he didn't like going on his own."   

(A Riot of Our Own, p.81)

 

   

Paul moved into a rented flat in Tregunter Road, Chelsea.

 

The "100 Club " in Oxford Street, London was the venue for the early performances of the Punk bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash and culminated with the Punk Festival on Monday,20th and Tuesday,21st September,1976.

   

 

                   On 11 May, the Sex Pistols begun their ground-breaking - for the punk scene - weekly Tuesday night residency at the 100 Club on Oxford Street.
 

 

 

 

Despite the importance of the band's message, Joe would mess up the words during live performances and this remained a feature of Clash gigs,

 

The ICA, THE MALL, SW1

The Clash appeared at The ICA on 23rd October, 1976 with Patti Smith dancing onstage.

Admiralty Arch and The Mall, London.

 

 

The Rainbow in Finsbury ParK, 232 Seven Sisters Road, N4

     " Mick was still living with his nan at Wilmcote House, a tower block off Harrow Road. Joe and Paul were in squats, and Topper was in a rented flat off the Seven Sisters Road."

( A Riot of Our Own, p.26)  

 

 

Warwick Avenue Underground Tube Station:  

Warwick Avenue Estate to the left.              

Pindock Mews straight ahead.                    

Warrington Crescent to the right.

       When Topper left his marital flat in Finsbury Park, he moved into Sid Vicious' last London abode, 17 Pindock Mews, off Warwick Avenue during October / November 1978.

                       

       He lived in a Fulham Road flat during 1980.

   

In 1984, Topper bought a flat in Abbey Road, St.Johns Wood.

 See who is crossing Abbey Road right now Click Here

 

When occasions arose, he would reside in Portobello Hotel, Stanley Gardens.

Nowadays, Topper lives in Dover, Kent.

 

 

   London Weekend Television filmed the 15 November 1976 Sex Pistols gig at Notre Dame Hall, off Leicester square.

 

 

(Paul and Keith Levene with The Ramones)

 

(The Ramones played at CBGB - 315, Bowery, which is now a 'Clothing, Records & Audio' shop)

      When the American punk band the Ramones appeared in London they stayed at the Sherlock Holmes Hotel in Baker Street......" In September the Ramones were in town...dressed Ramone-style -ripped jeans, white plimsols, leather jacket and fringe...    

(A Riot of Our Own, p.105)

 
 

The El Paradise strip club in Soho's Brewer Street was part of the Punk scene.

 

Punks attended clubs like Louise's at 61, Poland Street, Soho.

 

The Roxy Theatre, a former Odeon cinema in Harlesden, north-west London was a popular Clash venue.

High Street Harlesden leads into Craven Park Road and on the left was the Roxy Odeon Cinema, which is now a block of flats known as ODE0N COURT.

 

The Roxy Club was at 41-43 Neal Street, Covent Garden WC2 and the King's Road Acme Attractions shop manager, Don Letts was the DJ.

 

From 1st January, 1977, with The Clash, the club went totally punk.

 

The Roxy was not really suited to live rock music, being tiny, laid out on two levels, and consisting of little more than an upstairs bar area, a downstairs dance floor and an office.

The club closed with Siouxsie & the Banshees headlining on 23rd April, 1977.

  The "Roxy" Club in Neal Street, Covent Gardens is now a SPEEDO swimming sports shop.

 

The capital's punk scene began to fragment following the closure of the Roxy.

 

     After leaving Rehearsal Rehearsals, The Clash searched for an alternative base and considered the series of soundproof rooms at Nomis, behind Earls Court. Finally, they found "Vanilla" a garage fronted building where they conceived The London Calling LP.                   (A Riot of Our Own, p.155)

 

 

Footnote : "After leaving the music business he eventually became Kent county education adviser on sex and drugs."

 
Johnny Green (alias John Broad) moved onto the Whitstable / Herne Bay area in Kent and worked with for a few years in the Health Promotion Department at Christchurch College, Canterbury (schools sexual advice officer ) and left during the early-mid 90's. He also taught at the Abbey School, Faversham teaching P.S.H.E. and R.E. but left about 8 years ago.

Johnny rung on the 27th August 2002 and confirmed a number of factual information. He was a co-operative, friendly, warm and sincere man who appears to have had an interesting range of life-experiences.

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