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NICK ‘Topper’ Headon, the former drummer with The Clash, has spoken for the first time about how he quit a 25-year addiction to drugs and returned home to Dover.


In the first, exclusive interview he has given since leaving the group in 1982, he reveals how he went from playing stadiums with one of the most important and influential British bands of all time to life as a homeless, penniless heroin addict.


The 49-year-old River resident decided to come home five years ago in a last-ditch bid to conquer his demons, away from the temptations in London.


“It’s not been an easy road and not one I would recommend to anyone,” he tells the Express in the candid interview.


Looking fit and healthy, Nick describes how he ended up in jail for supplying drugs and was even reduced to busking with bongo drums on the London Underground to pay for his next fix.


He pays tribute to the love and support of his mother and father, retired schoolteachers Margaret and Philip Headon, also of River, through his hardest times.


The former Dover Grammar School pupil’s revelations come as a special two-CD and DVD edition of the band’s acclaimed London Calling album is prepared for re-release to mark its 25th anniversary.


The album, which brought the band massive American success was voted best of the 80s by rock bible Rolling Stone. Earlier this year, Q magazine named it one of the best British rock records of all time.


As part of a two-part special report, Nick also lifts the lid on the secrets behind the making of the album and how he wrote the band’s worldwide smash, Rock the Casbah.


The Clash dominated the rock world in the early 1980s when they enjoyed 16 hit singles in Britain alone and sold millions of albums across the globe.

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