This is the F.A.Q. the questions are in no particular order(for now) but I hope to have 35 questions by February 1st. So here it is, the long awaited
Who were/are The Clash?
The Clash were a band(obviously)who formed in 1976. Their music began as old-school punk rock but developed into what is now called New Wave over time. The original members were Mick Jones(Guitar,Vocals),Keith Levene(Guitar) and Paul Simonon(Bass). The manager of the clash, Bernie Rhodes saw Joe Strummer while he was playing with the 101'ers(second greatest band ever) and thought he would be good for the clash(PLEASE REPORT MISINTERPRETATIONS AND UNRELIABLE FACTS). Joe Strummer then joined the clash(Levene left and later joined PiL) and the rest, as they say, is history.
In 1977 the clash(with drummer Terry Chimes(Tory Crimes)) recorded their first full length record called.....THE CLASH. A pivotal event in music history. After they recorded "The Clash" Mr. Chimes left the group and was replaced by Nicky "Topper" Headon. The group recorded four more albums with that lineup (Strummer,Jones,Simonon,Headon), including 1979's London Calling (see the discography) but in 1982 things went a little haywire.
After Combat Rock was released, Joe Strummer became increasingly worried about Topper Headon's drug problem(heroin) and gave him the boot(not the best rehabilitation but...), Terry Chimes(remember him) then rejoined the group for a few tour dates. Things then got worse. After some "creative differences" Mick Jones left the band. Everyone thought that it was over(and it really was) until, in 1984 Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon( the only member of the clash who was in it from start to finish) recruited guitarists Vince White and Nick Sheppard and Drummer Pete Howard. This lineup proved to be a BIG mistake. Their only album, Cut The Crap, released in 1985 was utterly horrid and they broke up in early 1986.
Talks of a reunion are always rumoured and the Clash still live on.
Who Said that the clash were the only band that mattered?
That would be the great Lester Bangs, who was a Rock Journalist in the seventies and he hung out with the clash a lot. He died in 1982, of the flu. He has a book called Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung which I recommend you all read!
How many drummers did they have?
A LOT!!!! if you count the total number of drummers who were with them for at least a concert the total exceeds ten! Here is a list of some of them: Terry Chimes, Topper Headon, Rob Harper, Pete Howard, Paolo Labritain.
Who were some of the "famous" characters that worked with the clash?
The Clash worked with many celebrities. Most notably Lee Perry (who produced Police and Thieves on the first album), Allen Ginsberg (who did a "duet" with Joe Strummer on Ghetto Defendant on the Combat Rock album), Don Letts (filmmaker who is now compiling a documentary on the clash), Mickey Gallagher and Ian Dury (from the band Ian Dury and the Blockheads) and there were many others...
What are the clash doing now?
Joe Strummer-Continuing his solo career with soundtrack compositions,acting etc. He recorded a song for the "CHEF-AID" compilation called It's a Rockin' World. He also broke his leg quite recently-GET WELL SOON JOE!!!
Mick Jones-Immediately after leaving the clash Mick Jones formed a band called Big Audio Dynamite. He is still in the band and all us BAD fans are trying to get Radioactive Records to release their new album.
Paul Simonon-Before Paul Simonon joined the clash, he was a painter. Right after the clash broke up he went back to painting. He has painted a B.A.D. album. In 1991 he joined the short-lived one album group called Havana 3 a.m.
Topper Headon- after being held guilty of manslaughter for supplying a guy with some heroin he was deported from the USA. He did a cover of Gene Krupa's drummin' man in the mid eighties but has since been battling his drug addiction.
What is Joe Strummer's Real Name?
It is John Graham Mellor
How many pseudonyms has he gone under?
Well, there was Woody Mellor and Joe Strummer so... two
I hear Joe Strummer had an interesting childhood, is this true?
Yup, a lot like mine though. You see, John Mellor was born in Ankara Turkey in 1952(he isn't that old!!!). I suppose that is the interesting part but his father was a diplomat which is the part I find interesting.
What does Allen Ginsberg chant at the end of Ghetto Defendant?
It is what appears to be a Buddhist prayer. Seeing how Allen Ginsberg was a buddhist this would probably be the correct answer.