THE CLASH Biography - Music bands & groups


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Name: The Clash                                                                     
Origin: Ladbroke Grove, London, England                                             
The Clash were an English punk rock band, active from 1976 to 1986, part of the     
original wave of UK punk rock in the late 1970s. Although a punk                   
rock band, the band experimented with reggae, funk, rap, dub, rock and roll and     
rockabilly in their music. The band were formed by Joe Strummer (lead               
vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, backing vocals) and Paul           
Simonon (bass guitar, backing vocals). During this time they had a revolving       
drumming position, including Terry Chimes who featured on the band's eponymous     
first album The Clash despite the fact that by this point of time he had already   
chosen to leave the band. Needing a stable drummer, they were finally joined in     
1977 by Jones' friend Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums, percussion). Until the         
untimely departure of Headon in 1982 and Jones in 1983 due to internal friction,   
this is the lineup from the band's peak with the largest recorded output, and       
was the lineup inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band disbanded     
in the early days of 1986, largely due to lack of creative control and the loss     
of Jones and Headon who were together half the skill of the band. The late         
Strummer has apologised for the firing of these two members and he admitted that   
it was a huge mistake to make, both creatively and progressively for the band.     
The Clash were a major success in the UK from the release of their first album     
in 1977 named 'The Clash', and became popular in the U.S. in 1980. Their third     
album, the late 1979 release London Calling is an influential album in the         
history of rock and alternative music; it was released in the U.S. in January       
1980, and a decade later Rolling Stone magazine declared it the best album of       
the 1980s. Rolling Stone also placed it at #8, The Clash at #77, and               
Sandinista! at #404 on their 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.     
The Clash's attitude and style, as much as their music, influenced many other       
bands from the 1980s. Epic Records A&R director dubbed them "The Only British       
Band That Matters," which fans later adapted into the well known title "The Only   
Band That Matters". They are one of the most prominent and prolific punk           
rock bands and their influence is far reaching. In January 2003 they were           
inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band wanted to play at the       
event, but Joe Strummer's untimely death in December 2002, prevented this. In       
2004, Rolling Stone ranked The Clash #30 on their list of the 100 Greatest         
Artists of All Time.                                                               
In March 2008 a new live performance documentary The Clash Live: Revolution Rock   
will debut on US public television as well as being released on DVD.               
Produced by long time visual collaborator Don Letts, who contributed his own       
footage for the project, the DVD will also contain two interviews filmed in 1981.