“The Clash;…’All Lost in a Supermarket’…”

I’m all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came in here for that special offer
A guaranteed personality


My motto is,’What’s the hurry?’ I’m trying to get it across to the modern world that we need to sit around and think a little bit more. Joe Stummer – “Interview with Corey Levitan for Rolling Stone Online on 2 December 1999”

There’s two different strains of punks, nice ones and horrible ones. We fall into the nice category – Mick Jones

I used to go to school with my hair looking like Johnny Thunders’, totally sewn into my jeans and wearing women’s shoes and a Sex T-shirt from Malcolm McLaren’s shop. I’d turn up every day looking like this Martian. I used to get abused all the time, but I didn’t give a shit in those days. I knew I was onto something. – Mick Jones

The Clash were an English punk rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, dub, funk, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar, vocals) and Nicky “Topper” Headon (drums, percussion). Headon left the group in 1982, and internal friction led to Jones’s departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986.

For me the music is a vehicle for my lyrics. It’s a chance to get some really good words across. JS – As quoted in Coon, Caroline (1977).

The toughest thing is facing yourself. Being honest with yourself, that’s much tougher than beating someone up. That’s what I call tough. JS – As quoted in Coon, Caroline (1977).

“The moment that best exemplifies The Clash…took place in August 1977, at a music festival in Liege, Belgium. The band was playing before 20,000 people and had been under fire from a crowd that was throwing bottles at the stage. But that wasn’t what bothered lead singer Joe Strummer. What enraged him was a 10-foot-high barbed-wire fence strung between concrete posts and forming a barrier between the group and the audience…. [He] jumped from the stage and attacked the fence, trying to pull it down…. The Clash were the only performers at the show who tried to do anything about the obstacle. They were more willing to run the risk of the crowd than to tolerate barbed wire that was meant to fend off that crowd. This is more or less what the Clash were about: fighting the good fight that few others would fight”. —Rock historian Mikal Gilmore

The Clash discography

Studio albums

The Clash (1977)

Their politics were made explicit in the lyrics of such early recordings as “White Riot”, which encouraged disaffected white youths to riot like their black counterparts

“Career Opportunities”, which addressed the alienation of low-paid, routinised jobs and discontent over the lack of alternatives

“London’s Burning”, about the bleakness and boredom of life in the inner city

Give ‘Em Enough Rope (1978)

London Calling (1979)

 

 Sandinista! (1980)

 The title of Sandinista! celebrated the left-wing rebels who had recently overthrown Nicaraguan despot Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and the album was filled with songs driven by other political issues extending far beyond British shores: “Washington Bullets” addressed covert military operations around the globe, while “The Call-Up” was a meditation on US draft policies

Combat Rock (1982)

 Combat Rock’s “Straight to Hell” is described by scholars Simon Reynolds and Joy Press as an “around-the-world-at-war-in-five-verses guided tour of hell-zones where boy-soldiers had languished

Cut the Crap (1985)

“Strummer was the driving force who helped give punk its “political edge”. I have a great admiration for the man. His most recent records are as political and edgy as anything he did with The Clash. His take on multi-cultural Britain in the 21st century is far ahead of anybody else. Without Joe, there’s no political Clash and without The Clash the whole political edge of punk would have been severely dulled.” – Billy Bragg, News 24, BBC, 23 December 2002.

“Like thousands of teenagers growing up in the ’70s, punk and The Clash changed my life in a fundamental way. Their mixture of politics and music shaped my beliefs and tastes and made me the person I am today. Christmas is ruined.” Moby, Moby’s Journal, 23 December 2002.

I was trying to prove that I was the Clash and it wasn’t Mick (Jones). I learned that that was kind of dumb. I learned that it wasn’t anybody, except maybe a great chemistry between us four – JS “Interviewed by Richard Cromelin for the Los Angeles Times on 31 January 1988”

I didn’t feel anything, when asked how he felt when leaving the Clash – Mick Jones

In a way, I killed off what I was good at, in order to do something different. Mick Jones About “Big Audio Dynamite”

Everyone has got to realise you can’t hold onto the past if you want any future. Each second should lead to the next one. JS – Interview for Sounds Magazine on 17 July 1982″.

When you get to the museum level, you’re usually dead, aren’t you? Mick Jones

I’m all tuned in, I see all the programs
I save coupons from packets of tea
I’ve got my giant hit discotheque album
I empty a bottle and I feel a bit free

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