The Clash formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk. Along with punk, their music incorporated elements of reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, dance, and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, the Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar and vocals), Paul Simonon (bass guitar and vocals) and Nicky “Topper” Headon (drums, percussion).
After the release of their 5th studio record, Combat Rock, the Clash began to disintegrate. Headon was asked to leave the band due to a heroin addition. The loss of Headon exposed the growing frictions within the band, Jones and Strummer began to feud. The band opened for The Who on a leg of their final tour in the US, including a show at Shea Stadium in New York. The Clash continued their tour until the 1982 US Festival in San Bernardino, California, which the Clash co headlined with David Bowie and Van Halen. This was Jones last appearance with the group as he was fired shortly thereafter for reasons unknown to the general public.
Nick Shepard and Vince White were recruited as the Clash’s new guitarists. The reconstituted band played its first shows in January 1984 with a batch of new material and launched into a self-financed Out of Control tour. Their new recording sessions for the Cut the Crap were chaotic, with Manager Bernard Rhodes and Strummer working in Munich. The first single from Cut the Crap, the mournful, “This is England” was released to mostly negative reviews. The Clash disbanded for good in 1986.
Although, Strummer and Jones worked on various projects together after 1986, Strummers sudden death from a congenital heart defect on December 22, 2002 ended any possibility of a full Clash reunion.
Rise and Fall of the Clash is the definitive biography of the band’s fall from grace. After playing Shea Stadium they were set to become the biggest band in the world. In one of the most shocking stories of the music industry, the never told story of The Clash is the ultimate Rock & Roll tragedy.
“The Clash was the greatest rock band, they wrote the book for U2”