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De Niro, Cannibals and Punk Rock: Mick Jones Narrates the True Adventures of the Clash

The guitarist breaks down photos from the new book “The Clash”

CLASH BOOK: GRUEN

Photograph by Bob Gruen

Topper Headon, Joe Strummer, David Johansen and Debbie Harry at New York's Palladium in 1979: "The guy in the middle is Al Field," says Mick Jones.  "He was a kind of bluesy piano player, and we got him to play on 'Julie's Been Working for the Drug Squad.'"

CLASH BOOK: PRESS

Photo: UrbanImage.TV/Adrian Boot

The Last Gang In Town

Mick Jones, Joe Strummer, Topper Headon and Paul Simonon (from left) in 1977.

CLASH BOOK: PRESS

The Debut Album

The cover of the Clash's 1977 debut shows only three members, because it was taken after drummer Terry Chimes left the group. "We took that shot right around the corner from our rehearsal space, which was an old British railway shed," says Mick Jones. "All our records show a progression, but I love that one."

CLASH BOOK: PRESS

Rock Against Racism

Mick Jones and bassist Paul Simonon protesting with Sex Pistol Glen Matlock outside the headquarters of the British National Front, an ultra-right-wing political party with Nazi beliefs. "There was a massive anti-fascist movement at the time," says Jones.

CLASH BOOK: PRESS

No Such Thing As Bad Press

In 1976, the NME ran a story about a Clash fan who bit off her boyfriend's earlobe during a London show – behavior Mick Jones says "wasn't unusual" at their early club performances. "I've got to be honest – it was just a piece of the lobe," he says, "Like a Mike Tyson kind of thing."

CLASH BOOK: PRESS 1976

The Clash’s Pure Energy

A poster for The Night of Pure Energy gig held October 23rd, 1976 a London's Institute Of Contemporary Arts.

CLASH BOOK: PRESS- gun 1070's

Westway To The World

Paul Simonon poses with an air gun at Rehearsals Rehearsals studios alongside Joe Strummer and Mick Jones.

CLASH BOOK: PRESS-1976 group shot

Photo: UrbanImage.TV/Adrian Boot

Birth Of The Classic Lineup

One of The Clash's first pictures with new drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon.

CLASH BOOK: RETNA

Photo: Van Rossen / Redferns / Retna

Clash City Rocker

"This photo really encapsulates Joe [Strummer]'s passion," Mick Jones says of this late-Seventies shot. "The interesting thing is that Joe was left-handed, but he played a right-handed guitar. It meant his most dexterous hand was opposite where it usually is."

CLASH BOOK: RETNA

Photo: Val Wilmer/Redferns/Retna

White Riot

Mick Jones onstage at the 1978 Rock Against Racism concert in London. "It was our largest audience to date," he says. "The Tom Robinson Band headlined it, but we're the ones everyone remembers."

CLASH BOOK: SMITH

Photo: Pennie Smith

You Talkin’ To Me?

Strummer and Robert De Niro in 1980. "We had a cameo in Scorsese's The King of Comedy," says Jones. "When he was cutting Raging Bull, we got to see some of it. It was cool, because Raging Bull was the film of the time and London Calling was the record of that time."

In This Article: Joe Strummer, The Clash

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