It’s said you should never meet your heroes, but Ian Rubbish has never abided by conventional wisdom. Fred Armisen’s veteran punk character, introduced earlier this year on Saturday Night Live, sits down with Mick Jones and Paul Simonon in The Clash: The Last Gang in Town, a new fake documentary for Funny or Die in which Rubbish talks about how the Clash influenced him, how he influenced them and the sense of camaraderie and competition in the early punk scene. Jones and Simonon even indulge Rubbish by backing him on guitar and bass, respectively, on his song “Hey Policeman!”
Armisen, in a flashy red shirt and wearing a blond wig, holds forth in a working-class English accent about how Rubbish and his band, the Bizarros, were deeply influenced by the Clash. “In a way, they did a sort of past-tense copying of us,” Rubbish says. In fact, the Bizarros identified closely in their own music with the Clash’s political songs. “We would say something like, ‘We agree with the Clash,’ or, ‘What they said,'” Rubbish says.
Jones and Simonon fight laughter grins as Rubbish tries his best to top them: after the Clash released the double LP London Calling, Ian Rubbish and the Bizarros released the quadruple LP Camden Beckons. “And we put money in them,” Rubbish says, prompting Simonon to ask, “Have you got any left?”
“Hey Policeman!” doesn’t quite sound like a lost Clash song, but Jones and Simonon look like they’re having fun anyway as they gamely plunk along and add backing vocals between bemused grins.