The Clash: London Calling- connections

Album club is often about making connections. There are so many interesting conversations to be had after listening to music and reading up about the artists (thank you myspace and wikipedia). While reading up about the Clash this week I was astounded at how many connections I made to things going on in my life or just interesting things I didn’t know before. Here’s a few examples…

– Spanish bombs-> revolution -> Jakarta riots

– listening to the Gorillaz -> both Mick Jones and Paul Simonon played on Plastic Beach

– students with vastly different skill levels -> Paul Simonon had nevered played bass before joining the Clash, whereas Topper Headon was once called “The Human Drum Machine” for his skill as a drummer.

– Talking to a fellow Album clubber who’s a fan of Lily Allen -> Joe Strummer was a family friend of Lily Allen.

– Reading about the maker of Marshall amplifier’s death -> Joe Strummer used Marshall amplifiers (mind you who hasn’t? Actually there were lots of interesting links to other musicians through Strummer’s wikipedia and Jone’s wikipedia page)

– Reading about Jack White (of the White Stripes) and the importance of design/ colour/ costume in constructing his bands -> Paul Simonon started off in an Art and Design school.

– Reading about Townes van Zandt’s alcohol dependency and yet his insane creativity –> the producer of London Calling, Guy Stevens (who worked with bands such as The Who and The Rolling Stones), died from an overdose of drugs he was taking to combat his alcohol dependency. (Apparently he used to throw things around the room to build energy and tension during the recording process…)

If you have any personal connections to share about listening to the Clash, please add them in the comments!

About Alison Armstrong

Alison Armstrong BMus./BEd. (Queensland University of Technology), Dip. ABRSM (Performance- Singing) I have trained to teach Music (Elementary, Middle and High School) and Drama (Middle and High School). This is my 7th year as a teacher.
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2 Responses to The Clash: London Calling- connections

  1. As a lover of Jamaican music, I am in awe of how well The Clash incorporated its influence into the sound of London Calling. Although roots reggae was extremely popular when London Calling was released (1979?), The Clash and other bands of the time were influenced just as much by ska and rocksteady – genres from an earlier period of Jamaica’s popular music history.

    Also, the album cover for London Calling is iconic for us bass lovers. It depicts Paul Simonon violently smashing his Fender Precision Bass. The Fender Musical Instruments company recently put an interview with Simonon discussing the subject on their Youtube site:

  2. I was talking about the Jamaican influence on the UK this evening! (Great minds and all that) It’s all about the crossing back and forth of the Atlantic isn’t it? Without that where would music be?
    Thanks for the link 🙂

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