The Clash always meant more to me than the Sex Pistols ever did.
I did, and still do, like the Sex Pistols. In fact I suppose I love them just as much as many others of my generation, but when push comes to shove I will always fall on the side of the Clash as the band that did it for me.
While it’s inarguable that the Pistols initially kicked down the doors in the UK and allowed punk to flourish in their wake, it is also true that they didn’t leave us much when they publicly imploded. A great debut, a trail of cancelled gigs, a bunch of cash in releases and a movie whose only purpose appears to have been to continue flogging a horse that was well and truly dead. Or maybe it had another purpose and that was to flog the cock of Malcy’s ego.
None the less, while people will insist that it’s a classic, I’ll stick to saying that it’s more akin to a celluloid atrocity exhibition with some good songs in it.
So I guess what I mean is that I feel that the Sex Pistols served as a gloriously fucked up catalyst, and that ultimately it was left for others to carry the punk torch, and that‘s where the Clash came in, but they didn‘t just carry the torch, they ran full pelt forward into the unknown with it.
They set fires here there and everywhere with it as they moved ever onwards on their musical journey.
Their dipping into reggae, rockabilly, hip hop and whatever else that took their fancy encapsulates what I consider is the real ethos of punk. No rules, the freedom to express yourself in whatever manner that you see fit, to ignore the little boxes that everyone is so desperate to keep us imprisoned in. That’s punk, and the Clash wrote that big in neon whenever they stepped foot into a studio or onto a stage.
So to celebrate their influence here we have something a bit different for the Clash fans out there.
In Radio Clash we have fifteen songs picked by Mick and Paul. Songs that influenced them, songs they played on and Strummer doing White Man at the 100 Club.
Then we have volume one and two of White Riot - A tribute to the Clash. It is what it is, a tribute, but for me I found it interesting who was covering them and how they were approaching the songs. I don’t think that The clash themselves would be that impressed with straight covers. So while they are a bit hit and miss I’m sure Clash fans will find some stuff they like. This is how I discovers Hamel on Trial and I never looked back since then.