After having refused all interviews and comments regarding the band for the last 30 years, I now realize that the passing of time has not diminished the essential message of The Clash and that even though huge mistakes were made, the issues addressed are in many ways even more relevant today (with new ones added.)

The energy and vision of the band continue through new younger generations seeking an alternative to the manufactured nonsense that assaults us from all sides today. One would think that with the intelligence and technology at hand, issues of the day would be far more widely dispersed by today’s leading musicians, but sadly this is not the case. Huge endorsements and corporate sponsorship ensure that all the major music stars are kept firmly in line and few dare to cross into controversial territory.

The Clash had their faults as human beings (probably more than most), and contradictions in their music and their message abound. As is so often the case, heroes are held aloft and subjected to the extremes of criteria. But remember, The Clash were just common folk – not a PHD or college grad amongst them. So young and innocent of the trickery of the world, they struggled daily with bruised egos, excesses of hubris, and lapses of confidence. Without the luxury of a team of seasoned handlers, counsel could only be obtained from their own inner circle and perspicacity was often out of reach. It’s no wonder that contradictions were made and potential left unfulfilled. So judge them lightly now, in the cold light of day. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Above all, the world is still a far better place for their existence.

US Border

US Border

2 thoughts on “About

  1. Hassan

    Thanks Baker for reminiscing, I’m really glad you’ve decided to share your memories of your time with the band with us. I remember being hated for liking the clash back in the day, they had that divide amongst fans either you loved them or hated them, the word “sell out” was often used by disgruntled ” rock” fans. I loved them even side six of Sandinista, I loved that energy, anticipation just before they came on stage, the electrical atmosphere palpable. I can still recall you by Toppers kit on your haunches at the Lyceum ballroom, we loved the clash camp as well ( apart from Kosmo) it was a gang and a pretty decent one too, much love & peace.

  2. Stephen

    Nice blog Baker. Good to see you telling your story at last. I was just thinking today it seems to me that the Clash broke up because they burned out. They did something like the equivalent of nine albums in five years and innumerable tours (I saw them in Australia in 82). That’s a phenomenal workload, and it’s hard to imagine they could have carried it much longer. You wrote somewhere that Joe had to shoulder the criticism for ‘Sandinista!’ I’m a writer and one of the things that strikes me about ‘Sandinista!’ – my favourite Clash album – is that Joe was a great poet and that the lyrics of ‘Sandinista!’ are a remarkable achievement. I think of Joe as a poet first and a guitarist second and I think his lyrics as literature have yet to be really appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s