the day the music lied

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The Independent Culture
"The judge said five to ten but I said double that again /

I'm not working for the clampdown"

Working for the Clampdown - The Clash

In 1979, London was burning with boredom. No punk with cred was ever going to grow up, calm down and work for the clampdown. The Clash posed by brick walls and failed to smile. They believed they were fighting with the Sandinistas. Joe Strummer and Topper Headon were fined pounds 100 each for stealing a Holiday Inn pillowcase. Paul Simonon and Topper were arrested in Camden for shooting pigeons with an air-pistol.

Meanwhile, their fans bought Nicaraguan coffee and believed that every word in the NME was true. They dreamt of being like Joe, of defying judges. Yet by 1995, the closest they'd got was nearly not paying their poll tax, and getting clamped for parking before 8.30pm in Camden.

There were no Sten guns in Knightsbridge. Joe started playing with his kids. He took up acting. The Clash's trademark "terrace holler" was stolen by two comedians called Vic and Bob. Men who tore up seats at the Manchester Apollo went into advertising. And, tragically, a whole generation can no longer fit into their leather trousers.

PETE MAY

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