Dylan Jones: Mick Jones showed me enough Clash ephemera to keep an old punk happy for days

Talk of the Town

Share
Related Topics

Awopbopaloobopalopbamboom-time! You have exactly seven amphetamine-fuelled days left to catch one of the best rock exhibitions you will ever see – Mick Jones's Rock & Roll Public Library, currently showing at the Chelsea College of Art & Design. The iconic guitarist from The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite and Carbon/Silicon has allowed a portion of his huge collection of pop-culture paraphernalia to be exhibited for the first time, and anyone with an interest in the subject should hop on their customised Beastie Boys skateboard and get down to Chelsea right away.

It's all here: magazine covers, posters, gold discs, pulp-fiction paperbacks, Clash flight cases, Kate Moss's Glastonbury wellies, pop figurines, old photographic contact sheets, trashy VHSs, concert-ticket stubs and, my favorite artefact, a message left for Jones by Joe Strummer at New York's Royalton Hotel: "Hello Mick. It's Joe. Okay, I give up – you win. Call me."

Two summers ago, I saw Jones's entire collection in his lock-up in Acton, where Carbon/Silicon record. Having just taught me the rudiments of The Clash's "Complete Control" (laughing at my inability to master the opening riff), he took me on a tour of his shelves, showing off his first editions, his old vinyl, gig flyers, comic books, road signs, guitars, rare albums and Clash ephemera to keep an old punk like me happy for days.

"I never meant to create anything like a library," he told me, "but one day I just sort of realised that, having never thrown anything away for the last 40-odd years, I actually had a pretty good history of pop culture in the 20th century. I suppose a lot of people might think this stuff is rubbish, but it's all meant something to me."

And to me, too.

Jones hopes his collection will one day turn into a user-friendly permanent exhibition, although you only have to pick up a loose-leaf copy of the punk fanzine 48 Thrills to realise this stuff is too precious to leave lying around. It's art, and deserves to be cherished. As does Mick Jones himself.

Rock the Casbah! The one down in Chelsea. You can't miss it. There's a big picture of Lord Snooty in the window.

Dylan Jones is the editor of 'GQ'

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Marketing Manager - Central London - £50,000

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (Campaigns, Offlin...

Head of Marketing - Acquisition & Direct Reponse Marketing

£90000 - £135000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Marketing (B2C, Acquisition...

1st Line Service Desk Analyst

£27000 - £30000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client who are...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Huxley Associates

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Huxley Associates are currentl...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Norovirus the food poisoning bug that causes violent stomach flu  

A flu pandemic could decide next year’s election

Matthew Norman
J. Jayalalithaa gestures to her party supporters while standing on the balcony of her residence in Chennai. Former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram is one of India's most colourful and controversial politicians  

The jailing of former film star Jayalalithaa Jayaram is a drama even Bollywood couldn’t produce

Andrew Buncombe
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style