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The Mid-Week Beat: Happy Birthday to Mick Jones of The Clash!

Today is Mick Jones, guitarist of The Clash‘s birthday! Which means that today’s post is a completely self-indulgent one for me as I get to talk about my favorite band and feature some upcoming shows of bands that I loved as a young punk rocker.

Mick Jones, was there at the beginning of the UK punk rock movement. Like many of the early punks, Mick started out as a fan of glam bands like Mott the Hoople and proto-punk bands like the New York Dolls. He formed a glam band in the early 70s called The Delinquents and shortly after, formed the legendary London SS with Tony James, who would later form the bands Chelsea and Generation X with Billy Idol. The band featured a number of members that would go on to become major players in the London punk scene including Brian James and Rat Scabies of The Damned and Matt Dangerfield and Casino Steel of The Boys.

When the SS broke up in 1976, Jones and Paul Simonon began a new group after seeing the Sex Pistols. They recruited lead singer Joe Strummer, formerly of pub rockers The 101ers and The Clash were born. The Clash would then go on to be one of the major players, if not THE major player, in the UK punk scene, eventually achieving international success. Their global success encouraged many punk purists to label the band as “sell-outs” but the band outlasted most of their contemporaries by incorporating different musical styles into their sound and expanding the definitions of what a punk band was. Jones was eventually fired from the band in 1983 by Strummer and Simonon and the band limped along for one more record, but many agree that The Clash ended the day Jones left the band.

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