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

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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.

After The Clash, Jones formed Big Audio Dynamite, further expanding his musical direction by incorporating hip hop elements like sampling and synths. B.A.D. would achieve chart success with their 1991 single “The Rush” which hit Number 1 on the US modern rock chart. The band eventually disolved in the late 90’s and since then Jones has been involved with a number of notable projects including Carbon/Silicon (which he formed with his old London SS bandmate Tony James) and Gorillaz (which saw him reunited with The Clash’s Paul Siminon for the 2010 album Plastic Beach).

Jones turns 58 today so let’s wish this punk rock legend a Happy F***ing Birthday!

In Jones’ honor we are featuring three shows that feature bonafide punk rock legends. Check ’em out:

Monday, July 1 I 2 Bit Saloon Presents – VERBAL ABUSESeattle, Washington   Verbal Abuse is a hardcore punk band, born in Houston but that became famous after moving to San Francisco. In 1981, lead singer Nicki Sicki, moved to Virginia, created Verbal Abuse, then went back to Texas where he decided he wanted to start another band. At the time, not many bands were playing fast hardcore in Texas and, like D.R.I. and M.D.C. before them, Verbal Abuse relocated to San Francisco in the end of 1981. By the end of the year, they had signed with Fowl Records and recorded their first LP, Just an American Band, which was released in the beginning of 1983. In 1996 thrash metal legends Slayer covered five of their songs on their Undisputed Attitude record and with the money from the Slayer album royalties, Nicki Sicki recreated the band.

Sunday, July 14 I Black Flag @ The VexLos Angeles, California   Black Flag has reformed and is in the process of putting finishing touches on a new album with founder Greg Ginn (guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member) on guitar and Ron Reyes (Jealous Again era) on vocals. Opening act will be:  Good For You, a band formed by Mike Vallely (skateboarding legend and frontman of Revolution Mother and Mike V & The Rats) and Greg Ginn of Black Flag.

Wednesday, September 11 I The Vibrators @ Los GlobosLos Angeles, California   The Vibrators are a British punk rock band that formed in 1976. They were founded by Ian ‘Knox’ Carnochan, bassist Pat Collier, guitarist John Ellis, and drummer John ‘Eddie’ Edwards. They were one of the pioneering punk bands that played at London’s Roxy Club. In March 1977 the band supported Iggy Pop on his British tour. The band signed to Epic Records in early 1977. Their debut album, Pure Mania reached the Top 50 of the UK Albums Chart. The album is well regarded by some music critics and, 17 years after its release The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music named Pure Mania one of the 50 best punk albums of all time. Despite numerous line-up changes, The Vibrators are still touring to this date as a three-piece, “Knox” and “Eddie” being the only original members.