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The Clash

A little something about The Clash
The Clash was born in 1976, when Mick Jones and Paul Simonon persuaded Joe Strummer to front their band. Like other punk acts of their day, the Clash benefitted from the notoriety of the Sex Pistols, first by opening from them and then by signing with CBS, a major label hoping to take advantage of the more marketable side of the punk phenomenon. The Clash not only proved marketable, but were one of the more talented bands to emerge from the London punk scene. Like today's MTV punksters, the Clash were criticized by their fans for selling out in signing with a major label and doing the things associated with their new found high-profile-band status - producing videos, showing up on the cover of Rolling Stone, and opening for album rockers The Who. But even into the eighties their music had an edge that was conspicuously absent in the new wave and romantic bands of the day. Their music did evolve and mature from their first releases in 1977 through their final album - "Cut the Crap" - released in 1985, and their 1982 US/UK hit Rock the Casbah is a classic example of what they evolved into - a politically aware band capable of writing tight, high energy music. Being their biggest US hit, Rock the Casbah is also an example of the toned-down Clash's effort to make music that would appeal to a larger audience. By 1982 tensions were riding high in the band, and the energy and anger they had alway displayed through their music turned inward on each other. The band had to cancel a tour when Strummer packed his bags and dissappeared, and guitarist Topper Headon left the band shortly thereafter. In 1983 Strummer decided he could no longer work with Jones, and a reformed Clash made one final album before admitting their day had passed. Still, the Clash had outlasted most of their punk peers by several years. Clash founding member Mick Jones went on making music with Big Audio Dynamite, then Big Audio Dynamite II, and now just Big Audio. Joe Strummer has been working with the Pogues, producing much of their work and picking up the mic in place of Shane MacGowan, who spent more time in detox than with the band, and has embarked on a solo career. Strummer's voice can also be heard in several sound tracks, including punk flashback film Sid & Nancy.
Rock the Casbah

Now the king told the boogie men
You have to let that raga drop
The oil down the desert way
Has been shakin' to the top
The sheik he drove his Cadillac
He went a-cruisin' down the ville
The muezzin was a' standing
On the radiator grille

The shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah
The shareef don't like it
Rockin' the Casbah
Rock the Casbah

By order of the prophet
We ban that boogie sound
Degenerate the faithful
With that crazy Casbah sound
But the Bedouin they brought out
The electric camel drum
The local guitar picker
Got his guitar picking thumb
As soon as the shareef
Had cleared the square
They began to wail


Now over at the temple
Oh! They really pack 'em in
The in crowd say it's cool
To dig this chanting thing
But as the wind changed direction
The temple band took five
The crowd caught a whiff
Of that crazy Casbah jive


The king called up his jet fighters
He said you better earn your pay
Drop your bombs between the minarets
Down the Casbah way

As soon as the shareef was
Chauffeured outta there
The jet pilots tuned to
The cockpit radio blare

As soon as the shareef was
Outta their hair
The jet pilots wailed


He thinks it's not kosher
Fundamentally he can't take it
You know he really hates it