Watch Bruce Springsteen cover The Clash’s ‘Clampdown’ with Rage’s Tom Morello
It’s time to revisit a classic moment from Far Out Magazine’s vault and we’ve found this gem from Bruce Springsteen’s 2014 High Hopes Tour. It sees The Boss and the E Street Band covered an iconic song by The Clash.
Springsteen, who has long ties with The Clash and the late frontman Joe Strummer, put his own spin on 1970 song ‘Clampdown’ which was taken from the iconic record London Calling. It’s the mark of Springsteen’s admiration for The Clash.
The feeling of admiration between Springsteen and Strummer was mutual and, in an interview with Mojo prior to his death, The Clash frontman said: “Bruce is great. If you don’t agree, you’re a pretentious Martian from Venus. His music is great on a dark, rainy morning in England, just when you need some spirit and some proof that the big wide world exists.”
‘Clampdown’, which was written by Strummer and Mick Jones, refers heavily to the failures of capitalist society and how people seemingly become trapped within the traditional ethos of work, debt and conformist society.
Bass player and Clash co-founder Paul Simonon, in an interview with the LA Times, spoke about the opportunities available to him after he finished his education and how it influenced the song: “What was worse was that when it got time for us to start leaving school, they took us out on trips to give us an idea of what jobs were available,” he said. “But they didn’t try to introduce us to anything exciting or meaningful.”
Adding: “They took us to the power station and the Navy yards. It was like saying, ‘This is all you guys could ever do.’ Some of the kids fell for it. When we got taken down to the Navy yards, we went on a ship and got cooked up dinner and it was all chips and beans. It was really great. So some of the kids joined up—because the food was better than they ate at home.”
Such was the prominence of the lyrics, the song ‘Clampdown’ has since been covered by the likes of Rage Against The Machine, The Strokes, The National and more. For now, though, we’re focusing on The Boss’ rendition which was performed multiple times live with Rage frontman Tom Morello and they seemingly perfected it.
Springsteen said: “The Clash were a major influence on my own music. They were the best rock ‘n’ roll band. Thanks, Joe.” He says thank you in the best way possible.