Joe Strummer is quite rightly seen as the mouthpiece of The Clash. His brash attitude and sneering demeanour allowed him to prowl the spotlight. But while Joe was the guts of the operation Mick Jones, guitarist and songwriter across most of their albums, was most definitely the brains. Watch here as, years on from when he first wrote the songs, Mick Jones performs his three favourite songs from The Clash’s back catalogue.
Mick Jones was certainly a central figure in the history of The Clash, by all intents and purposes Mick kind of was The Clash. Though the spotlight fell on Strummer most of the time Jones’ ability to not only craft a riotous punk tune but a catchy pop hook means he is still one of the most highly regarded musicians of the era.
It would be easy to think that this kind of partnership with Strummer and Jones would bare fruit for eternity, and for a while, eternity was looking achievable. But soon enough the tension between the pair grew and grew. The once friends soon became embittered in a creative dispute which quickly turned personal and ended with Strummer asking Mick to leave the group in 1983.
During the bright days of punk though the pair were inseparable in their inspiration and their output. They created wonderful songs and unstoppable albums which would not only have radios blasting but the audience thinking. This was always the difference between The Clash and almost any other punk group. The Clash were the thinking man’s punk.
Remembering Mick Jones’ last performance with The Clash at Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak’s very own festival, 1983
Here, in this clip, Jones is performing his three favourite songs from that time. As part fo the opening of the Rock and Roll Library in 2009, Jones gave a few lucky fans, as the venue was so small, a real treat. He performed ‘Train in Vain’, ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ and ‘Stay Free’.
The hair may have departed him, there may be no band backing him, but still, Mick Jones knows how to play and his performance shows that while Strummer may have been the face of The Clash, Mick Jones was often making him smile.
Watch below as Mick Jones performs his three favourite songs from The Clash.