Why Simonon didn’t want Clash reunion
The Clash bassist Paul Simonon has recalled his reasons for not wanting to reunite for the band’s 2003 induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Plans were dashed by the sudden death of frontman Joe Strummer ahead of the event – but the deal had not been done in any case.
Simonon tells Rolling Stone: “Mick Jones, Joe and Topper Headon were very keen. The proviso was that, I think, if we got together and played, then we got the award. But to be honest, I didn’t really want to reform the band, full-stop, especially not in that environment.
“My point was that if we were going to reform, it can’t be in that corporate environment. Joe was unaware that the tickets were something like $1000 a seat, maybe more. I think if the Clash is going to reform, it should be somewhere where the seats don’t cost $1000. Joe was unaware of that and, of course, he died a couple of days later, so I wasn’t able to send him a message and give him that information.”
Strummer – real name John Graham Mellor – passed away on December 22, 2002, as a result of an undiagnosed heart problem. The Clash were confirmed as Hall Of Fame inductees the following month.
Simonon says: “Rather than be childish about it I thought, ‘Well, I’ll go to support everybody and the memory of Joe.’ But I had no interest in being part of any reformation.”
The band formed in 1976 and split ten years later, by which time Headon and Jones had both left. Asked whether it was a mistake to keep going after the guitarist quit in 1982, Simonon responds: “That was a journey to be experienced. And who knows? It became what it became, and I don’t have any regrets about anything. You can’t really change it, but you hope to learn from these changes.
“It was more than just a band – it was a lifestyle as well. It’s really an intense burst of energy and passion and creativity; the only thing you can compare it to is a shooting star.”
Tags: The Clash