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The Clash


1952

John Mellor - a.k.a. Joe Strummer, singer and guitarist with the Clash - is born in Ankara, Turkey.

1955

Nicky “Topper” Headon, drummer for the Clash, is born in Bromley, England.

1955

Mick Jones, guitarist and singer with the Clash, is born in London, England.

1955

Paul Simonon, bass player for the Clash, is born in London, England.

1976

Joe Strummer joins guitarists Mick Jones and Keith Levene and bassist Paul Simonon in a new band, the Clash.

1976

The Clash play their first show, opening for the Sex Pistols, in Sheffield, England.

1977

With Keith Levene gone and Terry Chimes (a.k.a. “Tory Crimes”) on drums, the Clash sign to CBS in the U.K. and record their landmark self-titled debut album.

1977

The Clash’s first single, “White Riot”/”1977,” is released. It hits #38, becoming the first of 18 Clash singles to chart in Britain.

1977

The Clash, the British punk group’s debut album, is released in the U.K. With drummer Topper Headon on-board, the Clash undertake their first headlining tour.

1977

The Clash’s third U.K. single - “Complete Control”/”City of the Dead,” produced by reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry - is released, reaching #28.

1978

The Clash begin recording their second album, Give ‘Em Enough Rope, with Blue Oyster Cult producer Sandy Pearlman. It is released that fall.

1979

The Clash kick off a tour that includes their first U.S. shows.

1979

The Clash release a four-song EP, The Cost of Living, which includes their remake of the Bobby Fuller Four’s “I Fought the Law.”

1979

A revamped version of the debut album The Clash is finally issued in the U.S.

1979

“London Calling,” title track from the Clash’s third album, enters the U.K. singles charts, where it will peak at #11.

1980

The double album London Calling, by the Clash, is released in the U.S. Critics rate it one of the best - and maybe the best - albums of the 1980s.

1981

The triple LP Sandinista!, by the Clash, is released in the U.S., two months after it appeared in the U.K.

1981

The Clash begin the first of 15 shows in 17 days at Bonds, a former men’s clothing store turned performance space in New York City’s Times Square.

1982

Drummer Topper Headon leaves the Clash because of “a difference in political direction.”

1982

The Clash’s Combat Rock, their fifth and final studio album, is released. It reaches #7 on the Billboard album chart and goes double platinum.

1982

“Should I Stay or Should I Go,” by the Clash, is released in the U.S. Though it gets no higher than #45, it’s a popular club song and reaches #17 in the U.K.

1982

“Rock the Casbah,” by the Clash, enters the U.S. Top Forty, where it will peak at #8.

1983

The Clash’s performance at the US Festival in California is the last to feature Mick Jones, who will officially leave the group in September.

1985

The Clash, now featuring only Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon from the original band, break up after the release of the disappointing Cut the Crap.

1991

The Clash, having disbanded nearly six years earlier, score their first #1 U.K. single with a reissued “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”

1991

Clash on Broadway, a career-spanning three-CD box set, is released.

1999

From Here to Eternity, the first Clash live album - taken from gigs between 1977 and 1982 - is compiled with input from the original members.

2002

Joe Strummer of the Clash dies of heart failure at his home in Somerset, England.

2003

The Clash is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the eighteenth annual induction dinner. The Edge of U2 and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine are their presenters.

The Clash