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New Movie Tells the Story of the Clash’s Final Days

The Clash
Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Few bands in rock history flamed out at their commercial peak as sadly as the Clash. A new documentary tells the story of the legendary English punk group, who called it quits in 1986, three years after founding guitarist Mick Jones was fired.

‘The Rise and Fall of The Clash’ features archival footage and new interviews to tell the story of the band’s final days. The four primary members of the band – Jones, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonen and Topper Headon tell their sides of the story as do Nick Sheppard and Vince White, both of whom replaced Jones, and original drummer Terry Chimes, who returned to replace Headon in 1982.

Shortly after the Clash recorded ‘Combat Rock,’ Topper Headon was fired due to his heroin addiction. Although the album was their commercial breakthrough in the U.S., the tour, which saw them land two Top 20 singles and open up for the Who, was less than the victory lap they deserved for the previous five years, with repeated infighting that resulted in Jones’ ouster in 1983.

An attempt to carry on without Jones, 1985′s ‘Cut the Crap,’ fizzled artistically and commercially. Strummer and manager Bernie Rhodes fought, leading to their breakup a year later. The Clash discussed reuniting in time for their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, but Strummer’s tragic and sudden death on December 22, 2002 put an end to the plan.

The film is co-produced by David Mingay, who wrote and directed 1980′s ‘Rude Boy,’ which was a semi-fictional look at the Clash that starred the band.

Next: Ugly Band Breakups

Watch the Trailer for ‘The Rise and Fall of The Clash’


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