The Clash was the pioneer of British punk rock as they took a part in introducing British audiences to the American punk movement. They used to make songs about various matters including social estrangement, and life problems, moreover, we could also find frustration and protest against the monarchy system in their songs. The Clash had the idea and belief that three chords and the truth were enough to make a change in the world. Furthermore, another music artist who carried the same belief was none other than Bob Dylan.
And the name Bob Dylan is not just a name but a powerful force of inspiration. It happened so because Dylan has inspired numerous artists with his music. Dylan also keeps a keen interest in various music bands and artists and he has also never been afraid to speak his mind. In one of his books, Dylan has written about the punk rock band The Clash. He said that the band was a desperate group.
In this piece, we will talk about why he called them a desperate group and what other things Dylan said about “The Only Band That Matters.”
London Calling, the best work of The Clash?
As mentioned above, Dylan has never been afraid to speak his mind, and in his recently released book The Philosophy of Modern Song he wrote about songs that he considers crucial. And since we are already talking about The Clash, it is obvious that Dylan has written about one of their songs too.
Dylan has written about The Clash’s song “London Calling” which is from their album with the same title which was released in 1979. Dylan wrote in his book, “Punk rock is the music of frustration, and anger, but the Clash are different, theirs is the music of desperation. They were a desperate group. They have to get it all in. And they have so little time. A lot of their songs are overblown, overwritten, well-intentioned. But not this one. This is probably the Clash at their best and most relevant, their most desperate. The Clash were always the group they imagined themselves to be.” It seems that Dylan really loved the song because he even covered this song.
Moreover, this song is also special because it totally changed perception of punk rock because punk rock was all about playing songs loud, fast, and angry, however, this as mentioned this song totally changed the perception of punk rock.
Talking about The Clash and Bob Dylan, The Clash’s bass player Paul Simonon also worked on Dylan’s 25th studio album Down in the Groove which was released in 1988. Talking about the recording Paul said that Dylan used to come to a lot of Clash shows and that is how the two of them met.
Later he was called to play bass for Dylan’s album and Paul recalls that it was really difficult to record songs with Dylan, but why? Paul said, “We’d do three songs, and by the third song I’d just about remember how the songs went before we started recording them. ut instead of recording them we went on with another three songs, and then another three songs and then another three songs. So after about 12 songs he said, ‘Let’s start from the beginning.’ And my memory of the first song was so vague.”
However, even though it was difficult he said that it was still really enjoyable and he was really proud to be a part of Dylan’s album. He said it was really special.