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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 September, 2004, 22:15 GMT 23:15 UK
Unheard Clash songs aired by BBC
The Clash
The world's first airing of legendary "lost" music and film footage of influential punk band The Clash has been shown by the BBC.

Former band members Mick Jones and Paul Simonon were interviewed on BBC Two's Newsnight about the reissue of their landmark 1979 LP London Calling.

It is being released this month to mark its 25th anniversary, along with discs of unreleased demos and studio footage.

Thursday's Newsnight played previously unheard tracks and showed unseen film.

The unreleased demos make up part of the so-called "Vanilla Tapes", a collection of long lost Clash recordings recently rediscovered by guitarist and singer Mick Jones.

They hadn't been heard since before the record was made, it was pretty amazing
Mick Jones
Jones found them in an old cardboard box as he prepared to move house in London in March.

They were taped at the band's favoured rehearsal space known as Vanilla, in Pimlico, central London, in summer 1979, only weeks before the "proper" London Calling sessions were recorded at Wessex Studios.

"I recognised them instantly for what they were," Jones said.

"Then I put them somewhere and I had to find them again. But I sensed where they were and that took me to the right box. I opened it up and found them. They hadn't been heard since before the record was made. It was pretty amazing."

Mick Jones
Jones found the tapes as he moved house
Long before Jones' discovery, copies of the tapes were feared lost forever when Clash roadie Johnny Green left them on the London Underground as he was on his way to deliver them to producer Guy Stevens.

They included early recordings of songs such as Clampdown, London Calling, Guns of Brixton and Rudie Can't Fail.

The 21 unreleased songs also include five previously unknown Clash songs: Heart And Mind, Where You Gonna Go (Soweto), Lonesome Me, Walking The Slidewalk (an instrumental) and a cover of Matumbi's version of Bob Dylan's The Man In Me.

The Newsnight feature also aired a segment of Clash film-maker Don Letts' unreleased archive. Letts' footage will make up a DVD as part of the three-disc reissue.

Handwritten lyrics and scribblings by late Clash singer Joe Strummer - who died in 2002, aged 50 - were also featured.

The anniversary edition of London Calling is released on 21 September.

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03 Sep 03  |  Entertainment


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