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Paul Simonon

From Academic Kids

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Paul Gustave Simonon (born December 15, 1955 in Brixton, England) is best known as the bass guitar player for punk rock band The Clash. He grew up in the mostly Jamaican neighbourhood of Brixton in England. Before joining the Clash, he had planned to become an artist.

He was asked to join The Clash in 1976 by lead guitarist Mick Jones, who planned to teach Simonon guitar. However, the instrument proved too difficult for Simonon, so Jones decided to teach him bass instead. Much of the band's self-titled debut was recorded in Simonon's flat.

Paul Simonon wrote and sang three of the Clash's songs: "Guns of Brixton" on London Calling, "Crooked Beat" on Sandinista!, and the mostly spoken-word "Red Angel Dragnet" from Combat Rock. Simonon only decided to write "Guns of Brixton" because he was jealous of the money the band's main songwriters, Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, were making in royalties, but it is now one of the band's most recognized songs.

After the Clash dissolved in 1986, Simonon started a band called Havana 3am. They recorded one album in Japan before breaking up. Presently, Simonon works as an artist - his first passion before joining the Clash. He has had several gallery shows, and even designed the cover for one of Big Audio Dynamite's (Mick Jones' post-Clash band) albums.

Paul Simonon was forever immortalized on the front cover of the band's double-album London Calling, where the image of him smashing his bass has become one of the most famous pictures in rock.

Discography

The Clash

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