Tuesday, January 9, 2018

'Hangin' out w/The Clash'-

Well I tell ya' it was a drunken night.I just played a show at The Palomino club in North Hollywood, when outside I started talking to a friend who came to  see me play my show & we started talkin' music.We fell upon the English Punk rock  greasers 'The Clash'- when he mentioned that Paul Simonon the bass player and king of cool of the band was living in  Los Angeles at a apt  over by 
the King King club.
There was an old coffee shop next door and Simonon hung out there he said  .Well it was three o clock in the morning so me and a friend of mine swung over there - we drove around and noticed only a couple of sort of apartments where you have to push a button to get let in .
Miraculously we found it on our first try
-(Remember we were a little drunk too).so that was a good sign -or bad - maybe wind up in jail

 People were coming out early in the morning with Brit accents.Maybe they were having a party? ..They had to be his friends -not many Brits in one building in LA. I asked this chick "hey does Paul Simonon live here?" & she said in a proper English voice "I don't think I can tell you that" -so I knew we had the right place-she was kinda bitchy to be honest ....like those Hollywood 'We are famous cause we hang around famous people types'.
Fuck it I thought .The press always wrote the Clash cared about their fans and the kids so we walked up ,my friend with a piece of crap acoustic guitar (He couldn't play a lick on any instrument or had any musical talent at all ) but he liked rock n roll so drug his guitar for some reason to my gig.

I looked on the buzzer -there it was the last name 'SIMONON'.
not even some fake name - so I buzzed it. A voice answered in a UK accent "Can I help ya'?"
I said "hey man ,we wanna meet Paul Simonon ..we are huge Clash fans and wonder if he could sign a guitar ..hope we didn't wake him I know its a bit late..maybe we could come by another time?" -- the voice came back ,"no worry hang on mate I'll buzz you in"

Well we were kinda floored -the door buzzed -we walked in the elevator to the the floor he said to go to . The elevator opened and we stood in the hall - we both looked at each other realizing we had this lame looking 20 dollar zebra striped acoustic guitar  with us -then "Boom' -out of the apartment comes The King of Punk Rock cool 'Paul Simonon' dressed just like he walked off the 
'London Calling' album cover - Black shirt ,&leather pants with a James Dean greaser haircut -- It was a great R&R moment. 

We talked about Rock N Roll,Gene Vincent & The Clash and his art.He told me he painted the Clash backdrop on early shows , "Sorry its a bit late" I said..he said "Its cool mate we were awake-- by the way cool quiff"  (That's what the Brits call the  greaser rocker hairstyle)- he signed an autograph for me on a piece of paper - He signed my buddies guitar looked at it and never scoffed at the crappy thing- just a slight grin  and took a couple pictures with us (Pre smart phones we had this Kodak throwaway camera to take pics of me and my band  at my show

He asked me all about my band and and we talked a little more Eddie Cochran ,Jimmy Cliff, Art & his Clash band
mate  Joe Strummer who I'd meet a few years later when he would come  to my band
 'Michael Ubaldini &Mystery Train' Shows.
Paul told me  said he himself  had new band- 'Havana 3 AM'- .I asked him "Ya think the Clash will ever play together again?" ..he said "I don't Phink so Mate" (he said 'think' but it sounded like 'Phink') .
We noticed a good looking chick peaking out the apt door he looked back at her and said "Looks like I better go -that's me girlfriend giving me the look you know wot I mean?" we laughed said our see ya later goodbye thanks type of stuff and split. 

"Man he lived up to the press bout caring about the fans and young groups -not that spandex band ego bullshit "-me and my friend said as we headed to the car.
 We heard a distant gunshot when we left  -no bullshit- my buddy said "Shit what the hell was that?" - I said -"Its The Guns Of Brixton in Los Angeles" -

  Then we made that long drive home.
This True story & account  was
Written by Michael Ubaldini 
copyright (C) Ubaldini writings

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