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
'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