International Clash Day is on February 5 unless the date falls on a Saturday or Sunday. It is never celebrated on a weekend, and this year, it takes place on February 7. We owe music’s evolution post-1977 to the punk-rock music band the Clash. The band had an extraordinary influence on reggae, pop, disco, punk, rock, rap, and even world music. International Clash Day is celebrated once a year, but messages conveyed through their music will live on forever.
History of International Clash Day
There was once a band called London SS that wasn’t around for long, but out of the ashes of this largely unknown band came Mick Jones, Tony James of Generation X, Paul Simonon, and many others who would go on to form popular punk-rock bands. However, Jones and Simonon would join Joe Strummer, previously the frontman of the 101’ers, to form the Clash in 1976. Strummer had earlier been inspired by the Sex Pistols to enter the punk-rock genre. Keith Levene was also a founding member before his drug habits kicked in and forced him to leave. Terry Chimes was chosen as the drummer soon after until he dumped his music career to become a chiropractor and was replaced by former jazz drummer Nick Headon. Bernard Rhodes, part of the Sex Pistols’ former management team, managed the band for most of their career. Strummer, Jones, Simonon, and Headon would go on to tour most of the world, produce five albums, and is widely regarded as the classic The Clash lineup.
In 1982, Topper Headon left the band, leading to ‘clashes’ among the remaining members and Mick Jones being forced out in 1983. Younger guitarists were taken in and a new lineup of The Clash recorded “Cut the Crap,” their last album. They went on a small-scale U.K. tour before disbanding in 1986.
International Clash Day started as an organic movement on February 7, 2013, when John Richards, radio host of Washington-based radio station KEXP, played the Clash’s songs all day. There is an extremely popular video available on the internet that describes how the movement started and rapidly became a global phenomenon. The holiday will be celebrated for the ninth consecutive year in 2021. Ever since its inception, it has been recognized through official proclamations by several cities including Vancouver, Seattle, and Austin. For 2021, KEXP’s playlist of the day will be music by or inspired by the Clash. The day’s programming will also feature in-depth conversations about the band’s influences. Radio Jockeys from Latin radio partners in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, will delve into the group’s ethos. As Joe Strummer, co-founder of the Clash once said, the band is “…anti-fascist, we’re anti-violence, we’re anti-racist, and we’re pro-creative. We’re against ignorance.”
International Clash Day timeline
The English rock band the Clash is formed in London.
Topper Headon is asked to leave the music group.
Guitarist Mick Jones departs the group.
The Clash disbands.
The first International Clash Day is celebrated on KEXP.
International Clash Day FAQs
Why did the Clash break up?
Due to the effect of his heroin addiction on his performance, Topper Headon was asked to leave the band just before the release of “Combat Rock.” Unfortunately, Headon was the glue holding the band together as the only member who was liked by each of the other members.
Who were the lead members of the Clash?
Joe Strummer and Mick Jones were co-lead vocalists and lead guitarists of the Clash.
What was the Clash’s biggest hit?
‘Rock the Casbah’ was the rock band’s biggest hit, peaking in the top 10 in America. The song shows less of the political side and a more playful side of the band.
International Clash Day Activities
Listen to the Clash’s music
It will be earthshaking if you haven’t listened to the Clash already, but better late than never! Check out the band’s discography and tune in.
Learn about music bands influenced by them
Read about the musical styles of the Clash and their influence on music around the world. Listen to the different tunes and see if you can detect the tones of the Clash.
Share it on social media
Take your love for the Clash to social media. Share your favorite songs, and playlists, and discuss them with fellow music aficionados.
5 Facts About The Clash Every Fan Should Know
The only constant member
Paul Simonon has been the only constant member of the Clash.
The producer of the album “Give ‘Em Enough Rope,” Sandy Pearlman, didn’t like Joe Strummer’s voice.
One hunky man
Readers of “Playgirl” magazine Simonon the hunkiest man in the world!
Steve Jones almost joined
The manager of the Clash, Bernie Rhodes, attempted to replace Mick Jones with guitarist Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols.
An honor indeed
The Clash is the first white band to be painted on the famous wall of Lee Perry’s Black Ark recording studios in Jamaica.
Why We Love International Clash Day
We love the Clash
The Clash’s music legacy is rich and dynamic. At the peak of their career, the band left an indelible mark on the industry and they deserve their own day!
Music is personal
The unwavering dedication of the band members to their music is truly commendable. Their music resonates with fans, with every song holding a different meaning to every individual. Music is a form of expression that no other medium comes close to. And we love it!
There aren’t many ‘music’ holidays
Yes, we know there are countless music festivals and holidays around the world, but they are still relatively fewer than other categories of holidays. Until we have all music genres and music bands covered, we love and appreciate the existing ones!
International Clash Day dates