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Beware the propaganda: Rock the Casbah

April 21, 2010

THIS  interview with Strummage would lead you to believe he was the driving force behind ‘Rock the Casbah’, The Clash’s most successful single, but don’t be fooled – it’s all about multi-talented drummer Topper Headon(left).
1) The original interview I am using was done while Headon was still suffering from the effects of heroin dependency and he had no chance to give his side of the story. He has since got clean and the record been set straight.
2) Strummage, like the rest of The Clash entourage, love the process of myth making, especially while recording sound bites for American radio and especially when needing to promote something. Disappeared front man anyone?  
3) Bar the bloody lyric and a few guitar fills, Topper had written the most successful song the bastards ever recorded.
At least the story has a happy ending – some time ago it was decided the royalties were to be split four ways and there is no rancour among the Last Gang in Town, it’s still a great song.
It’s still Topper’s song despite what Joe says below.

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