This Day in Punk Rock. THE CLASH
Raised middle-class, Simonon, developed an early appreciation for soul and Jamaican music that would later influence his work with The Clash. In the early 1970s he cut his teeth as a bass player in a punk band called London SS. Through it he formed a lasting friendship with the group's guitarist, Mick Jones. In 1976 the pair took in a performance of a band called the 101ers. Headed up by singer Joe Strummer, the group had earned some early notoriety for playing a couple of gigs with up-and-coming British punk band the Sex Pistols.
Later in 1976, Jones, Simonon and Strummer were formally introduced by their common friend and eventual manager, Bernie Rhodes. From that introduction, The Clash was formed. The group's name came from Simonon, who had noticed how often the term "clash" was used in an edition of the London Standard newspaper. Drummer Terry Chimes joined the group a short time later.
In 2003, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Following the demise of The Clash, in 1986, Simonon continued to maintain a heavy involvement in the music scene. He started a new group called Havana 3am. For years, rumors swirled about a possible reunion of The Clash. That speculation came to a tragic end with the death of Strummer in 2002.In 2010, Simonon and Jones started work on a new biopic based on the album London Calling.
The years since The Clash's end have also seen Simonon return to his earlier artistic roots as a painter. His work is regularly exhibited.