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English musician Mick Jones was a guitarist and singer for the punk rock band The Clash.
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Michael Geoffrey "Mick" Jones was born in London, England, in 1955. Along with his fellow members of The Clash, Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, Terry Chimes and later Topper Headon, he helped define the punk rock sound of the late 1970s. Jones was one of the group's main songwriters before his departure in 1983. The Clash was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Musician Mick Jones was born Michael Geoffrey Jones in London, England, on June 26, 1955. Largely raised by his maternal grandmother, Jones showed an early talent as an artist and demonstrated a youthful passion for music.
His early musical influences were the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Who. "I studied everything having to do with them," he later told GQ magazine. I wanted to know all about that. They told me how I might possibly live my life."
By the early 1970s, Jones, who'd taken up the guitar, started gaining some modest recognition with his band, The Delinquents. When the group broke up, Jones reset himself by creating a new punk band called London SS, which eventually featured the young and raw bass playing of future Clash bandmate Paul Simonon.
For Jones and others, the English punk scene marked a new era in music, with much of it being defined by another up-and-coming band called the Sex Pistols.
"It felt like something incredible, when we first saw the Sex Pistols," he said. "You knew that nothing that had come before was like that. It was like, 'This is the future.' It was like looking at the future; there was a year-zero feeling."
In 1976, Jones and Simonon caught a performance of another young English band, the 101ers, which featured front man Joe Strummer.
Later that year, Jones, Simonon and Strummer were formally introduced by their common friend and eventual manager, Bernie Rhodes. That meeting paved the way for the formation of The Clash. 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.
Much of the creative juice behind The Clash came from Jones and Strummer, who predominantly wrote most of the group's material. And in those early days especially, it was not uncommon for the two songwriters to work closely together. Some of the band's songs, such as "Lost in the Supermarket," were written by Strummer for Jones.
"We were opposites in lots of ways," Jones later recounted. "I would play very precisely, and Joe would play very loosely. He sang somewhat gruffly, and I sang sweetly. And then I came from the council flats and he came from a relatively well-off background—a lowly diplomat's son. So we were opposites in many ways, and so I think that was what made it so interesting and fruitful. It was one of those great songwriting partnerships."
In January 1977, The Clash signed with CBS Records for £100,000. The group's self-titled debut album, which was recorded over the span of just three weekends, came out in April of that year.
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