Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The Clash = Terrorism?

Harraj Mann, 24, of Hartlepool, Teeside in Northeast England, took a taxi from his home to the airport and boarded a flight to Heathrow in London. In the taxi, he took up the cabbie’s offer to let him play his MP3s through the car’s stereo.

Among the songs that Mr. Mann rocked out to on the way to the airport was “London Calling” by the Clash. If you’re familiar with the song, you’ll know it contains the lyric “Now war is declared and battle come down.”

The taxi driver became suspicious–and afraid.  So as soon as he dropped Mr. Mann off on the departures level, he alerted security officials because he felt that Mr. Mann could be a terrorist danger. 

A few minutes later, he was marched off the plane and questioned for three hours under the British Terrorism Act–all because he liked the Clash.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37434 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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