Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Weird publicity for The Clash

Here’s the story of how the ear belonging to Pogues singer Shane McGowan gave the Clash their first important big of exposure.

When the Clash was just starting out in the mid-70s, Shane was a major punk rocker. He’d show up at all the gigs, including virtually every Clash show. In 1976, he was at a Clash gig with his girlfriend. She was mad (not as in “angry” but as in “crazy.”) Depending on who you ask, they either (a) got into a fight during the set or (b) she began to passionately nibble on his ear.

Whatever the case, she actually bit off part of Shane’s ear. A photographer got a shot of the blood streaming down Shane’s neck and that photo was picked up by newspapers around the UK. That was the first bit of major press cover the Clash ever received.

Yesterday’s post featured more Dave Grohl trivia.

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 38427 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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