Tag Archives: The Clash


At the Hammer Museum on Tuesday, Ernest Hardy, Jonathan Lethem, Andy Spade, and Linda Yablonsky will read from INTELLIGENCE FOR DUMMIES, the final book of essays and other writings by the late editor and author Glenn O’Brien.

Following the readings, Yablonsky and the book’s publisher Michael Zilkha will participate in a conversation and Q & A.


Tuesday, January 14, at 7:30 pm.

Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles.

From top: Glenn O’Brien, PARIS LA 15 (2017); O’Brien (left) and Mick Jones of The Clash on O’Brien’s TV Party in the 1970s, photograph by Kate Simon; Dash Snow (left) and O’Brien at Margiela show, Paris, September 2008, photograph by Tamara Weber; O’Brien, Intelligence for Dummies: Essays and Other Collected Writings (2019), ZE Books; O’Brien, editor, The Cool School: Writing from America’s Hip Underground, Library of America; O’Brien. Images courtesy and © the author’s estate, the photographers, the publishers, and the Hammer Museum.


“I hate the army and I hate the RAF…. / I hate the civil service rules / I won’t open letter bombs for you.” — “Career Opportunities,” The Clash

LONDON CALLING, the Clash musical, might have been better with a live band onstage, but the erratically recorded and mixed instrumental tracks guiding the performers through a dozen or so songs by Strummer, Jones, Simonon, and Headon are somehow more appropriate to the loose, kids-putting-on-a-show feel of what goes on in the Hudson Theatre’s backstage space.

The actors are underrehearsed, the singing is provisional, the choreography is makeshift, and the plot is familiar: four mates from an English backwater form a band, and life—girlfriends, drugs, crime, prison, the army—intervenes. But before all is lost, the lads come to their senses and regroup.

And yet, if you love the Clash (who’s lyrics make up 90% of the show’s dialog), it’s all wonderful. For ninety minutes, from “Garageland” through “Gates of the West,” everyone in the room, onstage and off, is having a great time.

LONDON CALLING was conceived by Mark Hensley, and the book is by Peggy Lewis. “Tom,” the lead, is played by British actor Sam Meader, the one true singer in the ensemble.

LONDON CALLING, through July 9.

HUDSON BACKSTAGE THEATRE, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood.


London Calling, at the Hudson Backstage Theatre.

London Calling, at the Hudson Backstage Theatre.