It’s International Clash Day – as ‘London Calling’ Turns 40

It’s International Clash Day – as ‘London Calling’ Turns 40

February 7, 2019 Off By Billy Thieme
International Clash Day

Across the globe today, the music world is celebrating “The only band that matters,” The Clash, on the day their arguably world-changing (and certainly rock-changing) record London Calling was officially released in 1979. International Clash Day, organized by Seattle, WA radio station KEXP, has been officially dedicated by more than a dozen American cities – including Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, Austin, TX, Boise, ID, Gainsville, FL and more – as well as by other cities all over the world.

Locally, 105.5 The Colorado Sound has dedicated the day to playing The Clash and Clash-related bands, all day long.

Why an international day for The Clash? According to KEXP, to celebrate “… music as a tool for social consciousness, a band that made it sound so damn good, and an iconic record that still changes lives 40 years later.” Good reasoning, to be sure, but there can be no better reason than we need The Clash now, maybe more than ever.

We need International Clash Day now, more than ever.

In an era like our current one, when senatorial candidates like Beto O’Rourke proudly point out that their opposition are “…working for the clampdown” (a reference to the song “Clampdown”), the lyrics and passion behind The Clash seem even more prescient than they were when London Calling first hit the record stores. We’re truly living “In these days of evil presidentés,” as the band’s Joe Strummer laments in the song.

Seems like a perfect opportunity to celebrate the relentless push to point out our own dehumanization that The Clash tried to point out with London Calling, and to make sure generations and populations that come after us know that the band remains as a reminder of the fight.

Take a minute to look at a slideshow, below, of some of the art that’s been created to celebrate the day, and to get the message out. And remember one of my favorite quotes from Joe Strummer:

“I’d like to say that people… people can change anything they want to; and that means everything in the world. Show me any country and there’ll be people in it. And it’s the people that make the country. People have got to stop pretending they’re not on the world… It’s time to take that humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time… Think on that. Without people you’re nothing.”


  • Billy Thieme

    Aging punk rocker with a deep of all things musical and artistic, enough to remain constantly young and perpetually mystified. Billy has journalistic dreams, but of a decidedly pastoral, Scottish nature.