The Clash may have been “the only band that matters” during their heyday, but when talks of an eventual reunion came about, it wasn’t the money that mattered. Bassist Paul Simonon confirmed as such while discussing the band’s potential reunions over the years with Mojo.
Simonon revealed that for him, he felt the band’s days were over after he and Joe Strummer were the only two remaining from the core four in the band who ended the group in 1986. The first discussion of a reunion took place in the ’90s, with Simonon revealing more than money was at stake when it came to his decision making.
“There was talk between me, Joe [Strummer], Mick [Jones] and Mick’s manager, Gary Kurfist, who was also looking after Mick in B.A.D. But it didn’t happen for lots of reasons. I was getting pissed off with Mick.”
Simonon recalled, “I said, ‘I don’t want to do it.’ Mick said, ‘Why not? You’ll get a million pounds.’ That pissed me off even more. So I said, ‘I don’t want a fucking million pounds.’”
“I think he was a bit shocked that I wasn’t keen on the idea,” he added. “And I don’t think Joe would have really wanted to do it either. For me, The Clash story was over.”
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A second reunion opportunity arrived in the early 2000s when The Clash were set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But sadly, Joe Strummer passed away prior to the ceremony and the remaining members chose not to reform at the ceremony.
Simonon doesn’t look back with regret, previously telling Billboard in 2013, “It’s a better story at the end of the day that we didn’t get back together… It seems like we would have squandered what we’d achieved by reforming. Why do people get together? Why do bands reform? Oh, they’re good mates. Well, that’s nice. It’s usually because of a financial situation that has to be adhered to. Basically, everyone’s broke.”
Jones added at the time, “That’s it, really. It didn’t happen. It never seemed right. We didn’t want to do it.”
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