Clash guitarist reveals his Rock & Roll library

Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:16pm EDT
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By Dominique Vidalon

LONDON (Reuters) - As a young boy, Clash guitarist Mick Jones would chase his football idols all over London for autographs. Then he discovered music and dropped the autograph book but not his manic collecting.

Over the years, the 53 year-old co-founder of one of Punk's biggest bands has amassed a mammoth collection of books, magazines, records, posters alongside artwork, recording gear, stage clothes and song lyrics from his time with The Clash and his other bands Big Audio Dynamite and Carbon/Silicon.

Jones is finally showing this personal archive of popular culture at London's Chelsea Space gallery in an exhibit called the "Rock and Roll Public Library" that runs until April 18.

"I started collecting things when I was very young and I did not really know why. Then at the Millennium, the change of the century, it started to become clear. I realized I wanted to share it," Jones told Reuters.

"It's a fantastic collection people can take great pleasure from and also learn something," he added.

Jones, who went to Hammersmith art school before co-founding The Clash in 1976, says he thinks of the collection as "one big living artwork" that he is still working on.

Many of the items on display had been crammed into his west London recording studio for years and Jones would not guess how many pieces he owns.

"I have kept everything, if it exists it's probably there somewhere," he jokes.   Continued...

<p>Mick Jones, former guitarist and vocalist of English punk rock band The Clash, performs with his new band Carbon/Silicon at the 2008 NME Awards USA at El Rey theater in Los Angeles, April 23, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>