BY AMY HABEN
The stylish former bassist of the legendary punk rock band The Clash has a passion for not only music, but also painting and political activism. I stumbled upon on a photo from Paul Simonon’s recent art show and thought “Damn! He’s good!” AND he is just as hot as he was in the 70’s and he will be turning 60 in December!!! So I looked him up to see what he’s been up to since the good old days of The Clash. FYI On top of it all he has two grown sons who have daddy’s gorgeous genes…
Back in the 70’s, Simonon came up with the clothing style and sets for The Clash (as well as their name). He did not know a thing about playing the bass, relying on Mick Jones to teach him (he admits not knowing how to play bass even on their first album).
Paul modeling denim. – 1987 Photo: Lynn Goldsmith/Corbis
Listen to Paul’s ‘no name’ supergroup with Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, and Simon Tong:
Paul Simonon in front of his paintings, 2015
“There was a point after the whole intensity of the Clash finally subsided when I just found that painting grounded me in a way that music didn’t.” -Paul Simonon
Listen to Havana 3am – ‘Reach the Rock’
Making music has continued through the years for Paul. Bob Dylan brought Simonon in the studio on his 1988 album, Down in the Groove. Fellow Clash member Mick Jones also called on Paul to play with his band Big Audio Dynamite.
In 1991, Paul played bass and sang back up in his band Havana 3am which got signed to Capital and had videos running on regular rotation on MTV. Havana 3am was like listening to greasers making music on an island, with an obvious Clash influence. Simonon’s girlfriend was featured on the album cover of Havana’s eponymous (and only) album shown below.
Paul more recently played on ‘The Good, the Bad & the Queen‘ in 2007 with Damon Albarn, Simon Tong and Tony Allen. This project is an alternative supergroup with no official name so fans and critics just use their album name to communicate who they are. Definitely worth checking out. It’s a shame the album was a one off-er since the musicians chemistry was so spot on. Which may be the reason Damon Albarn enlisted Simonon again to play on the Plastic Beach album with his alt hip hop group Gorillaz. It was released in 2010 and featured Paul musically reuniting with Mick Jones.
Saving the world one protest at a time has remained a priority for Simonon. The coiffed and stylish musician spent time as a cook aboard the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza in 2011. His political actions saw him facing two weeks in a Greenland jail. The other protestors were only told his real identity after the mission was over. The stunt was a response to Arctic oil drilling in Greenland by Cairn oil.
Paul Simonon as a child. He grew up in a middle class part of South London which nurtured his love for Jamaican and soul music.
Paul’s latest endeavor has been in the art world. His dad was a painter and Paul has been creatively fulfilled by painting since he was a child. At the beginning of this year, he presented a show which included a painting of bacon and eggs and another on biker fetishism that British websites destroyed. The Guardian called his art, “amateurish, idiotic, ugly, and boring.” Ouch!!!” We don’t agree!
Watch the hilarious Fred Arminson with his fake punk band. Paul Simonon and Mick Jones join in on the fun.
The unnamed supergroup made up of (L to R) Paul Simonon, Damon Albarn, Tony Allen, and Simon Tong.
“We were starting to lose track with Earth because fame and success brings you many things that you’re not really prepared for or know how to deal with as a human being.” -Paul Simonon on his Clash days
As for Paul’s personal life, he has two sons named Louis and Claude who are both male models and have an uncanny resemblance to their punk rock dad. Their modeling photos are below:
Louis, my favorite of Paul’s sons.