Filmmaker, DJ and longtime Clash associate Don Letts created the clip using performance footage from the band’s June 1981 appearance on NBC’s The Tomorrow Show. That footage was mixed with previously unseen film of the group members — Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon — in and around New York City while they were visiting Manhattan for their historic residency at the Bond’s International Casino venue.
“The Magnificent Seven,” which is considered one of the first rap records made by a rock band, appears on The Clash’s fourth studio album, the triple-LP Sandinista!, which was released 40 years ago this Saturday. The tune, which reached #21 on Billboard’s Club Play Singles chart, was built around a bass part played by Norman Watt-Roy of Ian Dury & the Blockheads.
“They were always ahead of the game,” Letts says of the band. “Sandinista! signposted the multi-cultural way music was going and the elements that make The Clash great are still a currency that’s recognised by youth in the 21st century.”
Letts also is a co-founding member of Mick Jones post-Clash band Big Audio Dynamite.
By Matt Friedlander
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