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Rock Rebels "Clash" Were Corporate Puppets

October 9, 2010

  "I believe there is an agenda at work in the system in which we live which will always say: 'YOU DO THIS OR WE WON'T SUPPORT YOU'.
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----Vince White, guitarist, The Clash

By David Richards
(for henry

Picture New Yorks' Shea Stadium full to the rafters, a sea of 60,000 people swirling and shouting. Four Englishman take to the stage clothed in guerrilla punk attire consisting of jackboots, berets and cut jeans.  They start playing aggressive punk songs. The crowd erupts.

They are The Clash, one of the biggest bands of 1980's, with large commercial and critical success in Europe and the States.

The Clash were sold as, 'the only band that matters,' a claim based on their raw and experimental sound, anti-establishment attitude and socialist sloganeering.

In 1983, the band's guitarist Mick Jones quit and auditions were held to find a replacement. His replacement was Vince White, an angry young punk living in a bedsit in London, with no previous experience in the music industry.

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White served as the band's guitarist during their tumultuous final few years, which culminated in what is viewed as their worst album, "Cut the Crap" (1985.)

He was taken behind the scenes and saw how things really work. He relays his experiences in his book 'Out of Control' which apart from being a compelling story, reveals how a group viewed as authentic and intellectual can be controlled by corporate puppeteers. 

The band did not write their own songs. Their socialist ideals were just marketing. Manager Bernie Rhodes ran the group like a dictator.

Painful for Clash fans, singer and punk icon Joe Strummer is portrayed like a Geisha in the morning: a flawed mortal practicing a morally dubious trade.

What follows is my interview with Vince.

You say you were treated as a wage slave and the band was, 'an oppressive totalitarian dictatorship that would have shocked Stalin.' What led you to make these comments?

My experience was one in which attempts were made to mind control me. To subvert my sense of my own self and my own reality. To subject me to the will of others and their own agenda. That's what control freaks do.

 In the book you and the band are terrorized night and day by manager Bernie Rhodes. He seems to be in complete control of every aspect of the band. Was he more than a manager?

Yes, quite clearly he was. A manager is supposed to manage bands, ie. operate 'in-between' the artists and the assholes that flog the recordings. Bernie overstepped and believed he could be an artist too. So you end up with a bureaucratic mind thinking they can be 'artistic' and the results are clearly embarrassing.

NONE of ['Cut the Crap"] was created by the band. The 'band' played on the recordings but everyone was TOLD what to do. Even Joe [Strummer] himself was under the thumb. What an asshole! He really let himself stoop to that level! I have NO RESPECT for that. Sorry. It's not nice to speak ill of the dead but there you go.

The Clash are viewed as fiercely socialist. How sincere were these beliefs?

Socialism is the means by which the financial oligarchy can subvert the minds of the populace and control them. It's that fucking simple. A child of 7 could get this. Only most people are so wedded into the system and will ignore the facts in favor of their own personal gain. Socialism is the death of the human race.

And I'm not fucking joking and let me just say I don't like the Chinese. I don't like their fat ugly faces. I wish they'd fucking fuck off. There are hundreds of these cunts in Portobello Road these days, where I live. That's another thing the Clash promoted: multiculturalism. I don't buy it. I'm English and I don't like foreigners. Why are aliens allowed to flood in here?

Britain and the United States are the greatest countries to have ever existed in human history and now it's downhill for all of us from here on out. The New World Order is an open door policy. Globalism. Our culture is being destroyed by immigration. We're finished. By that, I mean the human race is finished because the only hope for mankind is the Judeo-Christian ethic. Everything else, including Islam, Buddhism, Marxism., etc is total fucking shit

By making socialism Punk, do you think The Clash were successful in selling socialist ideology to Western youth?

 I think they just reinforced what was already there. Leftist ideology was so prevalent at that time. If, like me, you didn't approve of leftist ideas you were immediately branded a fascist. The Clash simply jumped on that bandwagon to become successful. But whether there's more to it is hard to say. But for sure, Joe Strummer's daddy wasn't a bank robber. He was a British diplomat. He worked for the British government. I heard Mick's father was in the SAS. Paul's family were members of the Communist party.... 

What would you say to people who believe 'the cream always rises to the top' in the entertainment industry?

There are certain aspects of performing like singing ability and songwriting and a general human spirit which are necessary to be successful. Unfortunately, apart from that, I believe there is an agenda at work in the system in which we live which will always say: 'YOU DO THIS OR WE WON'T SUPPORT YOU'.

The end result is that the public wants what the public gets.


Scroll down on this site for long letter on The Clash from James



Scruples - the game of moral dillemas

Comments for "Rock Rebels "Clash" Were Corporate Puppets"

Chris said (October 14, 2010):

I must congratulate you on publishing the revealing interview with Vince White. There can't be many 'corporate puppets' - as Hans, a previous commentator, called him - who highlight the evil of mass uncontrolled immigration into the UK. Of course the situation regarding mass immigration may be beyond the point of no return: certainly England is now a country without any national identity, but it's good to see not everyone is pretending there is no elephant in the living room. I must also disagree with Hans' comment that Judaism and Christianity are incompatible: the New Testament contradicts itself therefore it has no problem agreeing with the Talmud! The one point in the interview I differ with is White's statement that only the Judeo-Christian ethic works: I'm not sure how he can justify this claim as religion is just as liable to be subverted for a covert agenda as any organisation.

Hans said (October 10, 2010):

Very revealing - but it should read: he still is a corporate puppet!

We have a "punk", and a professional at that, who utters a sentence as ".. because the only hope for mankind is the Judeo-Christian ethic."

The truth is, there is no such thing as "Judeo-Christianity", as Christianity is the exact opposite of Judaism and vice versa.

Everyone who mentiones the so-called "judeo-Christianity" is either a useless idiot or a blatant liar.

Read Matthew 23 and John 8 in the Christian Bible, and then read Gittin 57a in the babylonian-jewish Talmud.

If anyone should find a common denominator in both scriptures, he / she must be a multiple personality, or must have two heads, two Gods, two minds ... .

Eric said (October 10, 2010):

Excellent article and I do so much enjoy watching supposed artistic philosophers take responsibility for this reality and dissolve assumed beliefs like a house of cards. It gives me visceral hope that change is happening but it also strikes fear that its just controlled opposition to fuel the next cleansing/revolution. But hey I am emotionally connected to this matrix, the idea is not to imprint my intellect /beliefs when its triggered. Its not that the feeling of rebelling and gathering the common working man in a socialist revolution is not genuine or justified, the point is getting perspective on the manner. Its very easy to see how promoting racism and nationalism for a few centuries would be a catalyst to create homogenized globalism that has no borders. Looking at a person identifying cultural sovereignty from a generational time line, that is to say looking at it from a brief glimpse of history, the instinct that “this person is racist” is true. But if we accept that the “illuminati” have been in control of this entire time line, the dialectic used in centuries or millenniums becomes evident. Another example is the rise of feminism. Suppressing women for centuries can be translated into energy i.e. emotion and intellect. The Illuminati know this and wait for the right time in history to then promote the counter causing a volcano so to speak of release. This is an easy way to promote radicalism and ideology to fuel the next millennium. I think its important to identify context in time lines to grasp reality in this world. If not, people appear to be short sited and childish.

Bill said (October 10, 2010):

Bill said (October 10, 2010)
where do people get off wanting to call someone a 'racist cunt' for expressing his opinions? All men should be free to speak their opinion whenever they want. I have been 'abused' by women for nearly three years now for seeking a path to justice. Apparently men are no longer allowed justice and no longer allowed to express their opinions. Guys like you Bill are PART OF THE PROBLEM and not a part of the solution.

"If you do not believe in freedom of speech for those that you despise you do not believe in it at all."

And that pretty much summs you up Bill as well as pretty much ALL western women. Bill. You talked about how you never comment? And the comment you feel you must make is to oppress another human beings freedom of speech? Thanks for letting the rest of us know where you stand on freedom of speech Bill. Right next to the Illuminati.

Michael said (October 10, 2010):

I am interested in music and know a fair bit about the Clash. I think I know enough about media to safely say no one succeeds with out the puppet masters approval. I do want to state that all people, and I am sure you agree, even the members of the Clash, are simple, often disoriented humans, trying to make their way in a confused system. Joe Strummer was no fool, and he died after a long battle with many demons. He was just a man, after all. The system was corrupt, and it remains so. The Clash was... a pretty talented band at one point, even within those boundaries.

I find this article on the Clash poorly researched and misleading. I mean come on, they were the biggest, and arguably, the best band at the time. They were as corporate as they come. Music, money and all the snakes that attracts were in it together. I believe the Clash were a great band and that, is about it. What is socialist about commercial rock and in this case punk? Joe Strummer was a very good song writer, talented musician, and a wild man in general. It is true his dad was a diplomat, but it takes intelligence to write and play at the level they did. Joe became a slurring drunk, and could hardly have been an intelligence asset. If your looking for solid moral fabric, bad choice.

Why would anyone listen to Vince White as he is clearly cashing in on his 10 minutes of fame, and aside from that, what a sadly, racist idiot. I do have to agree with the fact that all music is controlled and rebellion and socialism in commercial music is laughable. There are some universal truths and ideals that can not be denied, and can be found in the Clash's writing; they were just doing their work as poster boys for a commercial Goliath, but they said a few things along the way. They did have a sound and music which is quite amazing, even if intentionally ambivalent and misleading. I still listen to Sandinista, and it always makes me smile. A very good set of albums.

Were they pawns? It seems to me Plato talked about the image makers and control a fair ways back. Of course they were.

Ed said (October 10, 2010):

I'm always interested to see articles on rock music vis-a-vis the industry and the conspiracy. In this particular case, I think the title completely and accurately reflects the reality. There are artists who are just what they seem--- talented musicians who worked hard and got lucky, and got their stuff out there---and there are obvious cases of no-talent hacks getting promoted and hyped beyond all reason. The Clash were a case of the latter. Their music was utterly mediocre, and they never deserved even a hundredth of the success they got.

And of course the corporatocracy favors socialism (and favors musicians who push it in their lyrics). It's easier to buy off and control a comparative handful of government officials than it is to keep the favor of the marketplace through hard work.

Dan said (October 10, 2010):

The Richards interview with Vince of the Clash is excellent. People need 'closure' on the bands and stars the influenced their lives in youth. Vince comes off quite well actually, he's honest and under no illusions, and not selling any. Vince should be on lecture tour speaking to 20 year olds right now and they should listen and learn.
But what the engineers are putting out for the latest generation is the mind controlled child Lady Gaga who spouts "I hate the truth".

I heard Mark Mothersbaugh of the '80's pop-punk band 'DEVO' say recently "we came to the opinion that rebellion and anarchy were obsolete, and the only way to change things in our culture was through subversion,"
Their socialist handlers must have laughed their asses off at how far behind the curve that statement was. Mothersbaugh still doesn't get it. Whereas 60's and 70's era musicians balked at lucrative offers to sell their hits for use as jingles for corporate TV commercials, DEVO decided not only to sell their tunes but to actually perform in a few. Mothersbaugh still thinks their appearance in commercials was a subversive act. 'DEVO' is their abbreviation of 'de-evolution'. He said they got the idea from an old 'B' movie based on H.G. Wells "Island of Dr. Moreau", about a mad scientist on a remote island performing genetic experiments who makes his own colony of human-animal hybrids who eventually rebel and kill him, then themselves because they know they're an abomination.
Mothersbaugh also composed the theme music for 1980's saturday morning 'kid show' 'PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE' starring Paul Reubens as 'Pee Wee Herman'. Reubens, the cast, producers and writers were gay. The children's show was a big hit until one night Reubens, on vacation visiting his mother in his hometown in Florida was arrested for public indecency (masturbating in a public place) in a local porno theater. Several years later Reubens made a cameo appearance at the MTV music awards, with no lines and in Pee Wee drag. He just walked out on stage and bowed, and got a 3 minute standing ovation. Obviously the 'subversion' was streaming gayness into the television viewing material of children through TV shows and TV commercials adults didn't examine. At a glance it just blends in with the kaleidoscope of surreal colorful absurdity which is television.
IN 2001 Ruebens was arrested at his home in Los Angeles for collecting 'vintage' child pornography. The Illuminati are behind Reubens so the District Attorney accepted a plea bargain reducing the child pornography possession charge(a felony) to a charge to pleading guilty for possession of 'obcene material' (a misdemeanor).

Reubens was on NBC recently being treated like a persecuted martyr who was ahead of his time.

Luke said (October 10, 2010):

I,too ,was a big Metallica fan in high school when they betrayed their Thrash Metal roots with the Black Album.The spell was broken: hearing James Hetfield cooing "Nothing Else Matters" led me to try other metal genres such as Power, Doom, Stoner etc.I still enjoy metal,though I'm no longer a rebellious teenager, just a regular dad.

Bill said (October 10, 2010):

Dear Henry

I've read numerous of your articles over what must now be years...? Or maybe its months, but feels like years, mostly from the links from the Jeff Rense site.

Often I've wanted to comment, whether positive or negative, but mostly, my apologies, I'm just too lazy to commit. You know how blogs are, and then you get sucked into often difficult or conflictual debate.

However, hope you don;t mind me saying, but the article by David Richards about Vince White is plainly offensive, and for all the wrong reasons, but mainly Vince White's blatantly racist attitudes, both towards the Chinese and Chinese people living in the U.K., and also certainly to all non-Judeo-Christians, which is as daft a combination of words as any.

If I were to write directly to Vince White, I'm certain I'm incensed enough to call him 'A Racist Cunt', which suitably reflects the language he uses himself.

It's also a shame as while I did like one or two of the Clash's records, at the time 'Punk' came across to me as a highly negative and racist music ideology, mostly fake and a marketing exercise, and it took decades of friends who were enamoured with punk in their youth to try to persuade me Punk was more egalitarian and diverse than just a bunch of pseudo-working class Brit rockers expressing themselves with an individual sound. If they were all as stupid as this Vince White, then they were indeed just a bunch of idiots.

I am offended by this article. I see no point, joy, progress or positivity in promoting this moron's views. Why did you do it?

Other than that, all the best.



I don't post views like that very often but I think people have a right to voice these opinions, whether we agree or not.

I'm surprised at how naive WASPs are. Multiculturalism is aimed at dispossessing them.


Karen said (October 9, 2010):

I grew up with The Clash, and I and many of my friends blamed Vince White for the band's demise. It wasn't until much later that I realized that popular music was NOT in the hands of the musicians but in the hands of the Illuminati.

The Elite do have an agenda, and music is just one more tool to capture the minds of the population and distract them from the TRUE agenda. If The Clash don't work any more, well, we'll launch Suicidal Tendencies, if that doesn't work, we'll launch Metallica, and on and on. It is happening in all genres of music: Rap, Country, Christian, Classical, all of it. The Rolling Stones have lasted so long because their members are practicing Satanists, and are members of the Illuminati. Anyway, I'm sure that it's much more complicated than my little brain can comprehend, but you get the picture.

There is a reason that God tells his people to stay out of the world. Vince had nailed it right on the head.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at