Why did the Clash throw Mick Jones out of the band?
By the end, those guys couldn’t stand each other. When the Clash made Combat Rock, Jones and Joe Strummer couldn’t even be in the studio at the same time: Jones worked during the day, while Strummer took the night shift. There were also genuine musical differences: Jones wanted funk, while Strummer preferred punk. But primarily, Jones resented Strummer taking control of the band, while Strummer and bassist Paul Simonon were tired of Jones behaving like a rock star: demanding that a cigarette be placed in his mouth before he went onstage, for example. When drummer Topper Headon quit in 1983, Jones lost his last ally in the group. Jones said, “We all knew that we were just doing it for the money. We couldn’t face each other. In rehearsals we’d all look at the floor.” As Strummer told it, “Mick eventually said, ‘I don’t mind what the Clash does, as long as you check it with my lawyer first.’ I said, ‘Go and write songs with your lawyer. Piss off!”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)