Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Mick Jones, Carbon/Silicon, BAD and cetera.
KCportland
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Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by KCportland »

As something of a guitar hobbyist in my free time I've been wondering what Mick's set up was during the Sandinista/CR years. I know he changed gear alot in the Clash era, but it seems like his standard set up in the later days was a Les Paul or Strat through a Mesa Boogie with a Roland Space Echo w/ and w/o chorus. But I can't seem to find out what else he used, live it seems he avoided pedals for the most part since he wanted to hop around stage and not be bound to a pedal board. But I wonder if anyone knows what kind of overdrive or another effects units he used during this period? There are electric mistress tones on S! on a couple tracks maybe?

Also, I love the slashing rhythm sounds on CR, is he using the Les Paul for the most part there or is that the Strat? Straight to Hell and Fulham Connection sound very stratty in particular, but it's hard to identify those rhythm guitar parts on Casbah, Car Jamming, Atom Tan, etc.

River
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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by River »

As a guitarist myself, I've studied Mick's rig pretty intensively to the best of my abilities, as there aren't many great pictures nor did he ever really talk about what he used. Mostly on record it was a Strat, they give a really good tone on studio recording. Personally, I feel better than a Gibson can do. As for in the studio, it was most likely a variety of effects seeing as they were most likely given a bunch of stuff to mess around with. In addition to the random studio gear, it would be the similar setup, a Mesa Bogie and a Roland Re-301 Chorus Echo. Now that is one of the biggest parts of his sound, one that I didn't fully understand until I got one. The unit has a special pre-amp, unlike its predecessors that give it an incredible tone, and something that can really define how someone sounds. So that was instrumental (no pun intended) in his overall sound.

For Combat Rock/Rat Patrol recording, and then live from the Far East tour on, Mick added a Roland SPV-355 which is a pretty early guitar synth. It's the drone you hear on Atom Tan, and it's featured all over the record. Some good examples live is the Tokyo video, Charlie Don't Surf. That really low drone he does at the beginning is from the synth. Again, another thing i have purchased and figured out that that's what he had used. Also used live was the Mesa Boogie through a Marshall 4x12, then the Roland Re-301. Something I had learned from getting my 301 was that Mick kept the chorus effect on all the time, just a bit below middle for the chorus intensity. It enhances someone's guitar sound so much. He never used any overdrive/distortion pedals as far as I can tell (there's never anything on the floor except for the MXR Phase 100 that was used during the Take the 5th and 16 Tons tours), he just used the amps distortion. Mesa Boogies give an absolutely wonderful distortion sound. Everyone always says the best sound is a Gibson through a Marshall, but I think a Mesa Boogie is better.

I hope this helps!

KCportland
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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by KCportland »

River wrote:
02 Jul 2020, 9:51pm

For Combat Rock/Rat Patrol recording, and then live from the Far East tour on, Mick added a Roland SPV-355 which is a pretty early guitar synth. It's the drone you hear on Atom Tan, and it's featured all over the record.
Ah yes! I spotted a rack unit on the video of US Festival, that's gotta be it. Gonna go listen to some of those shows you mentioned.

And yeah, a Mesa Boogie Lonestar is definitely my dream amplifier. When I get out of this one bedroom apartment, its gonna happen!

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by MarkyJacobs »

Great thread! Albeit one I don't feel I have sufficient depth of knowledge to be able to contribute much to.

Particularly interested to hear Mick often played Strats in the studio.

Is my memory playing tricks on me, or did the Electraglide get a brief unveiling in Clash colours? I feel like I might have seen it somewhere? Wikipedia says it was only manufactured from 1984? Could have been a prototype? Or a figment of my imagination? (I even checked the Rock the Casbah video, which I must already have seen about a thousand times!)

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by Heston »

MarkyJacobs wrote:
07 Jul 2020, 5:44pm
Great thread! Albeit one I don't feel I have sufficient depth of knowledge to be able to contribute much to.

Particularly interested to hear Mick often played Strats in the studio.

Is my memory playing tricks on me, or did the Electraglide get a brief unveiling in Clash colours? I feel like I might have seen it somewhere? Wikipedia says it was only manufactured from 1984? Could have been a prototype? Or a figment of my imagination? (I even checked the Rock the Casbah video, which I must already have seen about a thousand times!)
I get the feeling I've seen Mick use it with the Clash too, but I'm not sure. US Festival?
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by River »

Heston wrote:
07 Jul 2020, 7:59pm
MarkyJacobs wrote:
07 Jul 2020, 5:44pm
Great thread! Albeit one I don't feel I have sufficient depth of knowledge to be able to contribute much to.

Particularly interested to hear Mick often played Strats in the studio.

Is my memory playing tricks on me, or did the Electraglide get a brief unveiling in Clash colours? I feel like I might have seen it somewhere? Wikipedia says it was only manufactured from 1984? Could have been a prototype? Or a figment of my imagination? (I even checked the Rock the Casbah video, which I must already have seen about a thousand times!)
I get the feeling I've seen Mick use it with the Clash too, but I'm not sure. US Festival?
He used a prototype version of the Bond, which is that camo guitar he was using during the US Festival. I'm not 100% sure what the differences are, besides not needing a power supply, and having humbucker pickups instead of single coil.

KCportland
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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by KCportland »

I was listening to This is Big Audio today and was gonna post here about the Bond guitar. Is Mick using that guitar pretty exclusively on that record? Love the chicken scratch rhythm sounds on medicine show and the big chorus-y sound on bottom line. I assume he also was using a Mesa boogie but it sounds like he may have ditched the Roland Space Echo for a digital delay.

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by MarkyJacobs »

Fender gifted Mick a Strat prior to the making of London Calling.

While doing the research that led to this knowledge, I read that Mick had never been seen playing the Gibson ES 295 rockabilly guitar commonly associated with that record (and part of recent London exhibition) live.

Maybe not withThe Clash, but there is certainly footage of him playing it live with BAD (Wired TV appearance). The 1988 tour was obviously cut short, but does anyone know if he was playing it on the road that year?

Do high-profile guitarists get guitar contracts like footballers / cricketers get boot/ bat contracts? Or do they mostly just play what they like?

I wonder how many guitars Mick has? I'd like to go round his house and have a go on them all. (Although probably not when he was in.)

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by River »

KCportland wrote:
08 Jul 2020, 9:49pm
I was listening to This is Big Audio today and was gonna post here about the Bond guitar. Is Mick using that guitar pretty exclusively on that record? Love the chicken scratch rhythm sounds on medicine show and the big chorus-y sound on bottom line. I assume he also was using a Mesa boogie but it sounds like he may have ditched the Roland Space Echo for a digital delay.
I believe for the record it was a combination of the Bond and his other main guitar at the time, the Roland G-707, that crazy synth guitar. As far as I know it was still using the Roland echo, as that's what he continued to use live throughout BAD.

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by River »

MarkyJacobs wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 2:16pm
Fender gifted Mick a Strat prior to the making of London Calling.

While doing the research that led to this knowledge, I read that Mick had never been seen playing the Gibson ES 295 rockabilly guitar commonly associated with that record (and part of recent London exhibition) live.

Maybe not withThe Clash, but there is certainly footage of him playing it live with BAD (Wired TV appearance). The 1988 tour was obviously cut short, but does anyone know if he was playing it on the road that year?

Do high-profile guitarists get guitar contracts like footballers / cricketers get boot/ bat contracts? Or do they mostly just play what they like?

I wonder how many guitars Mick has? I'd like to go round his house and have a go on them all. (Although probably not when he was in.)
For the ES-295, that guitar is rather rare honestly, it's an all white one which most came in either gold, red, or sunburst. I've tried looking up pics of other white 295's and nothing comes up. And Mick did use it live, during the Take the Fifth tour he'd bust that out for Stay Free. I'm not sure how many shows he used it for but it's noticeable in some of the recordings how different of a guitar tone he had for that song in particular. Here's him using it at a gig in Philly.
Mick 295.jpg
Mick 295.jpg (28.74 KiB) Viewed 242 times
He used that in the short 88 tour with BAD for Battle of All Saints Road and Esquerita. The latter I didn't know about until that new video from the Wired performance came that Heston posted, then when listening back to the few 88 recordings there are, it became obvious how different of a sound it is from his normal Bond.

As for guitarists, some do get brand deals and such of what they mainly use. Although I think most just stick with whatever they like. I'd love to know what Mick still has in his collection. He's mentioned before I think that when he was sacked, he took only the guitar in his hand and that was it. And I've definitely seen pictures of Nick and Vince playing some of his guitars, so I wonder how many stayed behind in the touring rig, and how many Mick kept at his home.

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by MarkyJacobs »

The Roland guitar was used on C'mon Every Beatbox. I heard Bobby Gillespie ask Mick about the sound in a radio interview.

You don't think there might have been a financial incentive behind Mick's conversion to Fender (for live shows) in more recent times? There is at least one promotional inerview video on You Tube.
Last edited by MarkyJacobs on 09 Jul 2020, 4:29pm, edited 1 time in total.

Heston
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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by Heston »

I'm thinking studio delay effects were probably used on the debut. Especially on the Bottom Line as the delay time matches the beat perfectly. He never used an echo on the intro live and it always lost something imo.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by MarkyJacobs »

Probably not a tech question, but what makes the opening chord of The Bottom Line so distinctive? He hits it and everyone knows what the song is!

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by Heston »

MarkyJacobs wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 4:32pm
Probably not a tech question, but what makes the opening chord of The Bottom Line so distinctive? He hits it and everyone knows what the song is!
It'll be that short echo on long repeat. Pretty distinctive.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Mick Jones late period Clash gear

Post by MarkyJacobs »

Heston wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 4:46pm
MarkyJacobs wrote:
09 Jul 2020, 4:32pm
Probably not a tech question, but what makes the opening chord of The Bottom Line so distinctive? He hits it and everyone knows what the song is!
It'll be that short echo on long repeat. Pretty distinctive.
Simple when you know! ADSR envelopes! Yeah!

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