Good For B.A.D.
Mick Jones is currently on tour with the original line up of his innovative post-Clash band, Big Audio Dynamite, who last weekend played close to home at the Shepherds Bush Empire. The tour will now take in Nottingham, Leeds, Manchester and Exeter, before heading off to America for dates in New York and the Coachella Festival where last year Mick was reunited with Clash bassist Paul Simonon when both were playing alongside Lou Reed, Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn and others as part of Gorillaz. Perhaps because of Mick’s involvement, many music pundits have picked up on the ‘cut and paste’ musical collage approach of Gorillaz which has seemingly made them natural descendents of B.A.D.
When CHELSEA space Director Donald Smith started working on Mick’s archives for CHELSEA space # 25: Mick Jones’ Rock & Roll Public Library he was amazed at all of the brilliant B.A.D. material Mick still has including stage outfits, props, merchandising materials, posters, lots of different T-shirts, badges, gold discs, press photos and cuttings.
The exhibition most certainly would not have been possible without the help of Big Audio Dynamite bassist Leo Williams who has worked closely with Mick over many years. It was Leo who first started to organise the archive and he collaborates with Mick on many visual artworks.
For the original version of the Rock & Roll Public Library at CHELSEA space in 2009, Donald did not try to slavishly recreate Mick Jones’ archive and studio but rather attempted to give some sense of his own first impressions on entering this Aladdin’s cave of popular culture ephemera.
The original Rock & Roll Public Library at CHELSEA space remains the core model for all subsequent versions and elements are added or excluded depending on the context. The memorable version underneath the Westway at Portobello Road curated by Gordon McHarg, for example, also included a fully operational recording studio organized by Strummerville where Mick and others worked throughout the duration of the show.CHELSEA space wishes Mick and B.A.D. every success with the tour which will surely generate a whole new load of stuff for the Rock & Roll Public Library.