exhibition archive

Mick Jones: The Rock & Roll Public Library

Curated by Donald Smith

18.03.09 – 18.04.09

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Mick Jones, iconic guitarist and songwriter with The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite, and Carbon Silicon, has amassed an impressive collection of the paraphernalia of performance and marketing materials of the bands he has worked with. This archive sits alongside a parallel general collection of books, magazines, videos, ephemera, toys and games which mark out his life, times, and influences. In his west London recording studio and adjoining store, customised stage clothes, instruments, flight cases, records, amplifiers and recording gear, posters, books, boxes of correspondence, photographs and song lyrics, etc all vie for attention in a kind of Aladdin’s cave of popular culture.

In this exhibition, as much of the contents of his west London archive as possible will be transported lock, stock, and barrel to CHELSEA space. The installation of this material will create a remarkable visual spectacle that raises questions about the act of collecting and offers some small insight into the influences and interests of a musician and cultural icon.

For Mick Jones, this will represent a first attempt to unpack, look at, and think about a small proportion of the mass of material he has accumulated and decide what to do next. He envisages this collection one day becoming a freely available resource – a “Rock & Roll Public Library”.



Chelsea logo


The Laura Ashley Foundation logo




Mick Jones: The Rock & Roll Public Library



Carbon Silicon Reach for the Sky
featuring footage of
the Rock & Roll Public Library by Tony James