Duff McKagan, Jakob Dylan, and More Pay Tribute to The Clash at L…

It was a jam-packed night at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood on January 11 when fans of The Clash prepared for the time of their lives. Guns N’ Roses’ Duff McKagan, MC5’s Wayne Kramer, The Wallflowers’ Jakob Dylan, Butch Walker, and musician/actor/comedian Fred Armisen were billed for a tribute show honoring the 40th anniversary of the seminal punk band’s third record, London Calling.

Since its initial U.K. release in December 1979 and U.S. release weeks later in January 1980, London Calling has been hailed by critics and musicians alike as one of the most influential records of the punk era. Rolling Stone named it one of the 100 best records of the ’80s and the eighth best album of all-time. Today, The Clash’s landmark album still feels as urgent and as relevant as it was when it was released.

The Clash tribute concert, one of many organized by Jesse Malin and his cousin Jeff Raspe to benefit the Joe Strummer Foundation as well as Music & Memory, was a homecoming set of sorts. Though The Roxy didn’t technically house The Clash’s first Los Angeles performance, their 1980 set at the famed Sunset Strip venue is among their most memorable L.A. shows, charged with precisely the sort of livewire energy the band were known for.

The night kicked off with a beautiful acoustic rendition of The Clash’s “Straight to Hell” from Zander Schloss, bassist for the Circle Jerks. (Schloss previously collaborated with Strummer on several film soundtracks, and also played in Strummer’s band The Latino Rockabilly War.)

The London Calling performance began a little later, with the title track performed by San Francisco musician Chuck Prophet, followed by Dylan. “Jakob, Jakob!” the crowd enthusiastically shouted, with the singer diving into a rousing rendition of “Brand New Cadillac.”

By the time McKagan took the stage in a sleeveless Black Flag T-shirt, the crowd was screaming and whistling. His tight, buoyant rendition of “Clampdown” felt rehearsed, precisely because it was; McKagan performed the song regularly while touring to support his most recent solo album, 2019’s Tenderness.