Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Man held as terrorism suspect over punk song
Reuters: April 5, 2006

British anti-terrorism detectives escorted a man from a plane after a taxi driver had earlier become suspicious when he started singing along to a track by punk band The Clash, police said Wednesday.

Detectives halted the London-bound flight at Durham Tees Valley Airport in northern England and Harraj Mann, 24, was taken off.

The taxi driver had become worried on the way to the airport because Mann had been singing along to The Clash's 1979 anthem "London Calling," which features the lyrics "Now war is declared -- and battle come down" while other lines warn of a "meltdown expected."

Mann told British newspapers the taxi had been fitted with a music system which allowed him to plug in his MP3 player and he had been playing The Clash, Procol Harum, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles to the driver.

"He didn't like Led Zeppelin or The Clash but I don't think there was any need to tell the police," Mann told the Daily Mirror.

A Durham police spokeswoman said Mann had been released after questioning -- but had missed his flight.

"The report was made with the best of intentions and we wouldn't want to discourage people from contacting us with genuine concerns," she said.

Interesting comments on this story in an article in The Nation Joe Strummer: Terrorist ? by Antonino D'Ambrosio, a writer and filmmaker based in New York, the author of Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer and the upcoming Politics in the Drums (Nation Books), which is the basis of a documentary project with Tim Robbins.

Find out about Dick Rude's excellent documentary of the US tour of Joe and the Mescaleros here: Let's Rock Again

Other links:
Strummersite: (not active yet)
Strummer News:
Punk magazine:
The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music:
The Joe Strummer Resource:
Radio Clash (Italian site):

Hear Chris Salewicz talk at length about his new bioography of Joe Strummer
on our new audio blog:

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