Jail House Rocks: Mick Jones and Topper Headon reunite
Legendary Clash members Mick Jones and Topper Headon were reunited in the studio for the first time in 27 years when they joined Billy Bragg for a recording aimed at promoting the folk singer’s Jail Guitar Doors campaign.Started two years ago, the Jail Guitar Doors initiative helps to supply musical instruments to prison inmates, to aid with their rehabilitation, and has so far seen several ‘graduates’ of the scheme pursue careers as performers after their release from jail. Bragg, Jones and Headon were backed by a band comprising former inmates Leon Walker, Jonny Neesom, Kevin Hawkins and Jon Smillie on a spirited re-recording of the 1978 Clash song Jail Guitar Doors, from which the campaign takes its name. ‘The guys were telling us how much this scheme had helped them move on from their previous lives before prison,’ said Clash guitarist Mick Jones, who in 2007 donated the money for the first ever JGD acoustic guitars to be delivered to a jail. ‘It was really touching to think we’ve helped, even if it’s in a small way.’ The recording session was filmed for Alan Miles’ ‘Breaking Rocks’, a gritty and uplifting documentary about the Jail Guitar Doors initiative, which will be premiered as part of the Raindance film festival at Proud Gallery, Camden Town on 1 October. The film will be followed by performances from Billy Bragg, Mick Jones, the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Chris Shiflett of Foo Fighters, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Jail Guitar Doors graduates Leon Walker, Jonny Neesom, Louise Wells and Theone Coleman, plus Night of Treason.