Film, Reunions, Video — September 28, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Billy Bragg reunites The Clash’s Mick Jones, Topper Headon to record ‘Jail Guitar Doors’

Topper Headon, Mick Jones and Billy Bragg

Former Clash bandmates Mick Jones and Nicky “Topper” Headon recently recorded together for the first time in 27 years as part of a documentary being made about agit-folkie Billy Bragg’s Jail Guitar Doors prisoner-rehabilitation program.

Borrowing the name of the “Clash City Rockers” b-side, Bragg launched Jail Guitar Doors two years ago to help provide musical instruments to prisoners in hopes of helping them with their rehabilitation and, perhaps, even offering a post-incarceration career.

Jones and Headon recently joined Bragg and former inmates Leon Walker, Jonny Neesom, Kevin Hawkins and Jon Smillie to re-record “Jail Guitar Doors,” which also was included on the U.S. version of The Clash, released in 1979 (see video below).

According to a news release on the organization’s Web site, Jones said:

“The guys were telling us how much this scheme had helped them move on from their previous lives before prison. It was really touching to think we’ve helped, even if it’s in a small way.”

Headon added:

“To see it all come to fruition is absolutely beautiful. It was great to meet these guys. When I was in prison myself, many years ago, I was lucky enough to have access to a guitar, which belonged to the prison vicar! I know how much it helped me get through it.”

The “Jail Guitar Doors” session was filmed by Alan Miles for his documentary “Breaking Rocks,” about Bragg’s program, which will premiere at the UK’s  Raindance Film Festival on Thursday. The screening will be followed by performances by Bragg, Jones, Chris Shiflett of Foo Fighters, The MC5’s Wayne Kramer and graduates of the program.

See footage from the “Jail Guitar Doors” session after the jump…

Video: Billy Bragg, Mick Jones, Topper Headon recording “Jail Guitar Doors”


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