On his return to London Mick arrived with a present; he’d bought the guitar for us. As always I am stunned by the generosity of my friend. I painted the words ELVIS 1990 on the guitar and the legendary Space Bass was born. Unfortunately, so was the myth that when we played live the sequencer bass was on tape because no one could believe that any one could actually physically play that sound. But I did and it’s that guitar that triggers the synth basses. Believe me it is unbelievably difficult to play because you have to hit every note perfectly and play 10 milliseconds ahead of the beat.

I was practicing now along with the others but it meant that we were completely live and could improvise and react to the dub effects just like a live reggae band. No one gig of ours would ever sound the same as the one before, which is just the way it should be when you are tight as a live band.

Then a shock. Mick Jones rings to say that he’s been sacked from The Clash. Me, Martin and Neal stare at each other in disbelief. How can they sack the man who started it all?

I went over to Mick’s flat in Notting Hill Gate to find out what had happened and he looked as shocked as I did when he opened the front door. He had arrived at rehearsals that day to find everyone staring at the floor and then Paul says “You’re out”. And that was that and the band that represents the voice of the people, breaks up without another word.

There is no question that Mick can be incredibly difficult to work with, was and still is fanatical, self-centred and a complete pain in the ass at times, but there is also a kind, sweet, sensitive and unconditionally generous side to him that makes me love him to this day, quite apart from the fact that he just happens to be a musical genius.

To this day I cannot understand how things got so bad between him, Joe and the others in The Clash. Why no one reached out and tried to talk about what was going on before it was too late. But there we go, I’ve seen it a million times in bands and who am I to talk - I’ve lived it repeatedly myself - even if I wasn’t aware it was happening all around me at the time.

[Chapter 5...]