Big Audio Dynamite books Nokia and Grove gigs, but nothing at Crossroads of the World
Big Audio Dynamite, the post-Clash band led by Mick Jones, has had its way with Los Angeles architectural icons in the past. But when the band returns to the Southland this August, the concerts will be tucked safely indoors, with an Aug. 10 date set for downtown's Club Nokia and an Aug. 11 gig pegged for the Grove of Anaheim.
The recently reunited group and its myriad of lineup changes never achieved the worldwide acclaim of the Clash, but the band did manage to take its merging of rock 'n' roll with dance and rave culture straight to the Hollywood landmark Crossroads of the World. The cruise-line-shaped mall-turned-offices was the site for 1991 single "The Globe" off the album of the same name. Along with the album's "Rush," "The Globe" would become one of the band's (then called B.A.D. II) better-known songs.
Careful listeners of "The Globe," however, will hear a nod to Jones' past, as the song is little more than a composition of samples from the Clash hit "Should I Stay or Should I Go," although "The Globe" featured awkward rapping whereas "Should I Stay" showcased Spanish backing vocals.
"Yeah, there is that on there," Jones said of the "Should I Stay" sample. "There’s some other stuff, but there is a sample of that quite obviously."
In an interview before the band's Coachella performance, Jones addressed his past, present and future with a youthful enthusiasm. He didn't deflect any questions about the Clash or the various B.A.D. periods. Yet he did pause when the subject of "The Globe" was brought up.
The reunited Big Audio Dynamite is the act's original, most prolific and best-known lineup, recording from 1984 to 1990. Jones was the only holdover for B.A.D. II. Much of the interview was focused on Big Audio Dynamite's initial roster, but the decision to rework and rap over one of the Clash's biggest hits was a topic I had long wanted to discuss with Jones. While he stopped short of expressing regret for dismantling "Should I Stay" for "The Globe," he hinted that it may not exactly have been his favorite moment.
"Well," Jones said, "I can’t take credit for that. It was one of the other guys and, well, I just went along with it.
"I might not have done that, particularly," Jones continued after a moment. "I just went along with things because the band just seemed to be going on all right at that time."
The song, in fact, is something of an anomaly on the album. Much of "The Globe" feels more personal and emotionally bare that past Big Audio Dynamite works. The exhilarating "Rush" and its themes of coming to terms with regrets, is the only song from the album that worked its way into the band's spring Southern California dates.
At the band's Coachella appearance it was easy to look at B.A.D. as carrying on the Clash's enthusiasm for experimentation. If the Clash touched on reggae, jazz and disco, Big Audio Dynamite dived full-on into DJ culture and hip-hop.
Tickets for the Club Nokia and Grove shows both go on sale to the general public Friday. There is a Goldenvoice pre-sale happening now at Ticketmaster for the Club Nokia show (password: RUSH). Grove tickets are $30, not including surcharges; Club Nokia tickets range from $31.50 to $45, not including surcharges.
-- Todd Martens
Photo: Mick Jones, left, and Leo Williams at Coachella. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times