Talk:(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais

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Hi, this was my first page so if anyone has any queries or problems with it please discuss here.

The story of this song originated when Joe Strummer and Mick Jones went to the Hammersmith Palais in London to see a show featuring many of the people mentioned in the song- Leroy Smart, Delroy Wilson and other Bluebeat, Rocksteady, and other early Reggae artists. they were very disappointed at the "Pop" nature of the show, hence the line "BUT" it was Four Tops all night..."
So to mention The Four Tops along with Ken Boothe, Delroy Wilson etc. as influences to The Clash simply because they were mentioned in the song is not accurate and does not hold true to the spirit of the song or intention of the lyrics.

Good point.

Good article overall, but a little bit, well, reviewy. Could perhaps use a slightly more encyclopedic tone in parts. I'll try to take a stab at it sometime, without making any drastic changes. -R. fiend 23:28, 23 December 2005 (UTC)

Rolling stone's ranking[edit]

I'm 95% sure that in an issue of Rolling Stone quite a few years back they ranked the 50 greatest Clash songs, and this one came in #1. I can't find it with google, but if anyone can confirm it, I think it deserves mention somewhere in the article. -R. fiend 23:26, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


I know this song has been covered by 311 (for a Clash tribute album I believe), perhaps others have covered it as well, and should be mentioned.

Headon or Chimes?[edit]

did topper headon or terry chimes drum on his?


Topper Headon played the drums on this one ... listen to the beat :)


I understand the confusion here but I'm pretty sure that, technically, this song was a ska song. The tempo cannot be classified as reggae as it would be rather fast for reggae. The Clash, remember, did dabble in some ska as 2 tone was gaining popularity at the time. Glassbreaker5791 15:11, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

The influence is definitely reggae and not Ska. The beat may be a little faster than would be expected for reggae but, bearing in mind the band we're talking about here, it's a fair cross between reggae and the polital punk rock the Clash usually thrashed out. UK post punk Ska came later with the Specials, Selector, Madness, the Beat etc.

Ok... may we say it's like a rocksteady sound? Martin 29-oct-2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:26, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but I have to agree. While the influence may well have been reggae, this track sounds very much more like ska, particularly the skank, which is too fast for reggae. The time period is idea for ska-punk as the late 70's was where the second wave revival of Ska started.

It needs to be said that band intentions and the sound that came out of their instruments, 95% of the time is misguided. Uamaol (talk) 21:05, 9 March 2015 (UTC)


"and the lyric concludes that the new groups are in it solely to be famous and for the money (though The Clash themselves have often been criticized for just that)." Anybody got verification of that? Glassbreaker5791 02:34, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Crass mention it pretty regularly in their lyrics, for what that's worth. -R. fiend 14:25, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

As helpful as that is, it still needs a sufficient source. Glassbreaker5791 02:58, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I spoke to Joe Strummer and Topper Headon in 1978 at the Radio Clyde Studios in Glasgow. Joe stated that the first verse was almost a direct lift from the concert ticket.

Political Correctness?[edit]

The line about Adolf Hitler referring to political correctness seems amiss. Admittedly, PC is one of the most overused and ill-defined terms we have, but in terms of its usual usage as a left-wing phenomenon I can hardly think of anything less PC than sending a limo for Hitler. Seems to me it's addressing the obsession with celebrity over any sort of morality. I intend to remove it but I'm not completely sure what to replace it with. Suggestions? -R. fiend 16:24, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I changed it to "social decline" which is broad and generic enough to cover most interpretations of the lyric (though perhaps not the most useful term). If anyone has any specific sources for a more specific term feel free to add them. -R. fiend 16:31, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I think that the reference to Adolf Hiler is more a comment on politics at the time (and maybe more so now) and taking a idealistic stance i.e. Those in power would meet and receive someone like Hitler rather than not allowing him to visit: Kind of like Tony Blair meeting Colonel Gaddafi this year. It's a comment on being politically two-faced. Remember that the Clash were a politically motivated band who took a principled left-wing stance. I'd say it's about turn-coat politicians who once were principled but who take the centre line when in power. Certainly nothing to do with celebrity or being PC, I'm sure.

I totally agree with the above comment. As someone who grew up in the 70s (slightly younger than The Clash)... there's no WAY that the line is a reference to "political correctness." That term -- in the sense that it is now used -- was not in use (ok it was, but only as in-joke among certain left-wing activists). Certainly the phenomenon it refers to did not exist the way it does now. It's pretty clear that the Clash were referring to the corruptness of political states at the time. It's the idea that no dictator will be turned away... e.g. The Shah, Marcos, etc. Not sure if those particular events happened before or after the song, but there was a lot of that in the 70s. So the image is of Adolph Hitler flying into England, and being treated well by the British government...
That said, these are clear instances of POV interpretation, so you'd better find some critic who wrote about it. Good luck. StrangeAttractor (talk) 05:35, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Look at the line within the context of the rest of the verse. The lyrics directly before the Hitler line reference "people changing their votes along with their overcoats." The verse is about the fickle and easily persuadable nature of the voting public. It seems to me that they are insinuating that any charismatic and manipulative figure could easily come into power because of the unstable political landscape much like Hitler once did in Germany. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:49, 27 March 2009 (UTC) Your change to "social decline" does somewhat vaguely cover this interpretation, however. Sorry I forgot to sign my user name a minute ago. Kristyn5023 (talk) 12:02, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Roots Rock Rebel?[edit]

I am curious about this, and have trouble finding info about it on the web. I'm assuming the phrase "roots rock rebel" is not just a Joe Strummer idiosyncrasy, but is actually some phrase that has meaning to the early Reggae scene, or at least to that scene as experienced in London/Brixton. Googling it has not turned up any explanation that does not refer directly to the Clash -- that doesn't necessarily mean anything, as existing info on the web tends to reflect the predominant interests of the web community -- that is, history since roughly 1996, with an emphasis on America and Europe.

I bring it up because I think the Wikipedia article ought to explain the significance of the phrase, with a bona fide reference... it's a key phrase of the song, because the song begins with Strummer's disillusionment of old-time reggae performers.

Anybody know what the phrase means, and (hopefully) have a reference?

StrangeAttractor (talk) 06:41, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

For a reference, see "White man's blues" by Alan Connor. I think the meaning is that Joe Strummer had hoped for reggae to be the voice of struggle. I removed the {{OR}} template from that line. –pjoef (talkcontribs) 10:53, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for a cool article, but I guess I was really wondering if "roots rock rebel" was a catchphrase/cliche of reggae or if Strummer's line is riffing on such a catchphrase. I dunno, I guess I always had the feeling it must have been a direct allusion to some line in a song, or Jamaican slang, or something, but ever line of research turns back to the song, so I guess it's original to Strummer... StrangeAttractor (talk) 03:58, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Thinking Man's Yobs[edit]

This was the headline of the Clash's first NME front page in, I think, April 1977. So to say that this tag dates back to "White Man" is not true - it's a year older than that at least. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 28 January 2009 (UTC)


Who played the great harmonica solo? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:51, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Umm, I'm not sure but I think that Mick Jones played the harmonica on White Man. –pjoef (talkcontribs) 21:13, 10 June 2009 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: move. — ξxplicit 01:34, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais

  • Oppose. WP:ALBUMCAPS clearly says that prepositions (such as "in") should not be capitalized. Would support title without parentheses as proposed by Labattblueboy above. --DAJF (talk) 10:01, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - in this case, "In" is the first word of the title outside the parentheses, so therefore is capitalised regardless of how short it is. (talk) 14:21, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
    • Comment See WP:CAPS: "...unless they begin or end a title or subtitle" and Wikipedia:MUSTARD#Capitalization "Titles that include parentheses should be capitalized as though both the part inside and outside the parentheses are separate titles (e.g., "(Don't Fear) The Reaper")" —Justin (koavf)TCM☯ 19:28, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Dead link[edit]

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Dead link 2[edit]

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