Havana 3am

The other day I found something very cool that heretofore I had not known existed. (Really, how often do you see the word “heretofore” in the common blog?)

I had always considered myself a pretty knowledgeable fan of the Clash, but I did not know that after the Clash split, Paul Simonon started a band called Havana 3am. Named after a 1950’s album by Perez Prado, the Cuban “King of Mambo,” Havana 3am consisted of Simonon on bass; Gary Myrick on guitar; Nigel Dixon from the British band Whirlwind on lead vocals; and Travis Williams, a drummer they found through a newspaper ad.

Havana 3am recorded a self-titled album in Japan in 1991. Following Dixon's death in April 1993, and the departure of Simonon, who resumed a career in art, Gary Myrick put out one more album with different line-up, but by 1996, the band had called it quits.

The band’s Wiki entry describes Havana 3am as rockabilly with a heavy Latin influence. I think some reviewers make that call based on the horns in some of the songs or simply on the band's name. Havana 3am is not to be confused with salsa or merengue. Rather, it’s similar to the Clash’s forays into roots rock, with a twist of spaghetti Western for atmosphere. The horns merely add a touch of spice, if you will.

Along with not knowing Paul Simonon did this project after the Clash, I wasn’t aware either that post-Havana 3am, he returned to art, which he had been doing before joining the Clash. In 2008, after an eight-year break, Simonon began exhibiting paintings again with a show at Thomas Williams Fine Art in London, where Lily Allen reportedly bought one of his paintings for £23,500.

Reach the Rock.mp3
Death in the Afternoon.mp3

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