RELATED: I got sidetracked, having meant to post a “Today in Yesterday” on Monday re: The Clash’s signing with CBC in 1977.
The figure of 100,000 pounds comes out to almost US$900,000 in today’s money.
This was after playing only about 20 gigs, chronicled here.
Mark Perry famously declared in his fanzine: “Punk Died the day The Clash signed to CBS.”
The sentiment was widely shared Paul bought a dark basement flat, Mick moved out of his nan’s, and Joe moved out of the squat before moving back in because people made fun of him for moving.
Other than that, they were mostly still broke, and remained that way when the TV segment below came out three years later, not because they’d blown all the money on drugs and/or stupid hats, but because the record industry’s “company store” business model, which required The Clash to pay out of pocket for everything from replacing seats fans tore up during concerts to accommodations on tour. (In one instance, the only individual in a 20+ person entourage of band, girlfriends and crew who had a credit card — a rock journalist on assignment — was obliged to spring for everyone’s hotel rooms when it transpired that the label wouldn’t cover the bill.
An “advance” is just that: an advance against future royalties.
And The Clash traded in future royalties so they could put out double and triple albums for the price of singles. They ate the extra production and distribution costs since that was the only way the label would agree to put out these unorthodox formats.