When The Clash folded in 1986, bassist Paul Simonon wanted to get as far away from that world, and England in general, as he possibly could.

I'm sure there are plenty of places farther from London than El Paso in terms of miles but none like El Chuco.

Once you throw the climate and biculturalism in with America's freedom, the indomitable Texas spirit and the laid back El Paso attitude; Paul was definitely worlds away.

The Clash formed in 1976 and went full bore for about 10 years. They recorded 8 albums, (6 studio, 2 live) and became the poster boys for punk, protest and rebellion in general.

By 1986, they had hit the proverbial wall and the band broke up. Paul Simonon headed for the USA to take up painting and motorcycle riding. How, exactly, he wound up in El Paso depends on who you ask.

One story has it that he came here to record an album at Sonic Ranch, fell in love with El Paso and eventually bought a home in Juarez. However ...

According to Paul himself, he and Nigel Dixon of Whirlwind and Havana 3am, (w/Paul Simonon), decided they wanted out of England, spun a globe and it stopped on El Chuco.

I remember reading the first story somewhere but haven't been able to find it again so, I guess we'll take Paul's word for the globe thing. According to Vanity Fair:

He and Dixon flew into town and immediately purchased a couple of secondhand Harley-Davidsons, which, Simonon says, were a joy to ride without helmets (it was illegal to do so in Britain). The border beckoned. “I remember that main street going towards the bridge over the Rio Grande,” says Simonon, who now lives in England. “It was very Wild West, actually. You go into one bar and order a drink, and the next minute you see people in another room hitting each other with pool cues.

Their love of motorcycles and the beautiful southwest weather soon saw them roaring around on Harley Davidsons, enjoying the food and the cervezas while making musical plans and entertaining other famous friends who also loved to ride along the way.

Those friends included the likes of Mickey RourkeSteve Jones and Billy Idol just to name drop a couple and the number grew and grew.

It eventually got too big for Paul and became less fun. He continued to ride but the left the "club" behind.

He lives in England now, still riding and painting. See a pic of him in El Paso on his Harley here and another 915 pic plus some of his paintings here.

See Nigel and his scooter here.

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