Song, Chris Salewicz's superlative, exhaustive yet never exhausting biography
of the great Joe Strummer unveils choice nuggets, not least that Joes former
partner and mother of two of his children, Gaby Salter, is the daughter of Tom
so what and who he, you may ask?
Salter cemented his rock/fashion credentials in the 60s by running the Gear empire
which started in Carnaby Street, serving many a performer. Later, according to
Chriss book, he was involved in the Great Gear Market in the Kings
Road, which housed a number of fantastic clothes outlets, including Marx and an
outlet of BOY. In the centre was a record shop with a booth where DJs including
one-time Rich Kids member Rusty egan played music.
is mentioned in The Look, but what has never been revealed before - not in Chriss
book nor mine in fact - is that it was he who ran Tom Salters Café
at 205 Kings Road.
in 1975 this wine bar was the venue for the first and only gig by a bunch of teenage
chancers known as either The Strand or The Swankers (opinions differ), featuring
Paul Cook on drums, Glen Matlock on bass, Steve Jones on vocals and the benighted
Wally Nightingale on guitar.
Paul Cook, Wally Nightingale, and Steve Jones)
a matter of months Wally was on his way out, to be replaced by Nick Kent and then,
when Steve Jones switched to guitar, by John Lydon as the Sex Pistols came into
witnessed the Pistols in April 76 and promptly left pub-rockers the 101ers to
join The Clash. In the late 70s, The Clash having outlasted the Pistols, Joe met
Tom Salter's daughter Gaby. They were together for several years and had two children.
Its interesting to note that although there was deep rivalry between
the Pistols and The Clash throughout their careers - their dual personal and professional
destinies were influenced one way or another by a former rag trade merchant and
his little wine bar in Chelsea.
also turns me on to think that both Tom Salter and Glen Matlock came to the launch
party of The Look in May 2006, some 31 years after that barely remembered first