In December of 1979, The Clash released their seminal album, London Calling. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of this release as well as the punk genre in general, Mitch Melnick’s Billy Bob Productions, in association with 77 Montréal, will host a massive night of live music at the Corona Theatre this Friday, Dec. 6 entitled Montreal Calling.
More than 40 musicians will take part in this evening, which will see London Calling performed in its entirety along with other Clash songs and early-wave punk classics.
Many local performers will be featured in the show, including a rare appearance by the original members of the Asexuals led by lead singer John Kastner, who later fronted another Montreal band – Doughboys.
“We started the Asexuals when we were in Grade 7,” says Kastner. “It’s the same four guys that have been doing this for almost 40 years. Show me another band where it’s the same four dudes who have stuck around together for that long. So when I go back and do stuff with the Asexuals, it’s like a high school reunion and you’re seeing your three best friends. ”
After spending the first 30 years of his life in Montreal, Kastner moved to Los Angeles where he pursued a successful career as a producer and manager before eventually meeting his wife, actor Jessica Paré — another Montreal expat.
“I’m really excited to be coming home and doing this show with so many great bands,” says Kastner. “I’m honoured that they asked us to do it. We cut our teeth doing Clash covers. They were a big inspiration. Doing a Clash show is fun for us.
“When London Calling came out, we were all a little disappointed. It wasn’t what we thought punk rock was, but it’s gone on to be one of the most versatile and greatest records of all time. And what is punk? To me, it’s all rooted in the spirit of the music. It’s not a specific thing and there’s no doubt that record has as much of that spirit as any punk record ever made.”