Unlike most Clash songs, which were written by Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, "The Guns Of Brixton" was written by bass player Paul Simonon, who decided to get in on the songwriting himself. It became one of the band's best-known songs and a staple of their live set until their demise in the mid-'80s. Simonon takes lead vocal duties on the song, which is about gangsters in his hometown of Brixton in South London.
Interestingly, he was reticent about singing lead vocals initially, but Strummer noted that "they're your lyrics, you sing them" and the rest of the band agreed. Simonon notes: "The vocal mike was right up against the glass panel of the control room and sitting two feet behind the glass was some American CBS bloke. That's probably why the vocals came out the way they did."
Nick - Harpendonia, England