The Clash : White Riot
On March 27, 1977 The Clash;s single, "White Riot", a tune inspired by a real riot from the Summer before, entered the UK charts at #46 .
On August 30, 1976 The Notting Hill Carnival erupted in riots between mostly black youths and police. More than a hundred police officers wound up in the hospital . So did 60 carnival goers. About 66 arrests were made.
The riot is believed to have been ignited when police tried to arrest a suspected pickpocket. Members of the crowd came to the suspect's aid, throwing rocks and other objects. As the police protected themselves, the youths marched up the street throwing rocks through windows and tipping over a police van.
Among the witnesses were Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of The Clash. When they wrote "White Riot" they included the lyrics
Black man gotta lotta problems
But they don't mind throwing a brick
White people go to school
Where they teach you how to be thick
The song was recorded as a demo for Polydor in late 1976 and appeared on the Clash's debut album.