In 1978, The Clash released the song, "Jail Guitar Doors,” telling the story of the imprisonment of their fellow musician Wayne Kramer. In 2007, to honor the life of Clash founder, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg launched an initiative to provide musical equipment used to rehabilitate inmates serving time in Her Majesty’s Prisons in the UK. His initiative is named for that very same song, “Jail Guitar Doors.” In 2009, Wayne Kramer partnered with Billy Bragg to found Jail Guitar Doors USA. Together, their combined effort continues the mission for prisoners in America. The circle is unbroken.
To see Jail Guitar Doors come to fruition is absolutely beautiful. It was great to meet these guys. When I was in prison myself, many years ago, I was lucky enough to have access to a guitar, which belonged to the prison vicar! I know how much it helped me get through it.
As the warden of Valley State Prison, I am very grateful that Cody Marks and Jail Guitar Doors were able to come to the prison and perform for the inmate population,” he said. “I truly believe that the inmate population enjoyed the performance. These types of activities are vital to the successful rehabilitation of the men housed at VSP, as they distract from the daily stressors associated with prison life.
...What a privilege it is to play music. I feel like a human being when I play." "I have seen this equipment work miracles in the lives of convicts, it's the coolest thing to watch. Our concerts bring pure joy to so many faces as well. It's an honor to play.