The Clash, or "The Only Band That Matters", was a band of British dudes from the 70's/80's often regarded as the best punk band ever. Probably because their music wasn't really punk.
The Clash was pieced together by producers fielding auditions by well-to-do white boys who at least knew what a guitar was in order to create the most badass looking band possible. Because what's more punk rock than a bunch of intentionally scruffy-looking, well-off British boys wailing on guitars they don't know how to use and whining about the government? Turns out, absolutely nothing.
The band ended up consisting of Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, Mick Jones and Topper Headon (who was kicked out in 1982 for heroin use. Because punk rockers are known for their straightedge, respectable image.). Paul Simonon originally did not audition. He was there to support his buddy. But the producers noticed his hardcore, safety pinned clothes and sexy, apathetic attitude and decided they would throw him a bass guitar and put him in their band. They figured his sex appeal was the only way to get lady listeners, since everyone knows ladies are afraid of loud music unless there is a sexy man nearby.
On The Clash's first album, The Clash, the record label made them record a song called "Remote Control". Outraged at being told to do something, the boys - excuse me, totally badass punk rockers - recorded a song called "Complete Control" containing the lyrics: "They said release 'Remote Control/ But we didn't want it on the label." They then looked at eachother and said "That'll show 'em. Who cares that "Remote Control" is still being released on our album? We have another song to tell them that we are not happy about that. Yeah!"
The Clash endorsed left-wing politics with lyrics such as "The shareef don't like it/ Rockin' the Casbah!" and "London calling, see we ain't got no swing/ 'Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing" and "I hate the army and I hate the RAF". As you can see, their political commentary was invaluable. They also supported the Anti-Nazi League as a forceful F*** You! to all the Nazis... who were all dead. They also said they were against racism despite consisting of all white guys and composing songs with titles such as "White Riot". However, they did record a lot of Reggae songs. So, obviously, they liked black guys. Also, they hated America. Probably because The Ramones looked more badass than they did in their damned leather jackets.
The Clash fancied themselves very important. Never mind that "The Only Band that Matters" played gigs such as opening for the much more popular punk band the Sex Pistols. Despite their claims, The Clash is merely number 51 on this list of the most influential rock artists.
The popular 2007 song "Paper Planes" by M.I.A. sampled the song "Straight to Hell" by The Clash. So I guess they did influence something. Jack White's band The White Stripes has cited The Clash as influence for their early work. The White Stripes are pretty epic so there's one thing The Clash can be proud of. Also, The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys have been identified as being influenced by The Clash, but neither band has spoken out and said so. Probably because they're too embarrassed to admit it.