Today marks the 60th birthday of Joe Strummer. 60. This past weekend was also the Annual ‘Strummer of Love Festival’ coordinated by his lovely daughters in Somerset, England. I’m thinking next year possibly hitting it up for my 40th birthday. http://www.strummeroflove.com/
I have a funny relationship with The Clash. I liked them as a teen but didn’t get really into them until my early 20’s. I remember having a crush on a boy in highshcool that used to make tapes for me which always had ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’ on them.
A few years ago, my friend A reintroduced me to them and again it was a love affair. Time passed and again, The Clash got shelved for some new music of the moment. Then recently another chap sent me home with another bagful of Clash books, DVD’s and the like. The Clash on the brain much? I need to stay away from boys who like The Clash methinks.
I’ve liked many a band growing up. In a way I sometimes think I have music adhd. But whenever my iPod and mood find myself coming back to ‘Combat Rock’ and ‘London Calling’ – I feel so happy. The music instantly takes back to my teen years when it was all about spinning vinyl on the crappy record player in my bedroom and forgetting about homework for hours on end.
Last week I received a fresh paperback copy of The Clash with a lovely hot pink cover. It tells the unique story of the Clash, by the Clash. The Clash was a band like no other. Pioneers of British punk rock, their incendiary gigs, intelligent song writing, definitive style and passionate idealism caught the spirit of the times and made them a worldwide phenomenon. Rolling Stone magazine declared London Calling one of the greatest albums of all time, their autobiographical documentary Westway to the World won a Grammy, and their music lives on, influencing emerging bands and exciting new audiences today.
This is the first official book to be created by the band. With unprecedented access to the Clash archive, this landmark publication brings together previously unseen material–including tour posters, artwork, and photos of the band at home, on stage, in the studio and on the road–with each member telling it like it was, in their own words.
Trendsetters, icons, revolutionaries: their story is steeped in mythology. Many people have an opinion about what made them who they were – this book gives the chance to read the full story, from all four band members themselves.
What I appreciated about this book is that it gives small bit size pieces on each of the lad’s stories at certain times in their musical history. Paul Simonon is my favourite but between him and Mick Jones they kept me giggling throughout this compact pocket edition.
Initially when this book came out in hard cover I thought ‘how am I going to read this book tucked up in bed?’ It’s an easy read and so unlike in the long windedness of ‘Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer’.
There are so many good bits to the book: the disco graphic snapshot retrospective, global historical tour dates, film information highlights and fantastic vintage pictures of the band.
Ah yes, not only is the book a good chuckle but reading it will bring you closer to the band. It’s pretty emotional at times – be prepared.
I have an extra fresh copy of The Clash book to giveaway to one of my lucky readers. Thank you to Chapters Indigo! All you need to do is sign up to my blog and you will be entered for a chance to win it. The deadline for entries is August 31, 2012.
Lastly, Happy Birthday to my fellow Leo, Mr. Strummer! Wherever you are in the heavens…we miss you.