Read We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered by Mark Andersen Ralph Heibutzki Online

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“We Are The Clash tells an important part of the story of both The Clash and punk rock. The repercussions of what went down politically both in the USAand UK back then are still very much felt today.”—Kosmo Vinyl, former manager of The Clash“The Clash are remembered as much for their blistering music as their gritty yet hopeful message to listeners worldwide. In this first“We Are The Clash tells an important part of the story of both The Clash and punk rock. The repercussions of what went down politically both in the USAand UK back then are still very much felt today.”—Kosmo Vinyl, former manager of The Clash“The Clash are remembered as much for their blistering music as their gritty yet hopeful message to listeners worldwide. In this first serious look at The Clash’s music and meaning, post–commercial success, the authors mix thoughtful reflection with grassroots political analysis in an effort to inspire a new generation of music fans and activists to Cut the Crap.”—Craig O’Hara, author of The Philosophy of Punk: More than Noise!The Clash was an incendiary paradox of revolutionary conviction, musical ambition, and commercial drive. We Are The Clash is a gripping tale of how the band—fractured by its Top 10 success—fought to reinvent and purify itself as George Orwell’s 1984 loomed. This extraordinary effort crashed headlong into a wall of internal contradictions, personal tragedy, and rising rightwing power as personified by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.While the world teetered on the nuclear abyss, British miners waged a life-or-death strike, and tens of thousands died from US guns in Central America, Clash cofounders Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon set out to rebuild the band after ejecting guitarist Mick Jones and drummer Topper Headon. Bolstered by coconspirators Bernard Rhodes and Kosmo Vinyl, and three twentysomething recruits—drummer Peter Howard and guitarists Nick Sheppard and Vince White—The Clash launched a desperate last stand, shattering the band just as its controversial final album, Cut the Crap, was emerging.Authors Andersen and Heibutzki weave together extensive archival research and in-depth original interviews with virtually all of the key players involved to tell a moving story of idealism undone by human frailty amid a climatic turning point for our world....

Title : We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered
Author :
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ISBN : 9781617752933
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered Reviews

  • Alan Taylor
    2018-11-19 02:16

    We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Matteredby Mark Andersen, Ralph HeibutzkiAn admirable attempt to put the last few years of The Clash into a political and social context, ‘We Are The Clash Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Mattered’ is the story of the band’s final days set against the turmoil of Thatcher’s Britain - the miners’ strike, the Falklands War - and Reagan’s America - the Cold War threat of ‘limited nuclear war in Europe’, Iran-Contra - times that should have been made for a band as politically outspoken as The Clash.The authors have written a well-researched and very readable history of a period in The Clash’s history which has largely been ignored by the vast majority of music journalism. The band had splintered: drummer, Topper Headon had already gone, struggling with heroin addiction and, in a move which would have been unthinkable a couple of years earlier, in 1982 Joe Strummer had sacked founder member and lead-guitarist, Mick Jones. In most retrospectives, including the band’s own, The Clash ended here but, as the authors rightly point out and evidenced by bootleg recordings of the time, musically, The Clash were in pretty good shape.Andersen and Heibutzki also offer a succinct history of, and commentary on, the contemporaneous events of the early 1980s. In the UK, Margaret Thatcher’s war on the mining industry tore communities apart and caused bitterness and resentment that still resonate today. In the USA, Ronald Reagan was conducting a more covert war against ‘the threat of communism’ and breaking all manner of laws in doing so. The arms race with USSR came as close as it ever did to ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’ when, on September 26, 1983, only the gutsy stubbornness of Stansilav Petrov, a Soviet ‘early warning system’ monitor, in not reporting what turned out to be a malfunction as an actual attack, prevented the start of WWIII.The failure of the book is that, despite valiant attempts to connect the band to the times around them, there was actually little connection. Little connection, not because of any failure on the authors’ part but rather because The Clash, and Joe Strummer in particular, were in such a state of disarray that, other than a few low-key gigs in support of the striking miners in the UK, they failed to make any meaningful impact.'The gap between Strummer’s aims and his ability to live them yawned even wider.’‘“Where was The Clash? They were AWOL, missing in action, nowhere to be seen”’ - Billy BraggThe book is littered with awkward transitions between what was happening with The Clash and what was happening in the world because the truth is that The Clash failed to turn up.‘Three days before Reagan chose to wager his regime on this desperate ploy (selling arms to Iran), The Clash played the Rockscene in Guehenno, in a remote region of France.’The authors neatly sum up the significance of The Clash at the time in this one sentence. Not only was the venue remote, the band remote from shady and probably illegal political machinations but on that particular date - July 13, 1985 - “seemingly every major rock act on earth played the Live Aid concert for African famine relief..” All of these events were calling for The Clash and The Clash didn’t show up.The authors make a good case that the major cause of the end of The Clash was not the sacking of Mick Jones but the return of manager Bernie Rhodes. Rhodes, who had been instrumental in pulling the band together with Jones, prior to Strummer’s recruitment, before being ousted, saw an opportunity to take the reins and steer The Clash in the direction in which he wanted to go. The band toured as directed by Rhodes and, more significantly, the album which put the final nail in the band’s coffin, ‘Cut The Crap’, was Rhodes’ vision, a melding of punk and ‘80s electronic pop.The authors offer a hearty defence of the album, on which few of The Clash save Strummer make any real contribution - guitar parts are heavily processed and lost in the mix, the drums are largely programmed and played in a drum machine - but their arguments are weak. Early demos of many of the tracks on ‘Cut The Crap’ suggest a much better album was in there but the final result is weak. As the book points out, Joe Strummer was lost at this point, occasionally literally, and The Clash did not really exist. A busking tour was a final stand and, had the album been successful, could have led to a resurgence but Joe Strummer essentially walked away and, thankfully, Bernie Rhodes plans to keep the band going without him came to nothing.The book should be a must-read for Clash fans. It is well-written and is largely successful in placing The Clash in context with the times. That the band failed to engage with the world around them is not the fault of the authors but perhaps serves to mark not just the end of The Clash but the beginning of the end of any real political influence of rock and pop groups as a whole.We Are The Clash: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Last Stand of a Band That Matteredby Mark Andersen, Ralph Heibutzki is published by Akashic Books on July 3, 2018.