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We Are The Clash

By: and

An impassioned history of the final, turbulent years of The Clash under the dark shadow of Reagan and Thatcher.

Forthcoming: 7/3/18

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What people are saying…

“The inside story of the last great British punk record.”
—Jon Savage, author of England’s Dreaming

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 USA and 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 right-wing 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.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Published: 7/3/18
  • IBSN: 9781617752933
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756504


MARK ANDERSEN is the coauthor of Dance of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation’s Capital and author of All The Power. He lives in Washington, DC. We Are The Clash is his latest work.

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RALPH HEIBUTZKI (Chairman Ralph) is the author of Unfinished Business: The Life & Times of Danny Gatton. He lives in southwest Michigan. We Are The Clash is his latest work.

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