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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…

“When did the Clash quit being ‘the only band that matters’? This fascinating book faces a challenge: documenting the final years of the British band that its record label had promoted with that slogan . . . The band may no longer have mattered, but its legacy mattered to the authors, who make it matter to the readers. More than a footnote to the rise and fall of one of the last great rock bands.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Coverage is specialized, extending considerably beyond mere behind-the-scenes reportage and deeply explores the sociopolitical context in which the band operated; as such, the tone can be intense (read: punk) and professorial. In all, Andersen and Heibutzki’s examination of the band’s proletarian stance in light of its commercial striving is immensely satisfying.”
Library Journal

“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

“At long last, The Clash’s final incarnation has been definitively chronicled. Mark Andersen and Ralph Heibutzki have brilliantly filled in the blanks of the ‘Clash Mark II’ era, including its eventual implosion.”
—The Baker, from the foreword

“Smash your television and buy this book! We Are The Clash proves, once again, the importance of The Clash, even during their rarely discussed and most maligned period. Situated in the Reagan/Thatcher era, We Are The Clash illustrates why, when Reagan called women like my mom ‘welfare queens,’ I bought a ticket to see ‘the only band that matters,’ and then went on to start one of my own.”
—Michelle Cruz Gonzales, author of The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band

“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!


Description

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. With a foreword by The Baker.


Book Details

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

Authors

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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