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News & Features » May 2013 » We Are The Clash: The Last Stand of a Band That Mattered needs your help!

We Are The Clash: The Last Stand of a Band That Mattered needs your help!

The authors of We Are The Clash: The Last Stand of a Band That Mattered, Mark Andersen & Ralph Heibutzki, are seeking your support (& photos!) to help bring this exciting book into the world. Read the plea from the authors below, and show your support by donating to their KickStarter campaign before the June 17 funding deadline!


We Are The Clash is a book-in-progress that excavates the often-dismissed last two years of The Clash, after the controversial ejection of Mick Jones and Topper Headon from the band. The book challenges existing interpretations of this period, resurrecting the dramatic last stand of one of the few rock bands that truly mattered. This was a moment where the band’s struggles with punk ideals, Top Ten success, addiction, and personal/musical differences crashed head-on into a rising wave of right-wing power. In the process, a hopeful but ultimately heartbreaking tale played out, bringing an end not only to The Clash as a band but an entire era of political and economic struggle, and setting the stage for our world’s present challenges.

Much of this story has been simply airbrushed out of the official Clash histories, and skimmed over in the more popular independent accounts. Two important works on this period, Out of Control (by Vince White) and The Rise and Fall of The Clash (by Danny Garcia) do exist. However, neither does what we are attempting here: going past autobiography or “Behind the Music”–style reportage, to dig deeper, taking a searching look at the band’s last years, placing its story in the proper historical, artistic, and political context. This version of The Clash, after all, played more than 120 shows, and wrote nearly two dozen new songs, including some of the most poignant social protest/commentary marking this turning point in British–and international–history. This was when Thatcher broke the back of the National Union of Mineworkers, Reagan brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, and right wing politics and economics gained a lasting ascendency. This book goes past “rock journalism” to take the music of “The Clash Mark II” seriously and place it fully in its stark, savage sociopolitical context. In the best spirit of The Clash, we hope not only to illuminate this past moment, but inspire thought and action in the present one.

In order to tell this story as it must be told, we need the resources to take time not only to write, but to hopefully travel to do interviews and other research. For example, we hope to go to the UK to retrace the footsteps of The Clash’s final tour, the extraordinary “busking tour” of May 1985, talking to folks who saw the band at the time, thus helping to bring this powerful piece of The Clash story back to life. In addition, we are incurring on-going expenses paying for postage, phone bills, copying, as well as photos and other materials we will want for the book. We also need to augment the funding Akashic Books is able to give to the project, in order to produce and promote the finished book as it deserves. Finally, we need your participation in ways that go beyond money; we also want your memories of seeing The Clash in their last two years, as well as photos, fliers, and beyond for possible use in the book. Thanks so much for any help you can give—we can’t do it without you!

Want to help? Read more & contribute on KickStarter!

Posted: May 29, 2013

Category: News | Tags: , , , ,