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The Clash Books in Review
by Adrienne Petterson © 2008      About Me

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The Clash
by The Clash
Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 978-0-44653-973-9
Published November 2008 - Hardcover - 384 pages - $45.00

From the late 1970s to the mid-1980s, The Clash were the hottest punk band in the UK, and they were also becoming well known in many other parts of the world where punk was not as prevalent.  I don't however, recall them being frightningly punkish.  They were different, edgy, loud, and opinionated, like most bands at the time.  Daring to be different, and they were, The Clash did come up with some amazing work.  For example, the legendary London Calling, London Burning, I Fought the Law, Janie Jones, Complete Control and a whole lot more.  The Introduction sums the book up with this one sentence: "The interviews that make up this book were largely conducted over five days, with each band member giving between ten and fifteen hours of his time to recall the story of how, what, why and when The Clash did what The Clash did, during the hectic seven years of their existence".  It's so nice to be able to read the artists' versions in their own words, even if it's more than twenty years later.  The photos in this book are not only from their concerts and publicity shots, they're candid shots of the group, their peers, their fans, concert posters, news-making events, newspaper clippings, etc.  (I loved the postcards to home.  A touch of normality?)  This is a superb souvenir of the life of the great British punk group, The Clash.  It's loaded with fantastic photographs not only of the group, but of a few people who were on the verge of also making it big, and of things that were going on and which made the news.  It's also a peek into the world they lived in at the time.
Conclusion - A must for Clash fans or fans of punk or music fans in general.

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