Archive for the 'Joe Strummer' Category

Time machine opens back up for old Clash stories

Good morning and welcome back on what looks like another beautiful day here at Clash Blog Towers. The weather has been great which after reading the news this morning almost made me feel a little guilty, note that I said almost. Just as a point of reference if I go out to the garden and chuck a bowl of boiling water in the air, boiling water is what comes down to land on the grass – this is normal.

I am though in a really good mood today for a few reasons and thought I’d tell you why. First is you – your visits to the site(s) which I appreciate. So far in 2014 the visits are well up over the same days in 2013 and from most countries too, great to see so many new readers and I hope you enjoy and share the blog and yes please comment. Even the Facebook page has gone mad lately increasing by almost 4,000 since the middle of December as we near 15,000 strong, crazy numbers.

The other thing I”m happy about is the return of an online news archive feature. When I started the blog back in 2009 and for a year or two afterwards I sometimes used it to feature old newspaper stories from back in the day, then it went away and I thought it would never return. Now that it has expect to see more of that on the blog.

The reason I find the old newspaper pieces fascinating is the same as the old NME pieces (and similar oracles) about The Clash were written at the time when they were a going concern. Ultimately everything I write on the blog and that you see on the BBC, Rolling Stone or in Uncut and all the others is with the benefit of years and years of hindsight. Even articles about B.A.D. or The Mescaleros when they were around now seem ‘in the moment’, whereas for years with this hindsight all of us and the published authors who’ve written about the band have had time to dissect every element of the bands history, from the importance of recruiting Topper, working with Guy Stevens, bringing Bernie Rhodes back into the fold and the ultimate crumbling of the band with the firing of Topper and then Mick. What was often written about back then was whether they were the best live band out there, which of course they were.

The view from today can be very different, especially when you consider that the very idea of The Clash leaving a legacy back at that time might have seemed a bit absurd. The interest then was what were they going to write about next, where would they be touring, what had they seen that was influencing them. A totally different perspective and one I hope to be able to explore more, if possible I’d like to create a .pdf archive to host on the site which you can view, perhaps in date order, or an eBook perhaps. Below is an example of what I’m digging up – this one from the Michigan Daily on September 20, 1979.

clash michigan daily Time machine opens back up for old Clash stories

Click to enlarge and read (Michigan Daily 20/9/79)


They are even offering some subscription services for newspapers that are archiving more and more old editions which I’ll gladly pay for and share via the blog. I’m hoping that we’ll see a lot that has long been forgotten.

Anyway, enough of that but expect more in the weeks and months ahead. Have a good day and keep warm.

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