Hello again and welcome back to the blog. I know it’s been a while so now (this time for real) we’ll look to get back on track with more regular posts. Today apparently is the day the house gets converted to full xmas mode, two trees even this year from the blogette, I think I’d feel more seasonal if it wasn’t for the sunshine and warm weather. Not sure I’ll ever get used to that. I know the cold in the UK has been a bit brutal the last few weeks so we’ll try and send you some of what we’re having. Enough of the weather (yes Wayne – that was for you), let’s see what Clash news has been circulating lately.
Now…here is the main reason I’m really annoyed with myself for not finding time to write the last few weeks. I miss circulating information about events that sounded really good and perhaps you then didn’t hear about them and could have otherwise attended. If you happen to be in London you might want to skip the next paragraph rather than share my frustration at not knowing about this earlier.
I did know that Chris Salewicz was going to be giving a special talk about Joe and The Clash in Belfast, what I didn’t realise until just the other night was that he’d be making a number of special appearances in London too. On each night (now past dated sorry) he appeared in a different bookshop and read from his fantastic biography of Joe – ‘Redemption Song – The Ballad of Joe Strummer’. See what happens when I get behind with the news. Anyway, you can see the dates you missed but at least read a few words from Chris Salewicz about Strummer here on the high50.com website. Spoiler alert – the article talks about two new Clash releases coming along in 2013. Sony music have confirmed a new box set is forthcoming and I’d read rumours and denials about that but heard nothing about a live album from 1982, which seems very odd (no Topper). Now it appears that both may finally see the light of day in the new year. It would have been nice to have seen them make it out this year for obvious. More on those stories as soon as I get some more specifics confirmed. Not to be picky, actually to be very picky, I’m not entirely sure I want ‘replica artifacts’ from Sony, particularly when instead the full version of Rat Patrol from Fort Bragg (to give just one example) is still sitting in the vaults.
JJ Burnel of The Stranglers never tires of talking about his ongoing (apparently) rivalry with The Clash, after you read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald you’ll see what I mean. I think the best thing we can do is tell him that The Clash had for all intents ended by 1983. The Clash were the better band then and history can’t be rewritten, longevity doesn’t make for better music JJ and I don’t think your non-stop mocking of The Clash convinces anyone that they were as ‘created’ as you make out. You should talk about your own band a bit more, they do after all have much to offer for many and not yap on forever negatively about your contemporaries from back in the day. I still haven’t worked out why he keeps revisiting it. Any clues?
A really nicely written piece by Mike Pilewski looking back at the life of Joe Strummer in German magazine Spotlight’s online version. It’s written in English and available as crisp high quality PDF file via this link. Nothing especially new and revealing in this article but really good to see Joe’s anniversary being recognised beyond the usual markets. The Clash had a giant impact in Germany, both in terms of record sales, sold out gigs and influencing bands that followed. Some of the most raucous audiences the band ever faced were arguably in what was then West Germany. Were any on you amongst those audiences?
I wanted to finish by explaining that I’m feeling a strange mix of cautious and sad about writing here this month. Of course I want to try and explain what I and perhaps some of you are feeling as we approach the tenth anniversary of something that has profoundly affected us in many different ways. I have missed The Clash since they stopped making records and now I’ve found myself missing Joe constantly for almost ten years. He’ll always play a part in our daily life, meaning various things to many people but hopefully still inspiring most to give it a little more effort and try and seek out change and improvements. “Don’t put up with substandard anything” I believe he said. I could ramble on for hours but there will be time for all of us to do that this month. On the whole I think I’ve been inspired by the band to be who I am today, for better or worse. This blog was most definitely started as an extended thank you and a place to I hope bring Clash fans together from all over the world. Sadly I just think the world really lacks Joe Strummer, it isn’t quite the same without him. We’re trying Joe, honestly we are but you’re missed incredibly.