So quickly has the first week of 2012 rushed past that I feel it almost a stale concept to complete my review of 2011 but I’ve started as they say so I’ll finish. My original intent was to get these posts tidily delivered as a summary of the year just ended over the first four days of the New Year. Good plans often fall by the wayside when you’re trying to balance work and the looming shadow of moving house. I’ll give you my word that by the time February snows are ruining your week the Clash Blog will be on a nice steady daily diet of updates. Speaking of please be sure and look in tomorrow for one of the strangest updates I’ve ever shared. It’s odd and funny but nothing nasty, moreover I’ve a feeling few of you will have seen it. I’m writing this following a day spent packing and sorting out the debris of my adult life and trying to decide what to keep versus sell/donate before we load up the lorry and head west. I can see why some people never move but for some reason I can’t stay in one place too long without going a bit mad.
2011 was a good year though and we’ve already looked at the most popular posts for the first 9 months so let’s wrap it up by reviewing the most read stories for October through December and then crack on with 2012.
‘Joe Strummer features in giant Shepard Fairey mural’ (October 10th)
In a continued theme on the blog stories about art and tributes are very popular and this one was the most read post in October. Mr. Fairey isn’t to everyone’s taste but you have to tip your cap for his love of The Clash which he’s always keen to incorporate in his work. I think his art is hugely influenced by the great (looking) government propaganda artwork of the early days of the U.S.S.R. but what’s that saying about all art being borrowed? Even The Clash managed more than a bit of that especially the dependence on the chords of The Who on some of the early songs. As for the Fairey mural it was completed on a large wall in New Jersey and included Joe alongside other lesser punk immortals.
Joe Strummer in Manhattan photoset and a Welsh tragedy (November 27th)
Besides listening to The Clash I think most of us agree that they were the coolest looking band ever, fortunately they are literally thousands of photographs that take us back to 1978 or 1981 available online. Sometimes I come across photographs that I don’t think have been seen by everyone so I share them on the blog. Amongst the very best this year was this series taken of Joe Strummer in New York (I think in 1999? confirmation still sought). Stunning photos that show Joe back on top of his game and well worth another look. The post also reflected on the tragic loss of Gary Speed and whilst this isn’t a football blog it tends to creep into my writing from time to time.
December is usually dominated by our online tribute to the inevitable passing of another Joe Strummer anniversary reflecting on his unexpected death back in 2002. This year of course marks the 10th anniversary and it will be a strange realisation to accept it will have been a decade since that event. Perhaps a very good time to ask ourselves what we do now as a result of Joe’s impact on our lives. In reality that’s the best way to pay tribute to what Joe is and was.
However this December that just passed was marked by something that instantly finds it way into the upper levels of Clash lore as Mick Jones took the hugely successful role as lead chap on the Justice Tonight tour of the UK. A tour that seemed a bit far fetched and would feature a revolving cast of guest stars but buoyed by Jones, Pete Wylie and members of The Farm. The set would climax with a growing list of Clash songs and somehow it all worked and the punters loved it. More significantly it was for a cause that mattered – to try and help correct a long standing wrong in the campaign for Hillsborough justice. Naturally the London event at The Scala was hugely anticipated and rumours were bouncing around from the moment the tour was announced who might guest in London. As it turned out we saw Paul Simonon join Mick on stage playing Clash songs for the first time in decades, it would have been nearer to perfect if Topper was part of the event. With that said 2012 could see more from the Mick Jones review, I’ve learned the last few years to never say never.
So there we have it – 2011 all wrapped up. There were 236 posts on the blog and there’s your top twelve. It’s also a good time to thank each of you for visiting the blog over 370,000 times last year. Let’s see if we can improve on that in 2012. You can help by sharing the blog with friends via Facebook and Twitter – I appreciate that more than you know – and don’t forget you can always buy me a cup of coffee to keep me motivated to keep on typing. Thanks for reading. Tim