Good evening once again and thanks for dropping in to the blog. Depending on how the next 24 hours go this may very well be my final post of 2011 in which case it’s probably not a bad idea to acknowledge the passing of another year into the mists of time. I don’t know about you but I think 2011 has just flown by, it’s been a busy year personally, professionally and here on the blog because of all the activities relating to The Clash which isn’t bad going for a band that wrapped up proceedings such a long time ago. Oddly there’s been more to write about this year than at any time since the band were active with the return of Big Audio Dynamite, another great year for Strummerville and of course the events just this month on the Justice Tonight tour which saw Mick and Paul playing Clash songs together on stage for the first time since WarGames was pulling people (idiots?) into the local cinema. Yes, it really was that long ago.
In between the big stories there’s been loads of other events worth covering and our rotating look at Clash news both recent and old and in the New Year I’ll work like mad to continue networking and hopefully keep the blog somewhere worth visiting. Now would be a good time to thank you all for reading, the blog has has almost 400,000 visits this year which is nearly double the total of a year earlier – numbers that I never really expected – but it’d be nice to see us pass the half million mark next year. I couldn’t honestly do it without your help – you know who you are. I’m stuck out in the desert in Arizona and it’s your coverage, guest posts, videos, research and wonderful photos in Europe and all other corners of the world that make the blog as fun as it is. I hope I can count on similar assistance next year. Clash fans are a brilliant bunch, very generous and accommodating not too mention intensely loyal and with strong opinions. I love your comments and debates, opinions and ideas and most of all the shared experience of knowing just what this band still means so many years later. Before writing this blog there were (and remain) a few blogs that I read daily or every other day depending on output and they’ve become as much a part of my daily routine as a cup of coffee and checking my email. I always hoped this blog could become the same and if that’s happened then it’s all been very worthwhile. Thanks for being part of it and I hope you can contribute or join me in the comments or on Facebook & Twitter even more often next year.
Before the year ticks over though I think we should quickly remember that the passing of time also means we head into 2012 without some great people we were very accustomed to having around. These gaps don’t get filled but the spirit and energy of these people can only live on through you keeping them in your hearts and on your lips. To that end a sad goodbye from me to:
Trish Keenan the brilliant singer from Broadcast who died in January from pneumonia at just 42.
We also tragically lost Poly Styrene due to cancer aged only 53. That one hurt.
Amy Winehouse deserved much better than to lose her life aged just 27, a reminder that the media didn’t know what to make of Winehouse except act like voyeurs but she was a young woman with immense talent.
One of the saddest losses was the suicide of Wales football manager Gary Speed who took his own life, if you know someone who struggles with depression never underestimate the difference your friendship and support can make.
Away from music we also lost Christoper Hitchens – never dull, controversial but a brilliant writer without compare, Socrates (the genius footballer and featured in Clash and B.A.D. songs), Ken Russell who made films that changed the landscape before The Clash were about and we also lost Steve Jobs who ensured people care more about their fucking phones than each other – thanks Steve.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten some important names and there are also the people who were in your everyday lives that some of you have lost – carry them with you. Have a safe and happy New Years Eve wherever you may be spending it and let’s hope that 2012 isn’t the year of the Newt. I’ll be back soon – Tim