Greetings once more from a rather unseasonably cold and windy Clash Blog Towers. The weather has become almost English over the last 24 hours and is currently just 54f outside with promises of snow on the nearby mountains over the coming nights. There is even an outside chance of frost on Saturday night which is essentially unheard of in San Diego. Meanwhile I see that in Australia the National Weather Service had to introduce new colours to their high temperature maps as highs in the interior head above 125f, setting new records. Exciting isn’t it?
I know that few of you (apart from Wayne) come here for weather updates so let’s get cracking. First of all a reminder if you haven’t already done so to please purchase the download single by The Zips - ‘Road To Strummerville’ as all proceeds will be benefiting the aforementioned charity. John from The Zips also uploaded a video of the band performing the track during the recent Joe Strummer tribute at Glasgow’s King Tuts, the results of which are below. To purchase the single just follow this link which provides three sources from which you can procure the song.
The Zips – Road to Strummerville (live at King Tuts, Glasgow 22/12/12)
Longtime readers of the blog will recall that more than once in the past I have pondered just how we might go about trying to get the establishment (in this case the local London boroughs) to honour The Clash. I think it’s long overdue and culturally they were one of the most significant things to come out of the London music scene over the last 40 years. Although that might sound like quite a statement it is essentially true because I said it…erm….. The other day I read with interest and dismay that the famous blue plaques that you see dotted around the UK (particularly in London) are to be discontinued due to reduced government funding. Throughout the city you’ll see the plaques on buildings where authors and artists, scientists and politicians were either born or resided for a period of their life. English Heritage do of course have an approval process run by a team that is not as aloof as you may think, however the plaques are hand crafted and budget restrictions will see a cessation of these commemorations once the current approved batch have been made. I honestly don’t know whether Strummer/Jones (if it were to be only two) would make that list today but in years to come I think it would have been likely. At the very least a plaque commemorating The Clash somewhere like Rehearsal Rehearsals should have already been added if you ask me.
Failing that I’ve been giving some serious thought to other avenues to pursue. While it would be great to see The Westway renamed The Clash Causeway or some side streets around Ladbroke Grove named after members of the band it’s really not that likely; London streets very rarely are subject to name changing and needless to say new roads aren’t often built in the congested parts of the city. I think therefore the most likely official way to have something named after the band or its members may be renaming a park, school, fire station, bus dept library or something of that persuasion. The other day I placed the photograph below on the Facebook page and someone quite rightly pointed out that it would be probably be stolen within days of being screwed onto a wall.
So here’s my thinking; every London borough provide the process of an online petition submission service where the proclaimer (not the Scottish twins) explains what he or she wish to see the borough accomplish or address. If there are a significant number of signatures on the application it does have to go to a committee that manage the borough’s requests for further consideration. The petition process is a tiny bit arduous as once you sign you do have to provide your full address and e-mail, following which an automated e-mail will be sent to you which you have to confirm before your signature will appear on the petition. With a lot of work on our part (all of us spreading the word via social media) I wonder if the petition would receive sufficient signatures for it to be considered? Moreover would you be willing to take part? I do want to at least try even if we don’t succeed.
The other thing is exactly where would such a suggestion be most appropriate for The Clash? There are of course a long list of significant locations that affected the history of the band such as Camden Town, Davis Rd Acton, Ladbroke Grove, Highbury, Pimlico and many in the West End to name just a handful. There would probably be a legitimate 10 to 20 locations where a nearby park, school, etc. could be considered. So ironing out where and which borough to file the petition with would be the first step. For today though I just wanted to gauge reaction from you before hopefully trying to determine what to do next. The petitions only run for 30 to 60 days so a lot of activity would probably make a difference. It just pains me to see murals and streets in other cities celebrating the band while the home patch hasn’t really done so.
More to follow I’m sure, please take part below if you can so that I can gauge interest – thanks.