Happy summer, for those of you dwelling north of the equator. It’s been a quiet summer Clash-wise in the media sphere, and I’m hoping Keith Levene’s memoir *Diary: I was a Teenage Guitarist for The Clash* (see @missingchannel) might change that a bit, ahead of the October release of the 2014 PM Press edition of Stealing All Transmissions, which has nearly doubled in size, and now includes an amazing foreword by The Baker.
As you may know, The Clash’s eponymous debut is released in April ’77, Terry Chimes is out and Topper Headon’s in and, two months later, Joe Strummer carries big expectations to a night at the Hamersmith, with Dillinger headlining. For years The Clash closed shows with “White Riot,” which is an early indication of the authentic-black-rebel fantasies harbored by folks from Norman Mailer to Joe Strummer:
Black people gotta lot a problems / But they don’t mind throwing a brick
White people go to school / Where they teach you how to be thick
(A solidarity shout-out to our comrades of all racialized backgrounds in Ferguson in search of some justice tonight.)
Strummer, of course, was disappointed by the dearth of “roots rock rebel,” and of punks “fighting for a good spot under the lighting.” The Clash remained ever-conscious of “turning rebellion into money,” embraced the contradictions endemic to raising consciousness, fighting injustice, and making money for CBS, and put together an absolute gem of a song with “White Man in Hamersmith Palais.” There’s a large consensus, from Strummer on down, that this song is the best song the band ever did.
Many thanks to my prolific comrade @ https://twitter.com/PunKandStuff for sharing this image this week. I tweet on occasion from @stealingclash, and hope to get back to the blog more often starting in September.
Thanks for tuning in! Enjoy!