About this project
Thanks to all of you, WE DID IT! We hit our goal of $15,000 and are still climbing... hooray! Thank you thank you thank you...
ONE MORE FAVOR TO ASK: In the time we have left, we would like to continue fundraising to cover fees from Kickstarter and Amazon, etc. so please keep spreading the word and giving if you are able to do so... every bit helps!
ONE FINAL REWARD: Anyone who gives any additional amount of any size from here on will be honored with your name and photo in our We Are The Clash tribute montage in the book's final credits... we will make this spread in the book snazzy and fun, as you all surely deserve! :-)
Once again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
w/ love, Mark & Ralph
ABOUT THE BOOK
We Are The Clash is a book-in-progress that excavates the often-dismissed last two years of The Clash, after the controversial ejection of Mick Jones and Topper Headon from the band. The book challenges existing interpretations of this period, resurrecting the dramatic last stand of one of the few rock bands that truly mattered. This was a moment where the band's struggles with punk ideals, Top Ten success, addiction, and personal/musical differences crashed head-on into a rising wave of right-wing power. In the process, a hopeful but ultimately heartbreaking tale played out, bringing an end not only to The Clash as a band but an entire era of political and economic struggle, and setting the stage for our world's present challenges.
WHY THIS BOOK
Much of this story has been simply airbrushed out of the official Clash histories, and skimmed over in the more popular independent accounts. Two important works on this period, Out of Control (by Vince White) and The Rise and Fall of The Clash (by Danny Garcia) do exist. However, neither does what we are attempting here: going past autobiography or "Behind the Music"-style reportage, to dig deeper, taking a searching look at the band's last years, placing its story in the proper historical, artistic, and political context. This version of The Clash, after all, played more than 120 shows, and wrote nearly two dozen new songs, including some of the most poignant social protest/commentary marking this turning point in British--and international--history. This was when Thatcher broke the back of the National Union of Mineworkers, Reagan brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, and right wing politics and economics gained a lasting ascendency. This book goes past "rock journalism" to take the music of "The Clash Mark II" seriously and place it fully in its stark, savage sociopolitical context. In the best spirit of The Clash, we hope not only to illuminate this past moment, but inspire thought and action in the present one.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP
In order to tell this story as it must be told, we need the resources to take time not only to write, but to hopefully travel to do interviews and other research. For example, we hope to go to the UK to retrace the footsteps of The Clash's final tour, the extraordinary "busking tour" of May 1985, talking to folks who saw the band at the time, thus helping to bring this powerful piece of The Clash story back to life. In addition, we are incurring on-going expenses paying for postage, phone bills, copying, as well as photos and other materials we will want for the book. We also need to augment the funding Akashic Books is able to give to the project, in order to produce and promote the finished book as it deserves. Finally, we need your participation in ways that go beyond money; we also want your memories of seeing The Clash in their last two years, as well as photos, fliers, and beyond for possible use in the book. Thanks so much for any help you can give—we can’t do it without you!
Risks and challenges
We have planned for challenges by, first of all, choosing tried and trustworthy collaborators, starting with each other (our histories speak for themselves), and also our publisher Akashic Books as well, whose distinguished track record also is indisputable. Mark has collaborated on previous books and speaking tours with Akashic; they are an epitome of punk publishing, in the very best sense.
We have very high standards for this book, and are diligently striving to seek and speak the truth. We want to talk to all the key players, including movers and shakers such as Paul Simonon, Bernard Rhodes, and Kosmo Vinyl who have rarely spoken on this era in any depth. If necessary, we will delay completion of the book if this gives us a chance to reach such folks and get them on record. Above all, we want to write, research, and rewrite with care and passion, to craft a book that will be a true and lasting contribution to understanding The Clash and their era, as well as to passing on their rebel spirit, inspiring action in the "now." Our shared love for the music and message of The Clash spurs us on, driving us toward completing a book that, in one sense or other, we each have been working on since the late 1980s.
As we have discussed with our allies at Akashic, it is important to get this done on time; however, it is more important to get it done right. We want this to be a book that truly matters. We thank you for believing in us and helping us to make this so.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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