Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 17, 2013.


The Clash's bold, tragic last stand, rescued from history's dustbin: at war with Thatcher, Reagan, the Top Ten, & (sometimes) itself...

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! :-)


w/ love, Mark & Ralph


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.


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.


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 Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
pledged of $15,000 goal
seconds to go
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    13 backers

    A custom "We Are The Clash" thank you postcard, with rare busking tour photo, signed by both authors!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $15 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    Besides the WATC thank you card, Chairman Ralph will design three punk collage postcards with a message of your choosing, and send them to you.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $20 or more
    You selected

    6 backers

    You get the WATC thank you card, the 3 collage postcards, plus a custom acoustic/electric punk song by Chairman Ralph, recorded direct to disc, about any Clash Mark II-related theme or issue of your choice.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    32 backers

    A personalized "thank you" directly in the book's credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    76 backers

    A free copy of the book, as well as personalized "thanks" in the book.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    A copy of the book signed by one of the authors (your choice), together with a personalized thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    25 backers

    A free copy of the book, signed by both Ralph and Mark, as well as a personalized thanks directly in the book's credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $150 or more
    You selected

    7 backers

    A free copy of the book, signed by both Ralph and Mark, as well as a personalized thanks directly in the book's credits PLUS signed copies of Mark's other books, Dance Of Days: Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital and All The Power: Revolution Without Illusion. (books also added to any new gift above $150)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $200 or more
    You selected

    8 backers

    A limited edition "We Are The Clash" jumbo 2' x 3' poster, together with signed book and personalized thanks in the book's credits.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $300 or more
    You selected

    5 backers

    A personally crafted mix CD of some of the best songs The Clash did live 1984-85, as well as the poster, signed book, and personalized thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    Mark will treat (and accompany) you to the DC-area punk show of your choice, together with mix CD, poster, signed books, and personalized thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $750 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Mark will host a vegan candlelight dinner for you and yours at his DC home, with wife, son and cats (as well as all the other gifts) OR Ralph will play his solo versions of Cut The Crap's 12 songs live, or via the magic of cellphone, speakerphone, or Skype and provide a CD of that material, with between-song commentary... together with all the other gifts!

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (45 days)