Joe Strummer...

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'...and the legend of the clash' is a book I found sitting on a shelve in the local library. I was looking for something good to read. Like a Orwell novel. Though, the library has only two copies of Animal farm and one copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four. I've read both these and didn't favour any other novels.

I nearly left empty handed until I saw "Joe Strummer" in bold capitals. I have liked the band since my teens. Songs like ''White riot' raw punk, 'London calling' reggae bassline and the dub sound of 'Straight to hell'. After reading the first chapters of the book I realised I knew little about them despite knowing their discography.

Written by Kris Needs it offers an inside look into the band. He was a journalist/editor of ZigZag. A music magazine which was devoted mostly to the growing punk movement around 77. Kris became friends with the band and other punk royalty.

The biography of Joe himself is detailed following his early life to busking, art college, his fascination with George Orwell (see what I did there), squatting, joining pub rock band the 101's and the Clash. It's packed with stuff I didn't know. For example he once went by the name of "woody" as in Woody Guthrie. There is also smaller biography's of Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Nicky "Topper" Headon. Most of the book follows the bands progression. Writing songs, tours, recoding albums and the bands relationship.

Famous names pop up like Shane MacGowan, Robert DeNiro and Martin Scorsese. Kris Needs also wrote about the first time he met Sid Vicious learning bass to 'Blitzkrieg bop' overnight.

It's well written with honesty and humour. Plenty of stories and photography by Pennie Smith makes its worth reading if your a punk/clash fan.

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