December 1st, 2014
(Oberlin Coll.) book is more a workmanlike rock-and-roll history,
though still not the usual bio/tell-all—only a Clash book would require
over 15 pages of endnotes. Thoughtful and enthusiastic, if laudatory,
this work examines the Clash through the lens of 1977–83 punk rock and
romanticizes the disenfranchised, alternative, DIY work ethic of the
movement’s leaders. When focusing on the band specifically, Doane is
much less concerned with sex and drugs than politics and the battles
fought with the record companies. It also features an intellectual
foreword by Barry “The Baker” Augustine, the band’s principal roadie.
VERDICT Both of these titles are fine purchases for large public libraries and deep music collections; for an intriguing take on punk history, try John Robb’s Punk Rock: An Oral History (2006), or, for Clash-specific history, consider Marcus Gray’s Last Gang in Town: The Story and Myth of the Clash (1995).
Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of The Clash: