Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer

Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer

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by Antonino D'Ambrosio
     
 

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Joe Strummer's untimely death at the age of fifty in December 2002 took from us one of the truly unique voices of modern music. The quintessential Rude Boy, punker, rebel musician, artist and activist, Strummer wrote some of the most important and influential music of the last century including "Guns of Brixton," "The Washington Bullets," "Spanish Bombs," "White

Overview

Joe Strummer's untimely death at the age of fifty in December 2002 took from us one of the truly unique voices of modern music. The quintessential Rude Boy, punker, rebel musician, artist and activist, Strummer wrote some of the most important and influential music of the last century including "Guns of Brixton," "The Washington Bullets," "Spanish Bombs," "White Man in Hammersmith Palace," "London's Burning," "Lost in the Supermarket," and "Garageland." Effectively melding raw creativity with radical politics, Strummer transformed punk rock from its early associations with reactionary, right wing and nihilistic politics into a social movement. From Rock Against Racism to the Anti-Nazi League Festival to supporting the H-Block protests, Strummer and The Clash led the charge for human rights. Let Fury Have the Hour collects articles, interviews, essays and reviews that chronicle Strummer's life both as a musician and a political activist. Included in this collection are essays and interviews by Antonino D'Ambrosio, alongside contributions from Peter Silverton, Barry Miles, Anya Philips, Sylvia Simmons, Vic Garbarini, Caroline Coons, Todd Martens, Joel Schalit and others. This book also includes original lyrics, photography, art, posters, and flyers, and offers the first serious examination of the life of this extraordinary man.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Were it not for the Clash, punk would have been just a sneer, a safety pin, and a pair of bondage trousers," writes Billy Bragg, and documentarian/activist D'Ambrosio proves it with this gathering of skillfully selected articles and essays on Clash front man Joe Strummer (1952-2002), from the likes of Lester Bangs, Chuck D, Greil Marcus and D'Ambrosio himself. Most contributions consider the highly politicized early years of "the only band that mattered," its commercial U.S. breakthrough in 1983 as well as its imminent demise, and Strummer's role as lyricist and political agitator. Although a few essays discuss the political ambiguity of some of Strummer's songs, they mostly praise the outspoken singer/guitarist's commitment to confronting racism, classism and capitalism at a time when punk bands were apolitical or nihilistic. In a 1979 essay, Lester Bangs credits the Clash with forging "the missing link between black music and white noise." Other pieces chronicle Strummer's stints as a film score composer and actor and his ongoing forays into multicultural music. Some essays lean toward a preachy interpretation of Strummer's humanist philosophy, but the best invoke irresistible excitement as they describe beer-soaked early Clash shows and the message of hope the band gave to kids rebelling against what they saw as the oppressive conservatism and systemic self-loathing of Thatcherite England. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This December marks the second anniversary of Joe Strummer's death, and D'Ambrosio, a documentary filmmaker and activist, offers the first posthumous appreciation of the revered Clash frontman and songwriter. While his goal is undoubtedly admirable ("to motivate, encourage, and inspire others to take the difficult yet rewarding path of thinking for others instead of merely for themselves"), the book falls flat. Encapsulating a man's "politics" is a dicey task not fulfilled by these mostly pedestrian essays and articles that reduce Strummer, a contradiction-ridden man and musician, to mere ideas. Only the late Lester Bangs, in a previously published piece, reveals Strummer's human essence, and he didn't even make Strummer the focus; rather, Bangs amplifies Strummer's best-known music and pinpoints how that music moved the masses. D'Ambrosio would have done better to make a mix CD of his favorite Clash/"solo" Strummer songs, complete with liner notes, but his was an honest mistake. Pass in favor of Chris Salewicz's highly anticipated biography, set for release in fall 2005.-Heather McCormack, Library Journal Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560256250
Publisher:
Nation Books
Publication date:
11/28/2004
Series:
Nation Books
Edition description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Pages:
348
Product dimensions:
5.45(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Danielle_Z More than 1 year ago
After having read many books on both The Clash and about Joe Strummer, I wasn't sure what to expect when I decided to pick up this particular title. My first expectation was it was going to be a repeat of so much of what has already been said about this incredible band and its lead singer, but instead I got a collection of inspired, intriguing and often revealing pieces of viewpoints and insight. It may have not been all politics like the title seemed to suggest but it does highlight more than any other Clash book just how political the band was, and how Strummer himself paved the way for many of their ideals. It was a fresh update on an amazing story and human being. I highly recommend this to any music lover, Clash fan, and Strummer admirer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was awesome i like how it talks about his music, and political actions. it rocks!!!