The Clash FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Clash City Rockers is one of the best books on the Clash, and I’ve read a lot of them. The book delineates the relationships within the band and with their manager, Bernard “Bernie” Rhodes, quite well. It also describes in detail the difficulties they ran into with their record company, Epic. I am a long-time Clash listener (I bought Give ‘Em Enough Rope the week it came out). So, I know their music quite well and am more interested in band dynamics. Nevertheless, the book alerted me to some of the Clash’s musical highlights that either I hadn’t noticed or had forgotten.
Hard-core Clash fans tend to be either “Joe guys” or “Mick guys”. I’m a Mick guy, so I was pleased that the author, Gary J. Jucha, throughout the book was fair to Mick. He was so perceptive of Mick’s personality that I was surprised to read halfway through that he was actually a “Joe” guy. At any rate, the band breakup is well-documented, as is everyone’s post-Clash career. After reading the sections on B.A.D., I want to go back and listen to all of their records again. I also want to hear Carbon/Silicon, who I didn’t listen to at the time.
This book isn’t a memoir, but the author does describe some of the Clash concerts he attended. These descriptions are quite exciting and, even, correct some historical inaccuracies that have been passed down through the years. Finally, Jucha points the reader to some concert recordings of The Clash, Round Two that show what Cut the Crap might have been.
I highly recommend this book to both new Clash fans and hard-core Clash fans.