Pat Gilbert’ s definitive biography of the Clash – universally acclaimed as a great book – has already sold over 20,000 copies in paperback. Now, for the 30th anniversary of the band’ s classic London Calling album, it is reissued with a stunning new cover.
For the book Pat Gilbert – a former Mojo editor with the highest credentials – talked to everyone, in over 70 interviews with the key participants – roadies, producers, friends and fans - and above all the band members themselves, including Joe Strummer before his death, to be able to give the first real insight into what went on behind the scenes during the Clash’ s ten-year career.
With the surge in interest generated by the Shea Stadium live CD and the official Clash book, Passion Is A Fashion will attract a new sale as the only truly indispensable Clash book.
Former Mojo editor Gilbert presents an entertaining, definitive look at what is arguably punk rock's seminal band. For a group known for its integrity and political ethos, the Clash Joe Strummer, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Topper Headon had surprising origins, constructed and ruled with an iron fist by impresario Bernie Rhodes, a friend and contemporary of Sex Pistols creator Malcolm McLaren. Gilbert charts the Clash's rise from long days spent in dank, freezing rehearsal spaces to their descent: Headon's drug addiction and dismissal, personality conflicts, management problems and a bad record deal. Still, theirs is a triumphant story. The Clash bonded with fans like no other band in the late 1970s, choosing to play small venues over arenas, even designing their own fashions. Critically, the band was often vilified, especially for its experimental triple album, Sandanista! But, Gilbert shows, despite being called sellouts for signing with CBS, the Clash defined what it really means to be punk by eschewing the trappings of rock stardom, resisting the pressure to write hits and seizing the creative freedom to do innovative things, such as infusing their music with reggae and ska. Sadly, Strummer unexpectedly died in 2003 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. Photos.