“When I say that ‘we are The Clash,’ I’m talking about considerably more than five people.”
Joe Strummer, onstage at the Miners Strike benefit, London, 12/6/84
In the song We Are the Clash, the central metaphor is “We’ll strike the match/if you spill the gasoline.” Whether or not one likes this specific song, its idea is a truth with which we must reckon. Put simply, it required more than just the five people who were on stage in order to bring The Clash to life. The participation of the audience was essential as well, and is, in some sense, a critical part of The Clash.
This, of course, is a fundamental punk insight, but one generally not taken seriously enough. If The Clash were a band that truly mattered, it is because they were not simply a pop group, but a catalyst, an idea that still has the power to change our lives, and, through that, our world.
With this in mind, we are collecting your stories of those last two years of the band, what you thought of their shows, songs, interviews, more. In particular, we want to know how The Clash made an impact on your life; what, if anything, that they inspired you to do or be. It is our collective experience that helped empower The Clash, and it is that shared power we are hoping to document and build upon in our book.