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Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummerby Antonino Dambrosio
Synopses & Reviews
Joe Strummer was the archetypal citizen artist. As a member of The Clash, Strummer composed some the most important rebel music of the twentieth century. Fusing raw creativity with a humanist global sensibility, he helped convert punk rock from its early associations with reactionary and nihilistic politics into a movement of creative response and world citizenship.
Let Fury Have the Hour—the inspiration for DAmbrosios extraordinary documentary of the same name—is a unique collection of original writing, interviews, essays, and visual art. Included are essays and photographs by DAmbrosio and pieces by Chuck D, Billy Bragg, Tom Morello, DJ Spooky, Shepard Fairey, and more, together illustrating how Strummers work inspired a movement.
"'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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Joe Strummers 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,” Londons 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 Strummers life both as a musician and a political activist. Included in this collection are essays and interviews by Antonino DAmbrosio, 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.
"Let Fury Have the Hour" collects articles, interviews, essays and reviews that chronicle The Clash frontman Joe Strummer's life, both as a musician and a political activist.
Antonino D Ambrosio is the first serious examination of them in Hollywood in the 1940s and Paris in the 50s and 60s.
About the Author
Antonino DAmbrosio is a writer, filmmaker, musician, visual artist, and the author of A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears. DAmbrosio has produced more than fifteen films, including No Free Lunch starring comedian Lewis Black. He is also the founder and executive director of La Lutta NMC (www.lalutta.org).
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