The Clash - 'The Rise And Fall Of The Clash'

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The Clash - 'The Rise And Fall Of The Clash'

If you are a fan of the band it's really something you should see.

This is a film about one of England's more legendary Rock bands, about how they scaled the heights from nothing then went back to nothing as everything fell apart. Regardless, The Clash will live on for many, many more years as a band that inspired a generation, though there will be many who don't necessarily know the truth behind the façade. 'The Rise & Fall Of The Clash' sets out to redress this balance.

This entertaining and informative documentary is narrated by Robin Banks, who used to be a roadie for the band and notorious for punching producer Sandy Pearlman backstage in 1978 as he wasn't right for the bands second album. Like any true roadie he can be a bit mumbly, but he's generally okay.

The documentary focuses a lot on the band's manager Bernie Rhodes, who is generally considered to be a "controlling wanker" by all concerned. Throughout the band's heyday he had the ear of Joe Strummer and was happy to run the band like a military operation, which meant anyone was expendable.



The band started to rapidly disintegrate when founding member and hot-shot guitarist Mick Jones was sacked. What was left was not The Clash; two new members were needed to replace him musically though neither could replace his unique flair. As Jones himself says in the film "At the beginning we were like "come on boys, we can do this" but when we did do it... we started to fall apart."

With Jones gone, The Clash turned into a bunch of puppets, with Strummer parroting whatever rubbish Rhodes fed him, and the new guys getting paid less than they would earn as session musicians. When Strummer finally realized what the band had become it was too late, with Rhodes even auditioning new singers. This tells you all you need to know.

I am not exactly a number one Clash fan or any of that, but I still enjoyed this documentary as its well put together and full of interesting snippets. If you are a fan of the band it's really something you should see, and if you're a fan of music documentaries it holds its head up well.

Alan Holloway

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