The Clash led the punk rock charge into socially conscious music and in turn influenced a generation of artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers to find a voice and a mission in their work. They may not have inspired the radical social change their leader, Joe Strummer, fought for, but they did inspire others to keep on creating works devoted to the cause.
Antonino DíAmbrosio was one of those kids inspired by Strummer to pursue his own work as an artist across many mediums. Let Fury Have the Hour: Joe Strummer, Punk, and the Movement that Shook the World is the companion to DíAmbrosioís documentary film of the same name.
The book is a collection of interviews and essays spanning the introduction of The Clash in the late 1970s to Strummerís untimely death in 2003. DíAmbrosioís own writings provide the bulk of the book, but he is accompanied by an impressive collection of artists such as Public Enemyís Chuck D, Rage Against the Machineís Tom Morello, Billy Bragg, iconic rock journalist Lester Bangs, and more.
This is a potent collection of excited words inspired by Strummerís unique creativity and humanist sensibility. While a few of DíAmbrosioís passages have redundant themes, his enthusiasm is contagious and his fellow contributors are game to share their connections to Strummer and The Clash. Much of the discussion revolves around how The Clash was able to balance radical politics with commercial success in a way that no other act has achieved.
The book and the documentary come hot on the heels of what would have been Strummerís 60th birthday and the re-release of his final albums with the Mescaleros--a time period that DíAmbrioso gives excellent coverage. Strummerís final albums featured songs that explored and expanded worldview and an enduring commitment to his beliefs.
This book is an welcome reader on Strummerís furious early career to his
early 2000s renaissance. Strummer fans and rabble rousers (they are often one in the same) will find much to enjoy with this book.