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Let Fury Have the Hour: Joe Strummer, Punk, and the Movement that Shook the World Kindle Edition

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 418 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Description

About the Author

Antonino D'Ambrosio is a writer, filmmaker, musician, visual artist, and the author of A Heartbeat and a Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter Tears. D'Ambrosio 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).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2601 KB
  • Print Length: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; 2 edition (6 Mar. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pretty poor. A rush job that the author has knocked out, hoping to make a few quid on the back of a musician that deserves better.
Joe Strummer was the greatest, and even die-hard fans like me would warm to most books that have been written about him and The Clash, but this wasn't one of them!
MUCH better stuff out there!
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Format: Paperback
I confess that I have not read the book but am immediately put off by the inaccurate assertion that Strummer wrote The Guns of Brixton, whereas the reality is that he would be amongst the first to note that it was in fact Paul Simonon who wrote that fine piece.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x91910cf0) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91022b58) out of 5 stars A Somewhat Haphazard but Welcome Message of Hope 9 Mar. 2005
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bottom line? This somewhat haphazard collection of twenty-five or so articles about Joe Strummer is more or less exactly the homage one would expect, with few (if any) surprises. The focus here is to celebrate the passing of a highly influential musician and his legacy as a progressive and hopeful force, while putting him in the context of his times. Most diehard Clash and Strummer fans won't find anything new here, and those unfamiliar with him may find it a bit overwhelming, but taken in small pieces, it's an inspirational tribute to Strummer's spirit. While the book would certainly benefit from from greater thematic organization (not to mention attention to detail), its heart is in the right place, and it's hard to imagine any collection of clippings and essays being any better.

The book is organized into four loose sections proceeded by a very brief piece by Chuck D about The Clash's influence on Public Enemy, along with an introduction by editor D'Ambrosio. The first (and longest) section covers Strummer's career as leadman for The Clash. These are all pieces that originally appeared elsewhere, beginning with D'Ambrosio's lengthy overview which ran in the Monthly Review in 2003 and is available on their web site. There's the 1976 interview from Sniffin' Glue, gushing pieces from Trouser Press (1978), Rolling Stone (1979), Sounds (1979), a 50-page excerpt from Lester Bangs' seminal book Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung, and a much-revised piece by Greil Marcus that has appeared in a number of places. These reprints are all fine, and as a collective, give a reasonable sense of the power and importance of The Clash for those not already in the know.

The second and third sections are divided rather arbitrarily, and are a hodgepodge of essays and interviews mostly about Strummer's post-Clash career. The first of these is a pretty decent overview of his work in film from D'Ambrosio, who interviewed Alex Cox, Jim Jarmusch, and Dick Rude for the piece. This is followed by a nice short 1988 piece from Sounds focusing on Strummer's soundtrack work, especially Walker. The next essay, titled "The Politics of Punk's Permanent Revolution," attempts to posit that the Clash "helped precipitate a permanent revolution." It reads like something from an academic journal, and invokes philosophers from Hegel to Kant to Kouvalakis with a little Marx thrown in. There are a few promising ideas, but it's hard to take the author seriously when he writes that the album London Calling is "a perfectly awful mish mash of musical styles." Freelance writer Amy Phillips contributes an interesting article about the influence of The Clash on women, and D'Ambrosio adds one about The Clash and antiracism.

Section three starts with a rather boring essay by D'Ambrosio which attempts to reframe Strummer as a political folk artist in the vein of Victor Jara or Silvio Rodriquez. It's probably more interesting if you know those artists, but is to be commended for highlighting some of Strummer's more obscure influences. Two good personal interviews from Punk Planet (2000) and Arthur (2003) follow, a brief profile from Metropolis (2001), and a brief piece from Arthur about Strummer's relationship with Jamaican music. None of these are anything breathtaking, but worth checking out if you missed them the first time around. The final piece about the importance and legacy of The Clash isn't particularly strong, and can be read at poppolitics.com.

The final section is dedicated to essays attempting to give hope for the future. In the first D'Ambrosio profiles musician/activist Michael Franti and actor/activist Tim Robbins as two socially-conscious artists in the tradition of Joe Strummer. Alas, if those are the best we have to offer, the future looks bleak. This is followed by tributes from fellow musicians like Not4Prophet, Billy Bragg, and the singer for Radio 4. This latter group I'd not heard of and will definitely be checking out. These last voices, along with D'Ambrosio coda detailing a late collaboration between Strummer and Johnny Cash, act as a welcome call to action, a reminder that as bad as things look, one should never lose hope and stop striving to change the world around you. That,
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x90c4ca5c) out of 5 stars Fine intentions, maybe, but ultimately best avoided 23 Nov. 2004
By Cow - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
On the surface, you can't really argue with a book compiling Strummer-related writings from people like Lester Bangs, Greil Marcus, Sylvie Simmons and Ann Scanlon. Much of the material between the covers has previously appeared elsewhere, but never before with such a stunning array of glorious typos.

Unfortunately, Mr D'Ambrosio dually blows his cred as both a writer and an editor before he even finishes what serves as his introduction. "London Calling was recorded in New York City" (p. 11)? No, I don't think so, but close...it was recorded in London. Hence the title, geddit? But it's a spattering of mis-information, disguised as matter-of-fact statements, such as "In an ironic twist, on December 22 he would perform (with Mick Jones) for the last time ever at a benefit for striking firemen in London" which ultimately made me dismiss the book without a whole lot of further reading and fling it across the room. December 22 was, as fact-fans worldwide will note, actually the sad day of Mr Strummer's passing, which would clearly rule out any chances of playing a gig (with or without Mick Jones), let alone making it up to the microphone.

Picking the nit? Maybe, but not when there are absolutely fantastic books out there at the moment which do quite an honourable bit of justice to Joe Strummer's memory and legacy. My recommendation, then, would be to bypass this book altogether and make a dash with cash for Pat Gilbert's "Passion is a Fashion: the Real Story of The Clash" or Kris Needs' "Joe Strummer & The Legend of The Clash."

Mr D'Ambrosio's book, unfortunately, smacks of a careless cash-in with little regard for factual accuracy or careful editing. To state that "some people are missing the point reading it like a biography...that is so dumb and pathetic" -- as the remarkably forgiving and splendidly lenient C.C. Ho of Minneapolis has so eloquently stated above -- is no excuse for such an over-abundence of mis-information and fallacies to be presented as facts.

If some guys have all the luck, then clearly none of them are spending money on this particular book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x914a090c) out of 5 stars A Truly Great Book about Joe Strummer 2 Dec. 2004
By Falcon Lirica - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let Fury Have The Hour is a thoughtful and moving examination of the soul of creative-activist Joe Strummer who, through the medium of punk rock, became for many the "unofficial leader of a people's movement." This book may not appeal to Clash fans looking for newly unearthed trivia. D'Ambrosio has given us instead a well-chosen collection of vivid stories, both old and new, and deeply felt reflections upon the enduring importance of Joe Strummer and the Clash.

I was repeatedly struck by the stories of Strummer's generosity, empathy, and gracious attention. In both his music and his interactions he proved himself a profoundly committed humanist who recognized the need for class struggle and the fight against racism, imperialism and music industry commodification. A radical consciousness imbued his music, and his melding of multicultural genres with punk and pop became a political statement for justice and equality.

Joe Strummer's wish for himself was to be seen as simply "a good soul." He sought, through his music, to break and remake the world a better place. Strummer told D'Ambrosio when they met in April 2002 that the goal all along was to keep things hopeful and remain optimistic. "We must be positive and know that truth is on our side," said Strummer. "Music can turn people on to the beauty of a life still to be lived...we choose to not take any more and not be miserable." Let Fury Have The Hour is a fitting tribute to Strummer in that the book itself carries on that message of idealism and faith.

This volume is artfully structured in four parts that tell the story of Strummer's musical and political legacy, as each essay delves progressively deeper into the major stages of Strummer's life and career--from his early days with the Clash through his final work on Streetcore and his end-of-life meeting with quintessential rock outlaw Johnny Cash. It opens with a broad essay by D'Ambrosio, intended for an audience unfamiliar with the Clash; followed by six exciting essays originally published in the 70s and 80s that offer up-close glimpses of the Clash unleashing its fury. The most thrilling is Lester Bangs' recapture of a performance where a whole lot of kids "supped on lightning" and Strummer "connects with the nerves of the audience like summer thunderbolts...a man trapped and screaming and...it's the cage of life itself and all the anguish to break through which...is rock `n' roll's burning marrow."

The second section explores the period after the breakup of the Clash when Strummer experimented with film-acting and stayed true to his vision of building up a community of rebels. The third section places Strummer in the canon of great political folk musicians. In the last section, "The World is Worth Fighting For", a set of fresh, gorgeous essays by Anthony Roman, Not4Prophet, Billy Bragg, and D'Ambrosio himself demonstrates why Joe Strummer, still making socially conscious music to his last breath, was a hero whose pioneering life and work will continue to manifest itself for generations to come.
HASH(0x9172d0d8) out of 5 stars Let Fury Have the Hour, Antonino D'Ambrosio 15 Nov. 2004
By Maria Louisa Visconti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
"Let Fury Have the Hour" by Antonino D'Ambrosio is a thrilling book that engages as well as entertains. D'Ambrosio has put together a book that brilliantly places Joe Strummer, a ground-breaking musician and committed activist, as a model of what he describes as "creative-activism." The book's structure is wonderfully laid out, as D'Ambrosio builds from Strummer's early days with the Clash in the first section Let Fury Have the Hour, which includes essays by D'Ambrosio, Greil Marcus, Lester Bangs, and Sylvie Simmons. The following sections, "The Rebel Way," "You Can't Have A Revolution without Songs" and "The World is Worth Fighting For," are highlighted by some of the most original and challenging writings on art and activism, and certainly about Strummer and punk music. Standout essays include Charlie Bretsch's "Always Paying Attention" and Amy Philips' "A Brother in Revolution." Two essays by D'Ambrosio really captured my imagination with writing that is wholly original and passionate. These include "You Can't Have a Revolution Without Songs," which discusses Strummer as a political folk musician in the tradition of Caetano Veleso, Victor Jara, Silvio Rodriquez and others. The second is "White Riot vs Right Riot," which looks at punk, anti-racism and Strummer's commitment to racial and cultural justice. And it seems that D'Ambrosio has a line to every actor, musician, artist who has ever been influenced by Strummer as there are interviews with Tim Robbins, Michael Franti, Jim Jarmusch, just to name a few.
The book is perfect for Strummer/Clash fans as they will l learn something new through D'Ambrosio's unique approach to various subjects--Strummer, punk, the Clash, political activism etc. And essays will enjoy the essays from the likes of Billy Bragg and Chuck D, two pieces that deeply moved me. "Let Fury Have the Hour" is excellent for young people, who will learn the importance of fusing creativity with a sense of social justice. It will be inspirational for artists, activists and everyone in between as the book is comes at a important time. As D'Ambrosio writes in the introduction, "echoing a favorite expression of Strummer-the future is indeed unwritten, how we write it offers us all a grand hope and a compelling opportunity."
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93c7a8b0) out of 5 stars Flawed but inspiring 8 Dec. 2005
By dannytoearth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Alright, its true, this book is filled with typos and misinformation. But none are so detrimental as to label this book useless to the growing library of Clash/Strummer literature. D'Ambrosio does an excellent job of compiling pertinent essays on the life and inspiring words and ways of Joe Strummer. Yes, some essays are definitely worse than others. Some essays make you want to blast Clash from your stereo, some make you want to go start a non-profit organization, and some just make you wish beyond belief that you could have met the man. Whatever effect the book has on you, I am certain that if you are a Clash/Strummer fan, you will walk away more inspired by and enthralled with the human being that was Joe.
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