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Out of Control: The Last Days of "The Clash" Paperback – 31 Mar 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Moving Target Books; 1st edition edition (31 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955503809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955503801
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 680,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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8 out of 10 ******** CLASSIC ROCK review August 2007 by Chris Knowles. "DANGEROUS LIASON". How The Clash s new guitarist caused a real White riot in the band. Seeking to inject a little danger into the post-Mick Jones Clash, manager Bernie Rhodes hired an intimidating young guitarist from Finsbury Park, London, named Gregory White- renamed Vince by Joe Strummer. But the Clash got more danger than they bargained for when White kicked Strummer s ass in Italy, pummelled drummer Pete Howard on stage in Denver and shagged Bernie s teenaged girlfriend in a loo while the band were having dinner in Stockholm. Rhodes had his revenge by erasing most of White s guitar playing from the disastrous Cut The Crap sessions in Munich, yet still tarring his reputation forever by listing White in the album s credits. Twenty two years on, White sets the record straight in this powerfully lucid memoir, detailing the mind games, double-dealings and debauchery of the 1984-5 Out Of Control Clash. White perfectly captures the voices and personas of his subjects: a tyrannical yet incoherent Rhodes, a solicitous yet disengaged Paul Simonon, and Joe Strummer in the midst of a slow-motion nervous breakdown, his already fragile will shattered by the pressure of leading The Clash on his own. White chronicles his own sex and booze addictions in lurid detail, capturing the overall Viking-rampage spirit of the last Clash line-up both on-stage and off. 'Out Of Control: The Last Days of The Clash' is a fascinating book, of interest not only to fans of The Clash but to all rock fans. White s confessional yet bare-knuckled prose style shows the influence of writers like Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski and Henry Miller, and the journalistic eye for detail of a Tom Wolfe. If this powerful memoir is any indication, in Vince White Britain may well have a dangerous new writer on its hands. Highly recommended. (www.vincewhite.com) --Classic Rock Magazine

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mudassir on 31 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
Vince White was the guitarist plucked out of obscurity in their final line-up before implosion. This is his story, an opportunity to give his version of events. The story is interesting because of the way the members are portrayed - Bernie Rhodes as the meglomaniac madman and bully, Joe Strummer as the egomaniac star and hypocrite, Paul Simonon as the thick one, Pete Howard and Nick Shepherd as timid and starstruck. Vince himself comes across clearly as someone who is searching for meaning in life but has no core beliefs and principles to hang that onto - and prone to a sulk and tantrum himself. His story is how he was so badly treated in the Clash and never a part of the 'gang', though in many ways, it does actually become clear after a while that he actually did not share any of the Clash beliefs, whether they were true to them or not. His story is otherwise is typical rockstar excess - drink, girls, guitars, but you do get an insight into what was happening at the time. Some interesting facts come out (eg. Paul never played on any Clash albums except the first) and the inner workings of the outfit are fascinating. Skewed, self-pitying, angry but well worth a read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Wright on 15 Mar 2009
Format: Paperback
I came across Vince's website by accident and was excited to see that he'd written about his time in the band. I've read many of the other Clash/Strummer bios and the "Mark II" band kind of gets lost in the dust. I was too young to see the classic line-up but caught Vince and co. in Toronto in April of 1984. I have distinct memories of Vince launching himself from the drum riser during London Calling... very cool!

I've read Vince's book three times now and never seem to get tired of it. It's extremely well written and gives a real insider's look at the band. Everyone involved is exposed for exactly what they are - human beings, not rock legends and that's what makes the story so compelling. Joe wasn't a saint and neither is Vince! A must-have for your collection!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. O'BRIEN on 13 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Got this for my 41st birthday, so yes I'm an old school Clash fan. Read the book over 2 days as I couldn't put it down. Not sure if Vince was out to totally shatter everyone illuisions about the Clash but he's had a good go at it. That said its his story and who am I to say its wrong? What you do get from the opening pages is how Vinces' is filled with anger and hatred, which seems to stem from an unhappy childhood and this continued to manifest into his later life. How he treated other people including his friends and partner (The Whale) gives you an insight as to his overall persona. I've never met the guy and probably never will but is he still as angry as he was back in the mid-1980's?
How bad did it really get? Reading the book it was pretty bad but is this just sour grapes? Is some of it just to pour water on the Clash myth? Should it be taken with a pinch of salt? Does Vince have a chip on his shoulder? Is he sick that he walked away with around £1000 for his efforts?

Until someone else (Howard, Sheppard or Simonon) from this era writes an alternative version of events you only have the individual view point on offer.
It's good to get a different perspective on the last few years of the Clash. Live they still sounded as good as ever but alas once the new stuff was recorded for (Cut The Crap) was, bar one or two songs..crap!
Overall a good enjoyable read, which as I said, was difficult to put down, so read it and make up your own mind.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Johan Sundberg on 1 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book with no expectation other than it may shed some light on the only chapter of the Clash that I haven't read a thousand times before. I got so much more. This is a truly fascinating story with every ingredient you' d want from a novel - excitement, happiness, hope, love, hate, betrayal, sorrow, sex, alcohol and complete insanity - only this is a real story. And it' s told by someone who actually where there, playing in the band. It gave the whole thing an air of sincerity that most other publications on the subject lack. Also, I really enjoyed Vince White' s writing in itself. It' s snappy, yet thoughtful and above all - with a sense of humour that made me laugh so hard that people changed seats in the subway. Especially the dialogues (or monologues when it comes to Bernie Rhodes) are hilarious. The story' s got a bitter side to it. How could it not? But it never loses that human touch that makes you involved, starting to really care about the people. Even the ones that should be peripheral in the eyes of a Clash fan, like Vince' s former workmates and ex-girlfriend The Whale. That proves a great sense of writing to me. I recommend this book to everyone, even those without a remote interest in the Clash.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim C. on 11 Sep 2007
Format: Paperback
With the passing of Joe Strummer in 2002 there have been Clash books coming out one by one. Before that you had Marcus Gray's "Last Gang in Town". So when I saw Vince White's website and that he had written a book about the last days of The Clash this was a must have! There really isn't anything written on the last 2 years of The Clash after Mick Jones was fired or left. The book is hard to put down for you want to know what happens next. It was interesting to read how the band worked behind the scenes. And how the never ending control of dictator Bernie Rhodes is pulling the strings of each member. And I thought Malcolm McLaren was a puppet master! The book goes through the tours of America & Europe. The Most interesting part is the busking tour part. Which in turn the members had to go through England & Scotland with only their instruments, no money, and play their way through. Earning money outside train stations or city squares and finding a place to stay at night. It is refreshing to read this book. When this is a history that seems to be left out in other books. After all there was still a Clash very much after Mick Jones was gone. Vince White did put this book himself for the publishers did not think it can compete with what other Clash books that are out thre now. Which is not the truth! This book is an excellant example of true punk rock spirit that was lost many years ago before everything became radio play. Let's just hope that this book comes to America with publishers willing to give it a go. It would be nice to see it at a Borders or Barnes & Noble here in the States. Next to the other books written about The Clash. But if you ask me this book stands alone!
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