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A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with the "Clash" [Paperback]

Johnny Green , Garry Barker , Ray Lowry
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

4 Dec 2003

'The audience were going wild before the gig and ripping out the seats. Seats stopped people from dancing, and the Clash didn't want to perform to people sitting on their arses and admiring their musicianship... We were even running a little sweepstake on how much damage would be caused. "I reckon they'll trash them all up to row G." "No, look at that bloke go. They'll easily reach J.".

Johnny Green first met the Clash in 1977 and was their road manager for three years. Ray Lowry accompanied the band as official "war artist" on the second American tour and designed the ' London Calling' album cover. Together, in words and pictures, Green and Lowry give the definitive, inside story on one of the most magnificent rock 'n' roll bands ever.

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A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with the "Clash" + Passion is a Fashion: The Real Story of the Clash
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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Orion (4 Dec 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752858432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752858432
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 360,862 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A Riot of Our Own is the inside track on The Clash... it howls with a joy, proving this was never simply rebellion for its own sake but for the sake of the music, for the thrill of carving a song from the wastleland in front of them... Each moment is described with the authority of someone who knew what the band were thinking, rather than an outsider guessing. This is vital for Clash fans and for anyone who wants to know how a band really live.**** (Tom Bryant KERRANG!)

A Riot of Our Own is less an "I did this and then I did that" slog than an occasional study of someone Green calls "a wonderful bloke" - Joe Srummer ... Illuminating stuff.*** (INK)

Green's eye for a rippping yarn (lovingly embellished in a no-nonsense diamond geezer' speak) and the accompanying cartoons of illustrator Ray Lowry make for an hilarious and honest autobiography... A sincere and affecting tribute to a group who deserve nothing less.**** (UNCUT)

A lot of rock memoirs struggle to fill half a dozen pages after a lifetime, but three years as The Clash's road manager have given Johnny Green plenty of material... Entertaining stuff. (Andreas King BULLIT MAGAZINE)

Book Description

The inside story of the Clash, one of the greatest rock 'n' roll bands ever - fully revised and updated

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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We were broke. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitve "I was there" account of The Clash 2 Feb 2004
Absolutely superb anecdotal telling of the story of the best and most exciting band of them all. Green relates the human side to the individual members, warts an all, while relaying the breathless excitement of the live concerts and all the little incidents that accompanied them. Extra weight is added to the tale due to the fact that the author was such an integral part of the set-up. His love for the band shines through but this does not manifest itself in schmaltz at any stage - after all, they were brilliant. The revised edition is well worth purchasing as, amongst other things, it provides a personal insight and reaction to the tragic premature death of Joe Strummer, which left an entire silent generation in mourning. Another interesting thought relates to the then possibility of the band reforming. Green's attitude is exactly that of my own - I would have preferred it not to happen but I'd be first in the queue if it had've ! Sadly now this remains an academic discussion. A great read, highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book. 14 July 2004
By A Customer
Just finished reading this book, and then turned over and started again! Very rarely do I pick up one of my books, and even rarer that I finish it, cover to cover, but this is one I did.
A short, sharp and pricise read, littered with humour and an intro by Strummer himself. This version is fully updated to include Joe's death and the events after his passing.
Written by a man who was there, in the thick with one of the best bands ever for their earliest (and best) years. Contains explicit details of those years but in a way that dosen't bore or seem like a report on an era of history, the time is brought to live, its as if your there! Which is great for someone like me who sadly missed the Clash and the first wave of London Punk bands.
The skill of Johnny is that he writes with great detail, yet always keeps it short and to the point. He was a main player but writes with a clarity that lets the reader into the world, not long, intense chapters on the Clash, rather the essential is added in, nothing more.
The pics in the middle are also good, I like Pennie Smith's ones (have a look at her book, very cheap and full of great clash pics!). Talking of cheap, this book is great value.
So as a final note i'd say this is a great book, with some funny tales and interesting facts. It brings the time to vivid life. If you wish to expand on your Clash knowledge then i'd recommend getting The Last Gang In Town, great, great book that is the Bible of the Clash.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The warts and all story of the Clash 11 July 2004
By Martin Percival VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If there are 4 Clash items that are essential purchases then it's this book plus the one from 2005 written by Kris Needs, the "Westway to the World" dvd by Don Letts plus Bob Gruen's photo book.

Johnny Green's book from 1999, later revised in 2003, tells it like it was. It doesn't dress up or pander to the US originated "stylised" view of the Clash from 1980-83 as the new wave successors to the Stones. That may have resulted in gaining them many fans world wide but it also helped lose (at least at the time) much of their original UK fan base. Instead the book focuses on the essential 1977 to 1979 period and paints the band as human beings - Mick with his rock star aspirations and pretensions, Paul and Topper as jack the lads chasing women and wanting a laugh and Joe as the humanist who cares about the fans and who wants to know about what's going on in the world.

And what makes Johnny Green qualified to write this book? He was there as the bands road manager for the whole of the period. The updated revised version from 2003 adds a couple of very worthwhile chapters covering the very sad and early demise of Joe Strummer in 2002 and, through this, the book reflects the appreciation for life that one gains as one gets older. Two stories from the revised version that I especially enjoyed were Terry Chimes getting his invitation to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame induction addressed to "Tory Crimes" 25 years after the fact and Green's thrill at hearing "London Calling" being played over the tannoy in it's normal 2.40pm Saturday afternoon match day slot at Queens Park Rangers when he and Mick Jones went to see their teams play a few years ago - QPR v Gillingham.

RIP Joe Strummer - you died way too young.

Johnny Green - you wrote a terrific book, thank you

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great memoir of The Only Band That Matters! 11 Feb 1999
By A Customer
What a blast! I read this book in one day, I just could not get enough of its personal, unpretentious and colorful tone. Johnny Green has written a sly, thoughtful, and very sharp memoir of his days with the almighty Clash. Here one actually sees the courage and stamina and wit it took to be a punk rock band in the 70s--Green writes vividly of the police troubles, the riots and the madness (and poverty) of life on the road. He also does a great job of sketching the personalities of the Clash men: Strummer comes off the best, with his man-on-the-street persona, his gentle whisper in conversation, his concern for his downtrodden fans, and his insatiable interest in life around him. Jones is the prima donna, a "muso" with a definite vision for his band, fueled by coke, pot and women. Simonon is the sharp, funny, beautiful one, very cool. Topper's spiral into drug abuse begins near the book's end--he's the guy that just goes along, but Green always seems impressed by his talent. We see here how The Clash were truly trailblazers; albums like "London Calling" and "Give 'em Enough Rope" are among the finest British rock'n'roll ever recorded. I love this book, found it more insightful than the recent bio, "Last Gang in Town"; the Clash finally became real people to me, involved with the real world and people of all types. The Clash still remain, for me, the Only Band That Matters. Thanks to Johnny Green for putting his story to paper! (and after all this, won't you give me a smile???)
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