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

4.7 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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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
  • Package Dimensions: 20.6 x 13.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 956,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

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

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best book on The Clash and one of the best books on 'rock n roll' 'rebellion' -- the author has a brilliant, instinctive, intelligent, spontaneous writing style -- he's intelligent, insightful, sharp, clever, critical, sensitive and - justifably -- very bitter and very angry.

It tells you everything all the other Clash books leave out.

I can't recommend it highly enough, and I hope he writes another book.

It reminds the reader how great and important rock n roll is, but also how time wasting, phony and fake and daft it all is.
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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the few books that once I started reading it I could not put it down ,even whilst cooking and eating.Read it all in one sitting the day that it landed on my door mat.
At last the missing chapter of The Clash`s history is here for all to read.Vince White`s writing style is superb and makes you feel that the reader was actually there.
It doesn`t matter if you are a die hard Clash fan or just someone who enjoys a good read this book will entertain you.
I had seen Vince White`s line up of The Clash twice and they were superb and the new material was as good as anything that came before but the album version was awful.The story behind this and other tales are all here written by the man who was there.
Very interesting to see how manager Bernie Rhodes was in " Complete Control " manipulating everyone around him.What a bully.Sadly very disappointing that Joe Strummer my hero for over 30 years could allow himself to be so controlled.
It may change your views on a few things,the myth behind The Clash has been the accepted truth for long enough and now we have access to a big dose of reality.
Later this year a new documentary " The Rise And Fall Of The Clash " will also hopefully give a more balanced view and include the two years Vince`s line up toured and recorded.
Well done Vince a trueley great read and I hope the first of many books from this great writer.
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Format: Paperback
I never was much of a Clash fan. I just like reading the inside stories of rock; I can't take those endless, boring, 'official' hard back publications... This is certainly the best book about a band that I've read in ages. I can see that some people may see it as bitter, but I just find it very truthful and very sweet. It is also hilarious in a sort of surreal way - I've found myself crying with laughter at times, but also seriously thinking about life. It has some very interesting 'pearls of wisdom'.

It is more of a factual novel than just an account of the last years of The Clash and the writing is amazing: some of its realism and reasoning is as great as Bukowsky's. I am generally bad at reading - the only thing I read fast and pleasurably is Agatha Christie. So Vince, get flattered! You are as good as the second best selling author in history (despite a few too many typos).

By the way, it's not very expensive, if you don't buy it from the 'establishment' that is.

I never got what the Clash were about - to me they were always a big fake politicised punk follow up to the Pistols, with a good name and a couple of decent songs. How funny! Now that this book has brought the band members back to human level, I seem to be getting into The Clash and their story a lot more...
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