Stealing All Transmissions: A Review in Library Journal

Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of The Clash

Library Journal
December 1st, 2014

Doane’s (Oberlin Coll.) book is more a workmanlike rock-and-roll history, though still not the usual bio/tell-all—only a Clash book would require over 15 pages of endnotes. Thoughtful and enthusiastic, if laudatory, this work examines the Clash through the lens of 1977–83 punk rock and romanticizes the disenfranchised, alternative, DIY work ethic of the movement’s leaders. When focusing on the band specifically, Doane is much less concerned with sex and drugs than politics and the battles fought with the record companies. It also features an intellectual foreword by Barry “The Baker” Augustine, the band’s principal roadie.

VERDICT Both of these titles are fine purchases for large public libraries and deep music collections; for an intriguing take on punk history, try John Robb’s Punk Rock: An Oral History (2006), or, for Clash-specific history, consider Marcus Gray’s Last Gang in Town: The Story and Myth of the Clash (1995).

Stealing All Transmissions: A Secret History of The Clash:

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