Author to the slaughter

Clash clash clash. ¡VIVAN LOS NORTEAMERICANOS DEL IMCT Y LAS BRIGADAS DEL CADILLAC NUEVO!
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Marcus G
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Author to the slaughter

Post by Marcus G »

Wot ho, IMCTers!

I see you've noticed that my new book on the Clash is here or hereabouts.

I owe some of the people here (mostly past but some hardy souls still present) a big thanks for helping me with information and, uh, discussion over the years. I won't name and shame, but manly hugs all round.

So. I'm making myself available to answer any questions you may have, and will endeavour to take the inevitable sweeping dismissals of my skills as a researcher, critic and writer in good spirits.

FYI, though, I'm setting my dog's abuse toleration level at 5 and dickhead thread hijackometer at 7: you go much above that for too long, and I'm gone like the cool breeze.

There will probably be gaps between my visits. We're using a small part of the publication advance to have a new swimming pool installed in the main house, so we're living in the gatehouse and I'm only willing to yomp all the way up here to check messages a couple of times a day.

To kick off: the book was originally going to be a wee short 100 page thing to coincide with the 25th anniversary. But real life intervened. When I came back to it in 2008, I decided to really get in there with the detail freakery. Which I know is not everyone's cup of tea, but, y'know, I won't make comments about your attention span if you don't make them about mine.

This version was originally supposed to be 300-and-something pages, but I overrran. So it's 500-and-something. Though that's hardly necessary: they've gone with 415 words per page, but could have comfortably fit 500-550 words per page without trying your eyes too much, which would have brought it in around 400 pages.

It was supposed to be published in early October, but we held it back so we coud give it an extra proofread and fine tune some of the detail. Officially, the release date is 5 November (I think) - just in time to light your bonfires - but that's to try and get a couple more reviews in the monthly music magazines. The book's available this week.

I should qualify that: available in the UK and the rest of the English speaking world serviced by Random House UK. There is no American edition as yet. So the edition on Amazon.com is a UK import.

It's a 6-part book. Part 1 is background. Part 2 writing and rehearsing. 3 recording. 4 comprises about half the book, and is a story-of-the-song breakdown. Part 5 is about the cover, the press reaction and promotion generally. Part 6 is about the ways the Clash attempted to reclaim the magic of the LC period over the years, and about the acclaim heaped on the album, and its legacy.

Much I would love his money and little black contact book, John S, I'm not MG the erotic artist. He stole my identity. I'm fairly sure at least one ageing aunt has stopped talking to me since she learned how to Google and made the usual assumptions.

There's some extra material at http://www.marcusgray.co.uk with more to come over the next few weeks. I'll probably be sticking an errorlog up there, too, and I'm sure you'll be giving me plenty to put in it.

Over to you,

Marcus.

Wolter
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by Wolter »

Sweet.

Welcome back. I'll hold my questions until I actually get a copy, but I'm looking forward to the read.
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Flex
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by Flex »

Awesome, welcome back.

My only question so far is if you know whether or not the book is going to be stocked at American retail stores like Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc? I'd rather buy a copy from a brick & mortar but will order through Amazon if need be...
YOU MADE ONE MISTAKE, LENNON, YOU DOUBLE CROSSED MIKE LOVE AND LEFT HIM ALIVE

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Dr. Medulla
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Likely won't be getting the book until the new year, but definitely looking forward to it.
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Still216
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by Still216 »

Flex wrote:Awesome, welcome back.

My only question so far is if you know whether or not the book is going to be stocked at American retail stores like Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc? I'd rather buy a copy from a brick & mortar but will order through Amazon if need be...
I think it's available on import only in the US - there is no American release per MG's note, so it probably won't be at most American bookstores unless you special order it. I'm going to order this one post haste from Amazon...

And welcome back, Marcus! The following put a big smile on my face, as a fan of the painstaking detail of LGIT -
Marcus G wrote:When I came back to it in 2008, I decided to really get in there with the detail freakery. Which I know is not everyone's cup of tea, but, y'know, I won't make comments about your attention span if you don't make them about mine.
Sit on my lap, I'm sober! - cretin
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Heston
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by Heston »

Thanks for dropping in Marcus, I've just ordered mine and I'm eagerly looking forward to it. I'll probably have a list of questions within a week.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

Flex
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by Flex »

Still216 wrote:I think it's available on import only in the US - there is no American release per MG's note, so it probably won't be at most American bookstores unless you special order it. I'm going to order this one post haste from Amazon...
Damn, I was hoping that just meant "higher than usual sticker price." Eh, guess I'll be ordering from Amazon.
YOU MADE ONE MISTAKE, LENNON, YOU DOUBLE CROSSED MIKE LOVE AND LEFT HIM ALIVE

Sous les pavés, la plage.

Pex Lives!

JennyB
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by JennyB »

Thanks for coming back, Marcus. I look forward to ordering and reading your book.
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Suzanne H.
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by Suzanne H. »

I'm looking forward to the book. It's about time that there was an entire book about London Calling (aka: the best album ever.)

Cheers mate, and welcome back! :mrgreen:
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TeddyB Not Logged In
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by TeddyB Not Logged In »

I have your book on order from Amazon and am expecting it in the post presently, Marcus. Look forward to reading.

101Walterton
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by 101Walterton »

Good on you for fronting up, It's great to have you back. The book is top of my shopping list.

white man
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by white man »

Thanks for dropping by. Its real pain living in the gatehouse with the security guards. I know this from my own experience.
Still, the pool will be a nice addition.

TeddyB Not Logged In
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by TeddyB Not Logged In »

TeddyB Not Logged In wrote:I have your book on order from Amazon and am expecting it in the post presently, Marcus. Look forward to reading.
Actually it's here now!

x3em
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by x3em »

Thanks Marcus, I'm waiting for my copy ordered from Amazon UK a few days ago. I am really looking forward to this one. I loved Return of the Last Gang in Town!

And enjoy the Pool ;)

drowninghere
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Re: Author to the slaughter

Post by drowninghere »

Marcus G wrote:
So. I'm making myself available to answer any questions you may have
Hi Marcus. Here goes:

The thread on your book reports that the book says that I"m Not Down (as well as Gates of the West) were both Joe lyrics. While Gates of the West doesn't seem like much of a surprise, I'm Not Down certainly seemed like a serious candidate for a Mick lyric. Anyways, what forms the shortlist of the quality Jones lyrical contributions to the Clash?

Also, accepting that these were probably modest (CC, Stay Free, Up in Heaven?), have you ever turned your mind to that fact that the lyrics on the first BAD album seem pretty anomalous to the rest of the BAD catalogue (and Mick's efforts with the Clash) - in other words, the This is BAD lyrics are just tremendously better than what he did before or after. Considering that its now been accepted that Joe contributed to lyrics for which he wasn't credited on No. 10 (presumably Sambradrome, Hollywood Blvd & Dial-a-Hitman - which probably accounts for much of the quality of those lyrics), and that Don was apparently learning from Mick at the time of the first album (and was apparently responsible for some of the worst lyrics on Tighten Up and Megatop), how do we explain the general quality and inventiveness of the lyrics and the subject matter of Medicine Show, Sony, E-mc2, A Party, Sudden Impact and Stone Thames? How do you go from that to the rest of the catalogue (I can really only think of Tighten Up the song as an exceptional lyric thereafter) to the total lyrical drek of Higher Power and F-Punk.

To sum up, any chance that there was an uncredited lyrical contributor to This is BAD (Tony James perhaps?) Or do we simply accept it as the product of a moment in his life when Mick was motivated like no other time since?

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