Encoule On Pat Gilbert
Encoule On Pat Gilbert.

The battle of The Clash biographers continues apace. Pat Gilbert’s Mojo-cred-backed opus finally hits the shelves in time for Xmas:

The synopsis is: as close to ‘the official story’ as your ever going to get. So, what does that mean?

Pat credits everyone but Roadent’s mum in the preamble – but fails to pay his debt to Marcus Gray. “A useful road map”, is what he dismisses “Last Gang In Town” as – before quoting large chunks of it at will.

As a scribe, Gilbert’s prose is pompous & over blown. Full of parallels that don’t quite fit & quotes from ‘impressive sources’ that don’t actually scan:

“Forming a rock n roll band is all about attention to detail” – Joeseph Stalin.

Know what I mean?

We’re left in no doubt that this is the pinnacle of Gilbert’s career - & he’s going to milk his associations & credentials for all they’re worth. This he does with aplomb.

“Passion Is A Fashion” (appalling title – terrible art work) really wants to be as important as the group themselves are perceived by many. Gilbert has studied previous works on The Clash with a fine nitcomb - & ponced anything relevant for himself. Surely, this is more of a collage than a true work of art.

“Warts n all” is one comment that keeps cropping up – that may have a whiff of truth – but Pat’s tongue is stuck squarely up the surviving member’s arseholes in the hope that he will one day dine in fine style along side them – an equal at last.

Every generation has its supposed authorities – Gilbert is keen to join John Savage at the big table for Punk’s Last Supper – conveniently forgetting that Punk was NEVER about coffee tables, dinner parties or gentleman’s clubs. His table at The Groucho is assured.

If you’ve read “Last Gang In Town” - you will already be familiar with the story. Gilbert unearths little we didn’t already know. The myth of The Clash is already a convoluted enough place to hang around as it is.

At the end of the pages, one gets the feeing that although the style & pretence were present & correct – the motivation behind the book may be more suspect. ‘Clashing in’? Surely not?

Jean Encoule – tMx 17 – 11/04
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