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