A Conversation with Mark Andersen

Episode 10 · October 16th, 2020 · 40 mins 55 secs

About this Episode

Fewer bands in rock history are as human, genuine, and flawed as the Clash, the 70s-80s punk rock band that outgrew its punk roots as it grew in mainstream fame. The band wanted to be one of the biggest in the world, but somehow do so without compromising its politically charged message. Is that possible? In a fascinating book called “We are the Clash,” co-author, music historian, and humanitarian Mark Andersen exquisitely details an unheralded time in the band’s history: the making of the band’s last album, “Cut the Crap.” “We are the Clash” is a spellbinding, ambitious book that revisits this oft-forgotten era of the band, when lyricist and singer Joe Strummer tried to will a band of almost all new recruits, save bassist Paul Simonon, into an all-out war on the music industry and the rise of Thatcherism. The band’s efforts ultimately failed, but Mark’s book will give you a fresh new look at this album, this moment in time, and where we are today. “We are the Clash” is available online, but give your local bookstore the first shot.