The recent CBGB festival saw the debut screening of the intriguing new film about the Clash, ‘The Roses And Fall Of The Clash’ directed by Barcelona director Danny Garcia who told Rolling Stone
“I’ve been a Clash fan since I was nine or 10 years old. I fell in love with them since ‘Spanish Bombs. They were speaking in Spanish! And I felt like they were speaking to me. But why did they disband the way they did?”
The film is still unfinished and has taken three years to get to this point and explores the evolution of the band from the punk era to their pinnacle success in the USA to their downward spiral legendary Shea Stadium concert in 1982.
Mick Jones is the sole original Clash member to be interviewed in the film, while Vince White, Nick Sheppard (Jones’ replacement) and drummer Pete Howard all appear to offer their perspectives on the band’s tumultuous latter years.
Garcia explained that Paul Simonon refused to take part in the documentary, as did the Clash’s “dictating” manager Bernie Rhodes, who is portrayed as the source of tension between Joe Strummer and Jones. “Bernie was worried about this project and he said he was gonna sue me,” Garica said. “I sent him the script. Then he said, ‘This is wrong, that is wrong, that guy is an asshole.’ But then he said, ‘Go for it.’ I actually like the guy. He’s a really clever guy.”
Garcia said it was really “fucked up” to find out the real story behind the band after reading White’s account in his book, Out of Control: The Last Days of the Clash. “I thought, if I didn’t know this, other people don’t know this,” he explained.
Our man at the CBGB festival, Maren McGlashan, reports in his review of the gig…
‘I was seated for the premiere of Spanish filmmaker Danny Garcia’s new documentary, The Rise and Fall of the Clash. Open to festival pass holders, talent, press and the general public, the theatre was packed to capacity.
The film (see trailer below), which will be released via iTunes in the fall, hypothesized why the Clash fell apart at the height of their success. Citing personal conflict within the band, substance abuse, and manager Bernie Rhodes as key factors, The Rise and Fall of the Clash used interviews to analyze the band’s dissolution. Interviewees included Pearl Harbour (of Pearl Harbour and the Explosions), security personnel, Viv Albertine, poet Jock Scot, and later Clash members Pete Howard, Nick Shepard and Vince White. The screening was followed by a Q&A session with the film creators, Garcia, Glenn Aveni and David Mingay, as well as musician Rudy Fernandez, and Pearl Harbour, who was married to bassist Paul Simonon in the ”Ë80s.