Joe Strummer and Paul Simenon (foreground) with the young guns who made up the latter-day Clash. Photo by Mike Laye, Epic Records
Mike Laye, Epic Records
London calling ... again
- Article by: CHRIS RIEMENSCHNEIDER
- Star Tribune
- October 4, 2012 - 1:08 PM
There's no shortage of documentaries on how great a band the Clash was. The newest film on the London punks, "The Rise and Fall of the Clash" (90 minutes, unrated), is actually more about how bad they were -- as in dysfunctional, hypocritical, unscrupulous, and eventually even bad in the musical sense.
A hodgepodge of new interviews and old clips that premiered at New York's CBGB Festival in July, the film focuses mainly on the quizzical 1982-84 era after guitarist/co-vocalist Mick Jones was fired. The mostly forgotten musicians who kept the band going with late frontman Joe Strummer get more screen time than Jones does. And the real star of the film doesn't even make a speaking appearance: manager Bernie Rhodes, who gets the brunt of the blame for everything that went wrong.
Although a bit of a black eye on the band's legacy, "Rise and Fall" is an eye-opening tale on how one of rock's greatest and best-intentioned bands was steered off course by the music business. Director Danny Garcia will attend this screening, which promotes the Sound Unseen festival of music movies, coming Oct. 10-14. (7 p.m. Sat., Ritz Theater, 345 13th Av. NE., Mpls., $12-$15, SoundUnseen.com.)
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