For god knows what reason a recent issue of Rolling Stone has a cobbled together piece on The Clash. I love The Clash and for years read everything I could on them, but there came a point when I could no longer stomach another hashed-over exercise in myth-making. Tell me something I don’t know already, maybe even some details on how particular records were made. Instead, as this Rolling Stone article does, it’s more of the same-old, same-old: band members from broken homes, The 101’ers, Keith Levene and the London SS, the dawn of Thatcherism, idealism of The Clash contrasted with the nihilism of the Sex Pistols, Bernie Rhodes, the sprawling blah blah blah of London Calling, etc. Enough! The same goes for another one of my favorite bands, The Beatles.
I’m finishing a biography of Elvis Presley, written by one of his Memphis Mafia cronies. I think this is the first Memphis Mafia memoir I’ve read. His close personal friends shed new light on the man. Last night I read about the time he smoked pot. For me, at least, there may be plenty more to learn about the King. I feel the same way about Bob Dylan. Until I see a police report and photos from his motorcycle accident, I hold out hope for learning new details about this great artist.
For what favorite artist would you like to see a moratorium placed on new biographies? Is there anything new you may learn about one of these artists? Perhaps a fellow Townsperson can revive your interest in reading a new biography on said artist. For instance, if anyone can tell me a single new thing about The Clash that I don’t know already, I’ll promise to finish reading this boring Rolling Stone article.