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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 28, 2005

Punk Politics Of The Clash Is The Subject of Feb. 11 Reading On WSUI

Writer and editor Antonino D'Ambrosio will read from his new collection of essays, "Let Fury Have the Hour: The Punk Politics of Joe Strummer," at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11 on the "Live from Prairie Lights" series on University of Iowa radio station WSUI, AM 910.

The reading, hosted by Julie Englander, will be a free event at the Prairie Lights bookstore at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City. Listen on the Internet at

D'Ambrosio's essays about the Clash depict the days when punk was much more than just a kind of music. "Let the Fury Have the Hour" collects articles, interviews, essays and reviews that chronicle Strummer's life both as a musician and a political activist.

Included are original essays and interviews by D'Ambrosio, alongside contributions from Peter Silverton, Billy Bragg, Ann Scanlon, Lester Bangs, Sylvie Simmons, Charlie Bertsch, Greil Marcus, Amy Phillips, Joel Schalit and others.

A Publishers Weekly preview summarized, " 'Were it not for the Clash, punk would have been just a sneer, a safety pin, and a pair of bondage trousers,' writes Billy Bragg, and documentarian/activist D'Ambrosio proves it with this gathering of skillfully selected articles and essays on Clash front man Joe Strummer (1952-2002). . . . Most contributions consider the highly politicized early years of 'the only band that mattered,' its commercial U.S. breakthrough in 1983 as well as its imminent demise, and Strummer's role as lyricist and political agitator.

"Although a few essays discuss the political ambiguity of some of Strummer's songs, they mostly praise the outspoken singer/guitarist's commitment to confronting racism, classism and capitalism at a time when punk bands were apolitical or nihilistic. . . . (T)he best invoke irresistible excitement as they describe beer-soaked early Clash shows and the message of hope the band gave to kids rebelling against what they saw as the oppressive conservatism and systemic self-loathing of Thatcherite England."

D'Ambrosio is a writer, filmmaker, photographer and musician. He is the founder and director of La Lutta New Media Collective, a media activism and documentary film production group based in New York City. His writing has appeared in The Nation, the Progressive, Monthly Review, Color Lines, the New Labor Forum and other publications.

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

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