Bernie Rhodes, Clash manager
If you’re a Clash fan who has 20 minutes to kill, check out the website of their former manager, Bernie Rhodes. It promises “Punk, pop philosophy, interesting stories, rare music and debate,” and delivers post-Situationist rants about the economic crisis, revisionist accounts of the punk years (“Many years ago under similar circumstances, I formed the Sex Pistols/Clash etc”), and a seriously busted web design that is a joy to behold. I think the reason the average page uses about thirty different fonts in about forty different colors is that it’s supposed to approximate Jamie Reid’s ransom-note typography, but what do I know? Rhodes says the site’s design is old-fashioned punk social realism: “So if it doesn’t flicker*flash*fast*, following the latest glitzy graphics, it’s as real life!” Wake up and smell the sans serif, you glitz-guzzling poseur!
In the “Did You Know” section, you’ll find a full-throated defense of the Clash’s almost universally despised final album, Cut the Crap:
1985’s “Cut The Crap” was the final album The Clash released. At the time the album received harsh reviews and the album sold less than expected. The original reviews are still remembered, and since relatively few people have actually heard the album, “Cut The Crap” has been unjustly neglected. This is, in fact, a solid punk masterpiece. It is what it was intended to be: an all-out return to the punk ethic that the band had recently been straying from. They perform with a raw aggression tempered with progressive musical growth; this is definitely a great band at work. The songs are all brilliant, addressing the political issues of the day exclusively (almost; a few copies of this have included their raucous, dirty cover of ‘Louie Louie’).
On the homepage, there’s a short URL reproduced as a graphic, so you have to type it into your browser.
This takes you to the single video YouTube user “Frank Fresh” has uploaded, a totally blown-out recording of the Clash’s “This Is England” overlaid with samples of Joe Strummer praising Rhodes. “I think it was good luck to meet Bernie, the best bit of luck I ever had,” Strummer says; this particular sample is repeated twice, in case you missed the point. Mr. Fresh uploaded this video yesterday (November 17).
A not-quite-subliminal message flashes toward the end of the video’s montage of council estates, Clash photos, pirate ships, motorcycles, and English celebrities:
Ouch. But the real scoop is that Rhodes is (I think) scouting fresh new talent! Alas, I am too old to take advantage of this exciting offer, but younger Dangerous Minds readers who have hot demo tapes and experienced lawyers on retainer might want to join Rhodes’ “Young Rockers Club.” He doesn’t promise fame or fortune, but how could he possibly pay worse than Spotify? If that’s even what this means?