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The Clash: Westway to the World (2000)

A career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Terry Chimes ... Himself
... Himself
Topper Headon ... Topper Headon (Drummer)
Mick Jones ... Himself
Jordan ... Herself (archive footage)
Paul Simonon ... Himself
... Herself (archive footage)
... Himself
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Storyline

This documentary combines recent interviews and old footage to provide a comprehensive view of The Clash, one of the world's most influential rock bands. Footage from old club shows and stadium concerts is intercut with interviews with band members Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, Topper Headon, and Joe Strummer. The Clash began as rebellious punks eager to combine their influences: Simonon leaned towards reggae, and Jones leaned toward harder-edged British rock, while Strummer favored American R&B. Despite various fights and conflicts, The Clash emerged as "the only band that mattered," a punk rock band which ventured beyond punk to create a unique and unforgettable sound. WESTWAY TO THE WORLD documents their beginnings, their rise to stardom, and their collapse. Written by veloc <velo_00@yahoo.com>

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The Clash - Koko tarina  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

Joe Strummer: If someone had in and gone, "Let's play this with balalaikas," everyone would have gone, "Give me the biggest balalaika," you know?
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Frustratingly short snippets and selective subject matter erase any credibility.
23 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

The Clash may have been one of the most interesting, important and best rock bands to have ever existed. And this documentary does in fact support that theory. However, the selectiveness of the subjects leaves much to be desired. Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20 - and in the case of the people responsible for this documentary - it's also very selective. There's absolutely no mention of the post-Mick Jones Clash that existed from 1983-1986. Four years of a bands history is an awful lot of time to simply not feel like mentioning. Sure the album this band produced (1985's Cut The Cr*p) may not have been on par with say London Calling but few albums are. To completely fail to not mention it makes me wonder why the filmmakers would simply choose to re-write history as if it never existed. All this does is support the fact that documentaries edit history any way they want. The unmentioned band (Simonon/Stummer/Pete Howard/Vince White/Nick Sheppard) toured the US in 1984 and also did a busking tour of England in 1985. By not mentioning them at all does no favors for any new young fan who actually wants to know about The Clash's history (and not just what was graciously selected for them).

Then there is the issue of obtaining great rare footage only to have seconds of it peppered throughout the documentary! This seems to be the biggest complaint from everyone I know who has seen it. To not add any of this footage (i.e The Clash playing both songs on SNL/Their appearance on Friday's/Tom Snyder/US festive footage/etc) is simply not caring about the band or it's fans. All this does is give bootleggers even more viable footage to sell. Real smart.

Having said all that it is a welcome documentary. And there is the bonus footage of all the existing footage for The Clash On Broadway. Footage that I should add the reason why so little exists is because Topper took out an injunction so that film never be released. Since it was never finished (because of the injunction) most of it was thrown away or deteriorated since it would never see the light of day anyway. Gee thanks Topper, now we really see you in a positive light!


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