It's been awhile since the last update, but -- as I've probably mentioned in the past -- I'd rather save them for major steps in the creative process. (Or, to put it another way...saying, "We've just buckled down on 10 pages of Chapter-So-And-So" doesn't quite cut it, for me, anyway.)
At any rate... WE ARE THE CLASH is now officially in post-production...meaning, Mark and I have agreed on the final draft, which we've duly submitted to our publisher (Akashic), who promptly sent back PDFs of their edited final copy for us to go through, and make whatever corrections we deemed necessary. For those who haven't undergone the publishing process, it's one of the most intense steps involved, because you've literally got to trawl through your creation, page by bloody page, and mark whatever inconsistencies you spot.
In most cases, you'll be redlining grammatical inconsistencies, outright misspellings, or the odd sentence or two that requires a bit of punching up. Most of these edits aren't terribly earthshaking, since the guiding assumption -- on the publisher's part, anyway -- is that this proof copy, as they call it, is as close to the camera-ready stage as possible. (For example, I remember adding an "n" that got left off the Swedish newspaper, Expressen.) We've gone through about three rounds of this process so far, which isn't unusual, though the number of bites at the apple depends on the publisher, obviously. (In contrast, when I completed the final ms. for my first book, UNFINISHED BUSINESS: THE LIFE & TIMES OF DANNY GATTON, Backbeat essentially gave me all of a single weekend to go through the page proofs -- which were expressed shipped to me, in the pre-Internet explosion era -- and get it back to them.)
We spent last week attending to some other odds and ends, including our respective dedications, and the acknowledgments section, which also ranks among the bigger tasks you'll have to handle -- since this is your chance to give whatever shout outs to those who've helped along the way, whether they sat down for an interview, provided a crucial press clipping, or pointed you in a direction that might have otherwise have languished unexplored...all that sort of stuff.
Next up: sorting out photo credits and permissions, as well as seeing what lyrics, if any, we can actually quote. I, personally, would like to see a section that rounds up CUT THE CRAP, along with the B-sides ("Do It Now," "Sex Mad Roar"), and unreleased songs that have crept out over the years on the various live bootlegs, and/or recordings, like "Ammunition," "Glue Zombie," and "In The Pouring Rain" (to name three).
Obviously, time will tell how we fare in that department, but I'm hoping we can make this happen, especially since I've never seen a proper transcription of Joe's lyrics during this era, aside from the various bits and pieces knocking around online. (That being said, I recommend Marky Dread's work in that area, which you can see on the Clash II-related threads on the IMCT (If Music Could Talk) message board.)
Right now, it looks like the book is coming out around July 4th -- which would be prefect, since the noxious political winds blowing through the US and UK at the moment bring to mind that old Yogi Berra-ism: "It's deja vu all over again." Of course, that date isn't cast in stone, but, naturally, I'll update that information as the situation requires. No need to worry, though, in any case: as I've repeatedly stated, it'll be well worth the wait.