BOOK REVIEWS PAGE 5
RAT PATROL FROM FORT BRAGG
Alan Parker - ''RAT PATROL FROM FORT BRAGG'' THE CLASH (Abstract Sounds Publishing)
This book includes an official UK discography, a UK gig listing, sections on some of the bootleg CDs and books and some random memorabilia (owned by the author I guess). There's also some magazine covers in here, but they're mostly from the 90's and 2000's. If you would use this book as your only resource for info on THE CLASH you'd get the impression that neither the press nor the bootleggers had any interest in the band until the late, late 90's.

You can tell there wasn't much time spent on the bootleg listing as it only covers newly released CDs and one of them is the exact same listed twice. An obvious mistake, but the whole thing looks dodgy when this particular CD is then given two different sound quality marks. Loads of the older vinyl bootlegs had gigs and demos that aren't included here too, so if you just wanna know what's available this isn't really useful either.

Though the graphics looks good and it is all set in the military style stencils that the band were fond of, the font is oversized and there's a lot of blank space on most of the pages. It takes five minutes to read it.

I don't know who this book was made for. It doesn't include any history of the band or any interviews with those involved, so the average fan isn't getting much info. If the gig list had included the rest of the world and the studio sessions too, preferably with a note on what dates were recorded, or a more extensive bootleg guide, this would have been useful to the bootleg collectors. As it is, it's mainly a way for the author to show that he has a few signed posters. Your average CLASH fan site will have more info than this.

Some cool photos here and there, but if you're only gonna buy five CLASH books in your life this is not one of them.

Compared to the SEX PISTOLS book Satellite, co-written by Parker, this is nothing. Would have made one or two half decent magazine features, but that's about it.

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