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CHRISTMAS CLASH

by eastern -       Dec 21, 2011

So right now as I’m tapping this out its dec 21st, tomorrow it will be no surprise to anyone to hear that it will be the 22nd… a few years back I spent the 23rd (nz time) driving around and around in my blue holden station wagon (the one with the blown out muffler, it sounded badass in the car, outside it was like it needed to be put down) playing the clash over and over and over again. I was also crying…Joe Strummer had died and I was broken up, that night I gathered as many friends as I could find and we all watched westway to the world, I wouldn’t let anyone say a word but I needed to be with some folks and watch/listen to the clash.

I was one of those guys who had a badge that said that the clash were the only band that mattered, and for a good swag of my twenties it was true. They made me see and hear the world differently, they made me believe that anything was possible as long as I believed and also that hope must always be tempered with understanding of the world and the way it worked, the good the bad and of course the fucking ugly.

Now the Clash and strummer have been eulogized, fetishised and mythologised by better, smarter and more eloquent people than me, especially in the years since joe passed so in short I’ll just say that without their music I wouldn’t have the gig I’ve got now (the one I always wished I’d be lucky enough to have!), I’d be still slinging plastic bags into boxes at mainguard plastics in hornby or digging holes and fixing toilets in phillipstown. I’ve seen and done more than I ever hoped and the soundtrack to my adventures provided by joe and co. is as meaningful and as evocative as ever. I met strummer once, we talked about tattoos and cumbia music I traded him a sun records shirt for one of his (a piece of which I keep as a talisman in my guitar) and he was as engaging and accomadating as one could imagine or hope for.

Anyways about a year or so back the idea was mooted for the eastern to cover “London calling’ in its entirity at the now sadly earthquaked ‘goodbye blue Monday’ here in c-city. We never made it and now that building is down that idea may never come to pass. But we’ve since been dropping clash songs in and out of the set from time to time nailing some, killing others (sorry joe!). Anyways this Christmas we figured we’d offer something up as a tribute to joe on the anniversary of his death but also as a gift to all the friends and comrades that have helped, cared for and listened to us this year. So If you’re friends or family of The Eastern, have come to show, brought a record, sent us a message of kindness and goodwill  or a just a little curious then we offer you up our shakey one take versions of two songs that I discovered through the clash (thanks to their sublime covers on Sandinista and The Cost of Living e.p. respectively).

‘Junco Partner’ and ‘I Fought The Law’…

follow the links below and you can download ‘em and spread ‘em round till your hearts content. Theres just one kicker…we hope that you like our versions (if you’re a clash fan or a fan of the original versions hopefully you’ll cut us a little slack on our efforts!) and accept them as a gift from us as simple as that…however we’d ask you to pay it forward a little if you do download. Heres the skinny!...we here at fort eastern have been concerned about the continuing lockout of the unionized anzco food workers down in marton here in the south island (the facts as we see ‘em below) the fact that its Christmas time and these folks have families means it’s a tough time becoming even tougher…

we’d like to offer you these songs for Christmas in the hope that in exchange and in the spirit of the season y’all may wanna offer up a little hope and solidarity to these workers and their families by donating a little to their struggle and to their Christmas! If you don’t have much money or the ability to donate then look it up on the net and have a conversation with someone about it, if you don’t swing this way politically but still dig the eastern and the songs we get it maybe you could donate some money to the sallies or city mission or the womans refuge somethin’ similar…

anyways hope that makes sense…songs for Christmas from the Eastern for you guys and whoever if you dig it pay it forward and drop something in the bucket…our pick is the anzco lockout…

if your unsure about how much anything big or small will do…

for those folks who are a little more tactile we have one hundred physical copies for sale also these are signed and numbered and won’t be repressed ever!...we’re slingin ‘em for $20 100% of which will go to the anzco defense fund…first in first served email theeasternfamily@gmail.com if you want a copy (be quick)…

junco pardner-i fought the law