Keith Levene publishes “I WaS a TeeNaGe GuitariST 4 the ClaSH!”
At age 17, skateboarding/pin-ball playing/guitar virtuoso Keith Levene met his future Clash co-founder Mick Jones in West London against the backdrop of the then-developing punk rock scene.
Thereafter the two young men decided to launch the Clash – the band that was second in importance on the burgeoning punk scene only to the Sex
Pistols in the mid-1970s. The Clash was destined for success and everyone knew it, including Levene who writes about his experiences in his new book “I Was a Teenage Guitarist 4 the Clash!” Shortly after turning 18, however, it was all over: Levene ended up leaving the Clash. Before the band hit it big. Before record contracts were signed. Long before the Clash followed in the Beatles footsteps and played Shea Stadium as they achieved international success.
In “I Was a Teenage Guitarist 4 the Clash” Levene recounts the early days and answers the proverbial question as to what would motivate Levene to play a pivotal role in creating the “only band that matters” only to leave it. True to the original punk ethos, Levene is self-publishing his book and the original custom covers that come with each one.
“This is not unlike my experiences in distributing my original “Commercial Zone” LP back in 1983-1984 after I left PiL. I created the custom covers for those albums, pressed the albums myself, and then distributed them to various record shops around Manhattan – on my skateboard!” Levene points out.
In his book, Levene details his encounters with other central figures in the classic first wave of British punk, including Sid Vicious, John Lydon, Billy Idol, Viv Albertine, Paul Simonon, Terry Chimes, and Barry Jones. “It was a very exciting time,” recalls Levene.
“There was a very young, very fresh, very exuberant feeling in the air – like anything was possible, “Levene recalls. “And not just for those of us involved in music. It wasn’t just about expressing oneself through music although the music was certainly very important.”
|If you had a viewpoint you wanted to express – whether the vehicle was through fashion, art, the written word, or even how you presented yourself to the world – the emerging scene in West London welcomed you,” he explains.“The feeling I want to relate to those who read this book is that they are accompanying me on a magical mystery tour of West London during those incredibly exciting early days of punk,” Levene says.
“I Was a Teenage Guitarist 4 the Clash” is available exclusively through Levene at http://www.teenageguitarist76.com/