Tuesday, 29 March 2011

London’s Calling

London calling to the faraway towns

Now that war is declared-and battle come down

London calling to the underworld

Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls

The Clash weren’t talking about publishing over 30 years ago but after the disaster of the LBF in 2010 this song could well be the theme tune for the 2011 event. Despite a particularly stiff upper lip at Earls Court in 2010, there is no denying it was a complete waste of time and money for all concerned.

All that phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust

London calling, see we ain't got no swing

Let’s hope this is not the message this year and that London finds its swing. God knows the publishing industry needs it. It can no longer bury its head in the sand as far as digital and POD is concerned.

The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in

Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin

A nuclear error, but I have no fear

London is drowning-and I live by the river

The digital age is coming and the creditors closing in.

Bookshops have stopped running and profits grow thin.

A DRM error but I have no fear

Publishing is drowning and I live by the river


London calling to the imitation zone

Forget it, brother, an' go it alone

London calling upon the zombies of death

Quit holding out-and draw another breath

London calling-and I don't wanna shout

But when we were talking-I saw you nodding out

London calling, see we ain't got no highs

Except for that one with the yellowy eyes

With London’s Calling, The Clash wrote one of the truly great rock’n’roll punk songs ever.

And every word of it is now an analogy for the state of publishing today.

London’s calling and I’m gonna respond in 2011

Let’s hope the industry survives.

Fantastic lyrics of London’s Calling belong in their entirety to Joe Strummer & Mick Jones

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