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