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The day we’ve awaited for four long, chilly weeks has arrived: the new RC is in the shops. Really pleased with it too, although (false) modesty prohibits me from saying so, of course. Who punched producer Sandy Pearlman? We find out – and hear from the culprit – in the cover story about The Clash. Written by Kris Needs, the tale is so good that we’d pay to read it. Which we have, now I think about it. It’s built around the making of Give ’Em Enough Rope, and finds the punk icons teetering on the brink of destruction, facing gun charges, fighting to retain complete control over their album, and watching their gigs descend into riots.

We also feature another 70s rock rebel of a different stripe – Sergeant Fury’s stripes in fact – the Sensational Alex Harvey. With the help of those who worked with him, Terry Staunton remembers this unique, entertaining and faintly terrifying individual, the frontman for SAHB, perhaps the greatest British band never to make it to superstar status. Here’s a rare, somewhat fuzzy, clip.

From the 80s, we discover how Depeche Mode cracked America without quite cracking up, thanks to an extract from Simon Spence’s excellent new book, Just Can’t Get Enough.

From the 60s, we roam the lost psychedelic spaces of The Misunderstood, the American band that came to London to show us how it was done – but which crumbled without even making an album, despite the lasting support of the great John Peel.

Plus we have stories on collectable hip-hop, the first section of our look at British Motown albums, and have a quiet word with Fastway, Landmarq, Philip Sayce, Heather Nova, Primal Fear and Portishead offshoot Get The Blessing. And how much is that Dave Clark Five drum kit up for grabs? You’ve heard Dave play: shurely it’s in bits and pieces.

RC 398 – out now.

What else has been going on? I’ve been debating whether it’s worth buying a Lost Generation album in terms of whether a VG+ (ie, probably G+ in reality) US copy is worth £30 when I am only likely to play it once every 15 years or so… A French seller, has told me that eBay’s reggae auctions are still plagued with fake bidders under innumerable names, some of which he sent me and none of which remotely look like those of humans… On Saturday morning a man came to read the meter, spotted a copy of Blue Oyster Cult’s Secret Treaties in my front room and went into raptures about it, going on to sing a bit of Harvester Of Eyes, which was a bit worrying to say the least. Thank God the dogs started growling. The album was produced by Sandy Pearlman… isn’t that where we came in?

Thank you for supporting RC. RC Feb 2012

Best wishes

Ian McCann, Record Collector Editor

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