RIP Carol Clerk, UK music journalist
A quick search on Twitter will give you an idea of why this news, just announced today, is spreading so quickly and already causing so many tributes. When writers like Cath Carroll, Simon Price, Dave Simpson, John Robb and the Popjustice crew are all pitching in with their homages and remembrances, you get a sense of her impact. Rock’s Back Pages carries a sampling of her work if you have login access — as you can see, she was very much one for UK punk rock in general — and Archived Music Press has a couple of pieces up while the Quietus ran a story a couple of years ago about her 1983 adventures with Hanoi Rocks in Israel that needs to be read.
There will be more detailed remembrances from those who worked with and were directly inspired by her soon to follow, no doubt — for my part, I’ll always remember her for a book I still dip into from time to time, her authorized biography of the Damned, The Light At the End of the Tunnel, released in concert with the two disc overview of that name back in 1987 and now completely out of print. It contains lots of entertaining detail from a writer who clearly loved her subjects but wasn’t averse to calling things how she saw them, and who was also very careful to let her subjects speak a lot for themselves without simply having it be an oral history. By the time I was reading Melody Maker she was mostly concentrating on the news pages but it was always a treat to see her work, and what hits me now is remembering a brief notice of her wedding announcement in one issue around 1993 or so. Seventeen years seems to go by too quickly.
Rest well, and thank you.
— Ned R.