How I came to write...”Death or Glory”
I’ve been fortunate enough over the last few years to contribute short stories to a number of anthologies, but never one as much fun as this. I’m a massive, massive music lover, so when Luca Veste asked if I’d like to contribute a story based on a song title and support the good work of literacy projects around the world, I would have paid for the privilege. Seriously.
My choice was always going to be a song by The Clash, so that meant something from “London Calling.” It’s an album which is never far from my CD player. It’s a career high which ties up all kinds of musical loose ends including punk, rock, country, jazz, reggae and ska. More importantly, it’s always struck me as being a very visual album. I can see the guy in “The Clampdown” slowly becoming what he despises and the defiance of the guy in “Guns of Brixton”. But most of all, it’s “Death or Glory” which has always fascinated me.
Ultimately, you can interpret lyrics as you wish, but to me, “Death or Glory” is about what you do when you realise life is on top of you and not necessarily in front of you. It seems to me that there are two options - you can either give in and let bitterness and disappointment consume you, or you can find a way forward that makes sense to you, even if you can’t change the world like you maybe once wanted to. Some people manage to negotiate that, others don’t. My aim was to take the guy in “Death or Glory” and use the details in the song to examine that dilemma. I have no idea if Joe Strummer would have approved of my interpretation of the song, but I’d like to think he would have approved of this fantastic project.
Darren Sant. Karma Police
after a few moments thought not only did a song title come to me but the story idea came with it. All writers have their own muse but when I get a strong idea so quickly I usually find that it’s a winner. When I try and bend a story over the anvil to make it fit it’s often not as successful as that initial idea that just comes to me in a flash.