August 21: Joe Strummer was born in 1952

joe-strummer

“We aren’t particularly talented. We try harder!”
― Joe Strummer

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“—Authority is supposedly grounded in wisdom, but I could see from a very early age that authority was only a system of control and it didn’t have any inherent wisdom. I quickly realised that you either became a power or you were crushed”
― Joe Strummer

As frontman and main songwriter of the Clash, Joe Strummer created some of the fieriest, most vital punk rock — and, indeed, rock & roll — of all time. Strummer expanded punk’s musical palette with his fondness for reggae and early rock & roll, and his signature bellow lent an impassioned urgency to the political sloganeering that filled some of his best songs.
~Steve Huey (allmusic.com)

The Edge inducts the Clash Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 2003:

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Dec 22: The great Joe Strummer passed away in 2002

“We aren’t particularly talented. We try harder!”
―Joe Strummer

“Authority is supposedly grounded in wisdom, but I could see from a very early age that authority was only a system of control and it didn’t have any inherent wisdom. I quickly realised that you either became a power or you were crushed”
― Joe Strummer

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Dec 14: The Clash released London Calling in 1979

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

I walked home from the local grocery store Ringdal exactly 36 years ago today with a plastic bag containing this double album by The Clash. It was priced as a single LP but had two vinyl records tucked inside. It was a frosty day, and when I was half way home I had to take off the plastic wrapping. To this day I can remember the smell, that wonderful smell of new vinyl on a frosty day.

The inner sleeves had “hand written” lyrics and it has to be the lyrics I’ve read most often. As a 13 year old boy from norway this was much more important in learning the english language than any class at school. Both historically and personally  The Clash, London Calling had a profound impact.

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Joe Strummer’s letter about Bruce Springsteen

When asked for his opinion on the subject/the man/the musician Bruce Springsteen in 1997, Joe Strummer sent the following letter to “rocumentary” filmmaker Mark Hagen. The film in question, ‘Bruce Springsteen: A Secret History’, was broadcast in 1998 on British television:

Joe Strummer’s all-caps handwriting:

ATTN: MARK HAGEN

Dear Mark – here’s my contribution

BRUCE IS GREAT… IF YOU DONT AGREE WITH THAT YOU’RE A PRETENTIOUS MARTIAN FROM VENUS. BRUCE LOOKS GREAT… LIKE HE’S ABOUT TO CRAWL UNDERNEATH THE CHORDS WITH A SPANNER AND SOCK THE STARTER MOTOR ONE TIME SO THAT A ENGINE STARTS UP – HUMMING AND READY TO TAKE US ON A GOLDEN RIDE WAY OUT SOMEWHERE IN THE YONDER…

BRUCE IS GREAT… BECAUSE HE’LL NEVER LAY DOWN AND BE CONQUERED BY HIS PROBLEMS HE’S ALLWAYS READY TO BUST OUT the SHACK AND HIT THE TRACK… HIS MUSIC IS GREAT ON A DARK and RAINY MORNING IN ENGLAND, JUST WHEN YOU NEED SOME SPIRIT AND SOME PROOF THAT THE BIG WIDE WORLD EXISTS, THE D.J. PUTS ON “RACING IN THE STREETS” AND LIFE SEEMS WORTH LIVING AGAIN… LIFE SEEMS TO BE IN CINEMASCOPE AGAIN.

BRUCE IS NOT ON AN EGO TRIP… BRUCE IS ACTUALLY INTO THE MUSIC… WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE THIS… A LOT OF RECORDS TODAY ARE MADE BY PEOPLE JUST TO FEED THEIR FAME. BRUCE IS GREAT… THERE AINT NO WHINGING WHINING OR COMPLAINING.. THERE’S ONLY GREAT MUSIC, LYRICS AND AN OCEAN OF TALENT.

ME? I LOVE SPRINGSTEEN!!!

(Signed, ‘Joe Strummer’)

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