Joe Strummer A Guy Named Joe
by emily blunt

Joe Strummer is no longer with us...I wrote this a bac when he was touring w/ Mescaleros to help promote the tour and album...He was by far one of the greatest influences in my life, and by far one of the greatest humans in life.

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A long time a land far away... a few boys got together and ripped the roof of their local punk-rock venues. They were The Clash.

They came to America, toured the rest of the world, partied a bit much, made a sell-out album or two and ultimately went their separate ways. Sounds like nearly every British band (any band for that matter) or perhaps just another Gary Oldman script...

But, The Clash were/are too good to be dismissed so easily. The music is as fresh today blasting in the CD player as it was when the needle still innocently meant vinyl time...

And as far as I'm concerned there' s still just nothing like sitting back and drinking in the Clash's historic album Sandinista with a large Belvedere Martini...

In the early eighties when they hit big there were two types of punkers...The ones who liked The Clash and the ones that dug the Sex Pistols. I didn't get the angst of the Pistols and thought The Clash were more cerebral, intelligent, as well as different enough to drive mum mad.

When I was eighteen-ish, I toured as a friend of The Clash for four incredible days ...I came home with a mohawk, a new pair of red basketball sneakers and many happy memories of a great man (Joe) with a heart of gold, and a brain of steel. I am still looking for that kind of guy...Since I know that they do exist.

My fondest memory is of Buffalo NY. It was about 300am, Joe, myself, and Alex (a life-long friend) sat contemplating life - in that "altered state" way. We'd all escaped the groupies by pretending we were, err, more than friends (which we were not). When back in Joe's room for a good night cigarette - aka "waiting till coast was clear" - the three of us got into one of those life altering moments...for Alex and I at least.

We three talked about beatniks, politics, giving up pot, vitamin B, put some avocados on the sill to ripen, and what I was going to do in the future. Joe said in his unique voice, " Follow your passion! Or it's all piss i'dnt it?" He also giggled and tried to help me come up with a good story to explain my new mohawk to mummy...What were his plans? He was going home and continue to try and make a difference with his music.

Alas, the Clash are gone (sniff). But, Joe Strummer is still ripping through towns spreading thought provoking tunes and giving a damn! I just love this guy. Joe's now with the Mescaleros and has once again come prancing along with original thought provoking music.

The cds Rock Art & The X-Ray Style and Global A Go-Go can catch you off guard. At first your like, "Hmm how decidedly different." Then your snapping your fingers, dancing about and quoting lines at passer-bys. Scrumptious. And absolutely worthy for any die hard Clash fan that got it.

Joe's grown and the growth is not so much better - since I thought he was brilliant before - but it's a transition and we get to come along for the ride.

Check him out- he's a myth on Earth. Yes, Yes, I will take some lithium- just visit the man and continue to dig his music man.



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