NO ONE HAS EVER MEANT IT MORE
In many ways words fail to convey what a powerful force Joe Strummer was for rock 'n' roll. Most famously in The Clash but also in his stint with The Pogues, The Latino Rockabilly War, his last band The Mescaleros and elsewhere, Strummer made music feel like a cause and a worthy one. As fiery as any tent revival preacher and almost as resolutely moral, Strummer was a real man with real values and ethics and he lived them hard. On record, onstage or in conversation, there was never a doubt about the man's convictions or raw, always unpasteurized talent and brains. Today is Joe Strummer's birthday and he would have turned 58. Very sadly, Strummer died suddenly in December of 2002 due to an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. His legacy lives on vibrantly in the countless bands begun because of something he played or said, folks sparked by his bold, world changing energy. He is missed but only when our needle isn't firmly locked into his groove as we count off our rights, all three of them… (Dennis Cook)
We begin with one of Strummer's last great tunes, a ferociously slinky bit of reggae infused righteousness.
This is a public service announcement with guitars!
If you were lucky enough to catch this pairing live then you know how flucking special it was. This performance is from St. Patrick's Day in 1988.
It was a real treat to hear Strummer return to some of The Clash's signature pieces with The Mescaleros, who brought their own stamp to the material.
Strummer contributed one of the standouts on the Sid & Nancy soundtrack.
One can hear Joe's love of early rock in this one with his short-lived Latino Rockabilly War band.
A wonderful glimpse of Strummer hustling up business that really shows off his playful, wicked smart personality.
The Mescaleros just seemed to be hitting their creative stride at the time Strummer passed away. They had something truly seductive going on, like this very cool number.
Let us not be sad this day. Let us toast and smile and think fondly of Joe.