Other Players

15 years since we lost Strummer

1

Congenital heart defect caught Joe by surprise at age fifty in the midst a creative resurgence with the Mescaleros. One of his mottoes was "the future is unwritten" and his seems so horribly unfinished. Few people have inspired me like Strummer. Right persona at the right time. And he really was making some incredible music when he passed. Went out in top form.

This one, from his posthumous last album, is all about his determination not to slip into complacent nostalgia:

Here's Setzer and the Orchestra performing one of the tunes he wrote with Strummer (and plays on a DYNA Jet!)

And here is a lesser known tune by the Clash, but one of their best:

2

That was a stunner.

I remember feeling the same way as when Lennon, or more recently, Tom Petty died.

Icons you don't think about having this very human quality of mortality because their music lives on.

4

Much too young!

5

I don’t usually get emotional with loss of artists but this really stung for some reason. I guess it was just like the world was turning and everything that defined it for me was dropping off the edge, a new world dawning with not much I could identify with. I was a dinasour watching the comet approach.

6

I don’t usually get emotional with loss of artists but this really stung for some reason. I guess it was just like the world was turning and everything that defined it for me was dropping off the edge, a new world dawning with not much I could identify with. I was a dinasour watching the comet approach.

– eCastro

I saw Joe and the Mescaleros at Irving Plaza in downtown NYC in October 2001. The air still stunk because the gaping hole where the towers had stood was STILL smoldering. They opened with their extended version of Minstrel Boy, and there was literally not a dry eye in the house. We wept, then he lifted us up for the next two hours. Almost as if on his shoulders. His final encore was Blitzkrieg Bop. And the last thing he said when they finished it was a horse "THAT WERE FOR JOEY, OF COURSE!!!" Joey had died of lymphoma months before. No one imagined that in a little over a year we'd lose Joe too.

Here's his 911 Elegy, "Ramshackle Day Parade", released posthumously.

7

Big loss of a talented man. Missed!

8

A huge loss. I can't believe it was 15 years ago. It only seems like a few years ago that I was fortunate enough to see him and the Mescaleros. Thanks for posting -- hadn't heard Ramshackle Day Parade before.

9

The Clash was the soundtrack of my teens. Music with a message. Heartfelt anger at what the world had become. Believeable anthems for generations to come. Not sure what it is was about their music but it had an unbelievable honest quality, something that lacks in a lot of music. When joe sang you felt every word resonate with your soul. A true storyteller, he will always be one of the greats.

10

Very sad and a huge loss. I was and still am a huge fan. One of my heroes!

I always love watching this clip. It's not long before his death. He's playing White Man in Hammersmith Palais and the audience is amazing. They are singing louder than the band. Very touching!

11

The Combat Rock tour in Detroit, August 1982 literally changed my life.

The gig with the Who that year was good but at a terrible venue (the Pontiac Silverdome). To see the Clash and Who together should have been musical nirvana.

Saw the five man Clash in 84 the music was there but the special sauce was gone.

After that I caught one cool gig of the Pogues where Shane McGowan was either too drunk or toxic to play or who knows and Strummer sang the gig. I'm guessing 1988.

Mescaleros never spoke to me. I wanted the original Clash back together but it never happened sadly.

Strummer was pretty awesome in Mystery Train that Jim Jarmusch movie.

12

In an hour or two Im gonna grab my guitar and go play "Spanish Bombs" a few times and finish off with "Im not Down".

Joe Strummer and The Clash was My Elvis, Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

R.I.P. Joe

13

15 years already?? Joe Strummer was one of the ones where you remember where you were when you heard the news of his death-- and can still remember the emotional sadness of it. I saw the Clash in Vancouver when they kicked off their North American "Give'em enough rope" tour and twice more after that.....

14

We were about to go onstage when the English main act came into the backstage, telling us that Joe had died. We played ‚Janie Jones‘ as the first song, it was a sad day. I saw him in Hambburg in ‘99 and am really glad that I wasn’t too lazy to drive three hours there and three hours back on that tour. Thanks for the good times, Joe!


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