JOE STRUMMER FROM THE CLASH DEAD AT 50:
Joe Strummer, guitarist for the legendary Clash has died at the age of 50.
At the time of publication there has been no official announcement of Joe’s death nor has a cause of death been given.
This brief message appears on fansite strummernews.com. The site dedicated to Joe states “We are deeply saddened to confirm that Joe Strummer has passed away. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers go out to the members of Joe’s family and his many, many friends around the world. An amazing, beautiful human being has left us. Your memory will live on forever Joe. We will miss you.”
Another fansite strummersite.com simply states “Joe Strummer died yesterday. Our condolences to Luce and the kids, family and friends”.
The Clash were founders of punk rock. Their mix of raw anger with politics became a musical template that would set the benchmark for punk rock forever.
As a songwriter, Joe Strummer was also directly responsible of the creation of the genre. Strummer was the bands primary songwriter and co-wrote many of their signature tune with singer Mick Jones including ‘London Calling’, ‘Train In Vain’ and ‘Capital Radio’.
The band broke up in 1982 and never reformed although Strummer did assist Mick Jones on the second Big Audio Dynamite album. All members were also involved in the mixing and release of the live album ‘From Here To Eternity’ in 1999. Jones was a surprise guest with Strummer in London only last month on November 15. All four members of The Clash were scheduled to appear together at an Ian Dury benefit just last year but it was Strummer who withdrew at the last minute.
Strummer also acts as consultant on the 1998 Clash tribute album ‘Burning London’ which saw interesting covers of Clash songs by acts as far removed from Silverchair to Moby.
Since 1999 Strummer has also been working with his new band The Mescaleros. Production of their third album started just last month.
One of Strummer’s most recent projects was a song he wrote to be performed at the Nelson Mandela AIDS benefit in South Africa in February 2003. The song ‘48864’ was co-written with U2’s Bono and Eurythmics Dave Stewart but based on a Strummer melody.
48864 was Mandela’s prison number when he was in jail on Robben Island. The concert will take place on Robben Island in South Africa.
Joe Strummer was born John Graham Mellor on August 12. 1952.
Paul Cashmere courtesy of Undercover