Archive: December 2002

December 23, 2002

Joe Strummer has died aged only 50 of a heart attack at his home in Somerset,England. Joe as singer with punk legends The Clash who along with The Sex Pistols changed everything musically in their 1976/1977 early days . Mixing rock with politics and reggae was their strength and he leaves behind some of the greatest music ever recorded . I was lucky enough to see the Clash 19 times before Mick Jones left (see search on raysgigs.com for more details) and was also at his last 2 London shows . 10 Nov 2002 when Joe And The Mescaleros did a 5 song benefit set at The Royal Opera House of all places and finished off with White Riot which in that building was just unreel . After the show i chatted to Joe and said that to hear White Riot in that building was amazing ,he answered "Well it had to be done " which pretty much sums up his whole attitude . 15 Nov 2002 when Joe And The Mescaleros did a benefit show for striking firemen at Acton Town Hall which even before his death had gone down in legend as Mick Jones came on for the 3 Clash songs encore. The first time they had played together for over 15 years .This year should have been a great year for punk as it was 25th anniversary of the summer of 1977 with punk in every magazine and countless books on punk coming out including Bob Gruens great collection of classic Clash photos but Joes death really has stunned everyone i have talked to . Joe was an icon of punk who still had a voice and he will be missed by so many . The cremation was held on Monday 30 December and after we all raised a glass or three for Joe at the wake reception at a pub in West London 3pm to 11pm .Gazs Rockin Blues was the DJ and he did a great job of playing reggae ,blues , ska and old rock n roll tunes mixed with a few by The Clash and The Mescaleros . Joe would have loved it . there were loads of Joes family and friends with Mick Jones , Paul Simonon ,Glen Matlock , Mark Lamarr , Don Letts , Patti Palladin ,Rat Scabies, Chrissie Hynde , Keith Allen ,Ten Pole Tudor , Victor (The Parkinsons),Bob Gruen (Clash photographer 1970s). Mick gave a very emotional speech in the evening.