Hello again how is it? It’s been pouring with rain here today (written Sunday) to such an extent that I can see avoiding having to cut the grass for at least another 3 or 4 days. Well played weather, I wasn’t really in the mood anyway. If you are heading our tomorrow night for end of year celebrations take care of yourselves so that I can welcome you back to the blog in 2013 too.
I wanted to quickly reflect on today being the 10th anniversary to the day of the funeral of Joe Strummer. The ceremony has only been recounted in a few places and I think that’s how it should be, if at all. Joe’s funeral was on a very wet and rainy day in West London and the exact same weather here today seemed entirely appropriate. I did want to share the image below though taken that day before the ceremony. The image is the exclusive copyright of Tim Hoy and I had remembered seeing it once before, thanks to Mark Bedford and Arms Aloft in Acton Town for sharing it.
I think my favourite account of that sad/celebratory day was written on The Turtle website and it happily remains there if you never saw it, with their approval (I hope) an excerpt of that is below.
When I was sixteen, I thought the best song in the world (ever) was their “White Riot”. “All the power in the hands / of those rich enough to buy it / while we walk the streets / too chicken to even try it.” These days, I know it’s “(White man) In Hammersmith Palais”. It’s the story that works, of a man clubbing at a reggae night, expecting politics, distressed that people are just having fun, and then at a certain point, relaxing, and starting to see …
They played the song at the funeral, louder than I’ve ever heard it. The church was full past bursting, and most people remained outside in the drizzle. Two dozen firefighters stood to attention to bid Joe Strummer farewell. He had appeared at their benefit night, when they were on strike. They turned out for him. One stood by the church afterwards, yellow helmet in hand, showing her hair dyed red. Without Joe Strummer, she would be just another boring old brunette. I said to her, how come your managers gave you time off to come here? “We never asked them”.
I don’t have a lot of time this evening so thought I’d just keep you current with a few more things that have hit my newsfeed and inbox with more to follow over the next couple of days plus some details on many of the Joe Strummer events last weekend. Just click on the red links to read more and we’ll gradually get current again.
The Snipe reviews the Joe Strummer tribute in Vancouver, Canada. I’m ashamed to say this one never made it to my events preview list but is still sounds like a great night was had by all. A worthy review and lots of photos too so go and take a look, they also refer to a ‘bluesy’ version of Rock The Casbah. Does anyone have the video?
NPR reflect on 10 years without Joe Strummer. I don’t know if you caught this back on December 20th but if you didn’t you ought to. NPR (Public Radio in the US) often do a wonderful job covering independent music of today plus the most important music from the fringe from years gone by. An article plus an on air audio archive of a look back at Joe are both worth your time.
As you can tell I started this last night yesterday but then time ran out. I’ll be back before the year end I hope but if not all the best for 2013 and thank you for reading.