Good morning from a strangely cold San Diego on the tenth anniversary that always seemed so far in the future. Sadly it has arrived on schedule. Today is yours – please add comments below, or on facebook or just email me. I’ll get everything added to the site as the day goes on.
ClashBlog 3:55am: This is a liveblog, it will refresh throughout the day. If you have the webpage open you don’t have to revisit the site for updates.
I encourage all of you to submit a few words about Joe if you can today. Let me know what you’re doing, share a favourite memory, song or lyric or simply send me the url of a photo or video you’d like to see out included. No rules today, let’s simply connect. I went to sleep especially early last night so as it’s already noon in London I hope you are out and awake. Or indeed inside and toasting Joe already. I have to get some coffee on or things might end before they’ve begun.
4:13am; Wayne, UK: “What can you say. I’ve not got the words to describe how Joe Strummer and let’s not forget the rest of the band made a impression on my life. I was lucky to see the band quite a few times and although memory fades I will always remember it was the best times I ever had.. Thank you..”
419am: ClashBlog: Tricky one this…is it too early to toast Joe? I think I wait for sunrise? Feedback sought. Also, please tell me your city and country so I can include on the blog. Thanks.
420am; Carlos: Joe Strummer….an amazing man,musician,lyricist,front man,human being….you are trully missed…an inspiration!!!
422am ClashBlog: I’ll also be adding links to what I see on blogs, twitter and newspapers today. Thankfully The Guardian did a large piece on Joe by trawling through the archives. Still well worth a look and loads of great interview snippets.
426am Peter in Amsterdam: (Peter reminds me my Strummer events list was incomplete). If you are in Amsterdam tonight this is where you need to be from 8pm. 3+ Bands and DJ on their local Strummer tribute. (yes, modest advertising is accepted today…as are contributions to Strummerville)
430am ClashBlog: Coffee has brewed, I’m still freezing, the house is asleep. Who can grab me a bacon sandwich?
432am Paul (UK?): “Inspirational! Life changing!. R.I.P Joe……. STAY FREE”
434am Stephen, Scotland: “Thinking of Joe always. Every action creates a reaction, make it positive. Thanks to The Clash and Joe for changing my life. Thanks to all fans.”
441am Federico, Perugia, Italy: “Joe…i will never forget your music!!!!”
443am ClashBlog: As luck would have it Arsenal are playing in two minutes so I’ve got three computers running and testing my multi-tasking skills to their full. All of this before 5am.
445am Richard, UK: “ Ten years…In one way it seems like forever and in another like yesterday….But isn’t that always the way with the most poignant of memories? People talk about remembering where you were the exact moment you heard that somebody famous had died, they wheel out the old JFK and Princess Diana examples, well for me, my moment like that will forever revolve around the 23rd December 2002…JOE STRUMMER had actually passed away the day before but like a lot of people, I did not hear about it until the next morning when it was announced on JOE’S website….Still hard to describe how I felt that morning, we had lost more than a singer and a songwriter….We had lost the rarest of creatures, a rock’n'roll star that truly cared and agonised over the prices of his records and his live concerts….A man who berated record company executives and promoters constantly to ensure that his product and performances were priced as low as feasilbly possible…A man who understood that radical music means nothing unless you have a radical and often disenfranchised audience to receive it…And a lot of people have forgotten that and need to re-learn it….A man who was capable of great wisdom and profundity and who could also, like all of us, make disastrous mistakes and decisions that cost him dear – in more ways than one…JOE STRUMMER was not just the lucid, angry voice for our generation, behind the scenes, he was a very human man, you could talk to him on a level, he was cool, in the coolest possible way…One of the great memories of my life will always be the night me and PAUL STEWART (of Southampton, now Paris, France) sat in THE CLASH’s dressing room at The Electric Ballroom, Camden Town on the first of two gigs there on the ’16 tons’ tour…MICK JONES got us in there and PAUL casually picked up JOE’S big ‘temple ball’ and began rolling a huge pliff from it…JOE, who had already done us favours on the tour, knew we were hobbity hoi’s ‘ligging’ for all our worth but he did not even blink and passed us beers, as he tapped his foot frantically while JOE ELY, the Texan Country Singer who was supporting them that night hammered out a song on a battered acoustic…All around us, the members of ELY’S band nodded their heads, heads which had been freshly shorn into 50s style quiffs especially for the London gigs, this after they had originally arrived for the tour with 70s perms and bubble cuts!…Stylistically, in a glorious irony, THE CLASH were now exporting 50s Americana back to bona fide Texans…..Fantastic moments, with PAUL COOK and STEVE JONES of the SEX PIOSTOLS tapping along and IGGY POP standing in the corner wearing a silver lurex bodysuit, a tall blonde american girl draped around him….Half an hour later and me and PAUL were skanking onstage next to MIKEY DREAD, the Jamaican Toaster/dj who was opening the show that night…THE CLASH as everybody knows came on that night and were absolutely blistering, at the peak of their musical prowess and firing on all cylinders in front of 2,000 people who almost melted, due to the fact that the venues air conditioning packed up completely after the first song….I would not swap those memories for a billion pounds….And god do we miss dear JOE now, right at this particular time….A spokesman, an artist, a great lyricist and a man who touched the hearts and souls of many, many people….And most certainly mine….RIP JOE….”
449am Michael Krohne Sweden: Submitted this wonderful video, please watch.
455am James, England: “To steal a few words from Jake Burns, goodbye inspiration, voice of a generation”
457am Andrea: “Thank you, fellow fans, for helping keep the spirit of Strummer alive!”
459am Roy, Scotland: “Where to begin… I’d always liked the Clash but I didn’t truly get into them until the early 90s when I started working for a living; I heard Magnificent 7 and “got” it straight away!, The more songs I listened to, the more into them I got. Joe was talking about my life and the world I could see around me. A few years later I was fortunate to see the Mescaleros several times, and I’ll never forget being just a yard away from him at King Tuts. I listen to Joe’s music every day. His image adorns my living room wall. His attitude and philosophy adorn my consciousness. Every day I wish he was still here – not many “rock stars” can do that. Recently I was given a bottle of tequila by friends returning from holiday; tonight I shall be opening it and toasting Joe Strummer. R”
500am David, Scotland: “And from that day forward the world and rock n roll would never be the same again,RIP Joe”
503am Lesley: “Go easy stay free. You are and always will be true legend. and I will have a drink for you”
505am Cathal, Ireland: “I only wish I could have been alive in 1979. Still though,without even ever seeing or hearing Joe live, he has definitely had more of an impact on me than any other person in the world. I mean there has never been a man who wrote more better/honest lyrics.When I listen to the first album , the lyrics are still as relevant as ever.The world needs somebody like Joe in these shitty times.
“Hate and War, the only things we got today”
509am ClashBlog: A tribute blog to Joe from Johanna’s Visions.com….get along and have a look.
512am ClashBlog: Nice to see Twitter starting to hop (see left)…I demand that Joe #Strummer starts trending this afternoon.
517am ClashBlog: Roy in Canada wrote to remind me that CJAM in Canada are doing their 24 hour Joe Marathon today. So here’s how you can listen while reading my near nonstop yapping. Thanks Roy!
519am Louis: “Check wfnx online, they will be playing Clash music all day today in Honor of Joe. Oh Joe, we miss you as much today as ever. Your songs are as revel ant today as when you wrote them over 30 years ago. RIP.”
“Someday you’ll meet your rocking chair
’cause that’s where we’re spinning
There’s no point to wanna comb your hair
When it’s grey and thinning”
553am Jock: “Lets raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer, I think he might have been our only decent teacher”
555am Brian (The Lone Groover): “ First things first: Joe strummer was no saint, nor should we treat him like one but for me and many people across the globe today’s 10th anniversary of his death is a big deal.
It’s not just that he was one of the best frontmen of all time or that his band were possibly the greatest rock group to grace a stage, but more for what he represents. He represents a time when authenticity, integrity, passion, intelligence, romanticism, guts, sweat and a questioning mind actually meant something in this dirty rotten to the core business we call rock n roll. Wrap that up in some flash clothes, great haircuts and a somewhat idealised view that the world could be a better place with the right soundtrack and you have the making of something more than a song and dance man……which is all he was, albeit with an electric left leg and a fantastic turn of phrase. He wasn’t a fake either, though his man of the people schtick was criticised in some quarters due to his middle class background…..but surely it’s where you’re at, not where you’re from that’s important baby. Hey! His band played an important role in the development of a lot of young kids’ understanding of race and culture, teaching the peace ‘n’ luv way rather than the hate ‘n’ war way, so stick that in your peace pipe and smoke it. After his wilderness years he returned with even more humanity and his vulnerability somehow co-existed alongside his ‘street cred’ making him even more likeable, and as a result his statesmanlike stature has grown in the last ten years, and rightly so. In a world where the X factor and celebrity culture seems to have an indecent grip on the populace, and where big business and the money men have again stamped their authority on the rest of us, his ideals and almost zen/rasta like attitude are needed more than ever.
Maybe we take this shit too seriously, or maybe not seriously enough, either way, it’s ten years too long that he’s been gone. Of course, people of a certain age will always look back to their time and their heroes and consider it had more depth than what follows but the heartening thing is that there are plenty of young folk who are hip to the Strummer way and are passing on the torch as we speak…..but fuck it, he sang Clash City Rockers, White Man, Armagideon Time, Mag 7 & Janie Jones and for that alone we should have a big fuckin’ party! So, no saint, but he was definitely one of the good guys. He had a heart &, soul and although well known the world over, he was never a star…..he was always too real for that. Joe Strummer – Punk Rock Warlord – 21/08/52 – 22/12/02 – RIP The Lone Groover”
601am Steve, UK: “ Nice memories of meeting Joe backstage at Bristol Colston and later the Lyceum, he was busy with other fans and liggers but he fiund time to chat with me, an impressionable 17 year old about this, that and the other. The Clash let the fans come in the stage door and tuck into chicken and beers after a 20 minute wait outside. When I got Joe’s eye I was a bit star struck, but we chatted like fellow fans and he left a great impression on me of being such a normal guy in an extraordinary situation. A gentleman to his fans. So glad I was there at Acton 2002 too. Great memories. Joe was, and remains, an inspiration”
603am Blacko: “I was a clueless deluded idiot until I heard the Clash. Thanks for the songs and thanks for the guidance. Stay Free.”
606am Mark, Toronto: “I met many of my friends here on Facebook through my ‘Shatter The Hotel’ project and/or a mutual love of Joe and The Clash and I think we’re a pretty awesome community and look forward to reading and watching many of your great memories and tributes today. I myself was lucky enough to meet Joe briefly following a Mescaleros’ show in 1999 and my lasting impression was how he was so exhausted from the performance but still had the time, patience and energy to chat, sign autographs and shake hands with the small group of us that was assembled backstage. Fast forward to December 22nd, 2002 – I was booked to play a show that night and can still recall how it felt to sing an emotional, if terribly under rehearsed version of Bankrobber in his honour. Joe had plenty of amazing musical moments during his career but for me this is one of the absolute finest” (ClashBlog…I get to play a song at last)
Joe Strummer and The Mescaleros ‘Yalla Yalla’
609am Georgina (my Mum’s name!): “Thank you Joe, for changing my views on both music and life in general, and making us all aware that music can change the world. Your words continue to inspire. X”
615am Megan: “Joe Strummer has impacted my life so much. I am so grateful for him and the Clash”
622am Callie, Canton GA, USA: “I love everything by the clash but rudie cant fail probobly one of favorites ,til Joe strummer he was an.amazing man and a true inspiration.”
627am ClashBlog: Nice to see Billy Bragg (left) looking like a goon when he met Joe back in the day.
“The toughest thing is facing yourself. Being honest with yourself, that’s much tougher than beating someone up. That’s what I call tough.” Joe Strummer
633am ClashBlog: WCBS *(hmmm) adds a post of Joe’s best quotes, one of which is above.
636am Annie: “Unfortunately, I did not get to see The Clash when they played Bond’s IN NYC in ’81. However, I was able to catch Joe for a magical night with the Pogues @ The Ritz”
640am Nat: “Ten years since Joe Strummer died. Dude made me who I am. Fantastic musician, changed so many lives. World’s a worse place without him”
643am ClashBlog: I’ve seen a few people lately ask what happened to the wonderful website ‘Black Market Clash”. It was down for a few months but as I wrote earlier it’s now hosted at a new url, here it is so bookmark it, visit it and thank him for all his amazing work. Arsenal won 1-0, I need a shower so will be back in a while. Please send links to photos and videos so I’m not forced to make all the decisions. Cheers ~
701am Kevin: “Hey Everyone! Unfortunately I was born a few decades too late to have ever seen The Clash. I first listened to them when I was 11, which unfortunately was the same year Joe passed. Since then I have practically dedicated my life to the band and Joe. Their lyrics and music effected me like no other band is possible of doing. My entire room is covered in Clash posters, pictures and albums. To me, no other band is worthy of that dedication and the Clash are truly “The Only Band That Matters”. When I was in a band I tried to be Joe. Black telecaster, Ignore Alien Orders sticker and left leg pumping. He was my idol and always will be. I can only imagine what it would have been like to meet him. From what I’ve heard, it would have been a treat. My life would have been totally different if I never listened to Clash City Rockers live at the Lyceum 1/3/1979. From that moment on my life was completely changed. I had never heard a band that could put on a performance like that. I can’t believe I have been listening to The Clash for almost half of my life and my only regret is that I didn’t find them sooner. Tonight I will be attending the Joe Strummer tribute in Philly to pay my respects to one of the greatest influences of my life. Until then, hopefully my family doesn’t mind the constant Strummer music that will be playing in my room throughout the day. RIP Joe”
702am Brittany: “Today is the 10th anniversary of my hero, Joe Strummer’s, passing. Thank you for helping me grow into the person I am today, Joe. Stay free ♥”
720am Bazar Boy: “ My humble homage to the great man”
723am Jeff: ” First saw Joe The Clash at Manchester Apollo, changed my life!”
726am Simon, Bournemouth: “A flawed, genuine genius. Rude Peace Joe – love you forever xx”
728am David: “Here’s an essay I wrote for popmatters on what Joe & the Clash meant to me”
734am ClashBlog: The Quietus (for me) remains one of the better online music blogs. Today it proves it again with this in-depth interview with Johnny Green. Even though he should have given it here, then I wouldn’t need to redirect Clash fans!
802am Phyllis: “Today to celebrate Joe’s life, we are listening to our collection of Joe throughout his incarnations. We plan to get outside, “be glad we’re alive”, and raise some toasts to Joe this afternoon. Attached are photos of my DIY tribute to Joe this year I was particularly inspired by Joe’s attitude towards the creative process, as well as his passion about life, music, and making the world a little bit better place. I miss new music from him and his genuine insights and observations about the world. Io glad others are celebrating his life and impact.
813am Jeff: “Great footage of Joe playing”
818am ClashBlog: A very nice piece on the 10th anniversary from BBC News. Go and read it now.
820am Peter, UK: “Gonna have a few steady ales in honour of Joe Strummer. RIP Joe.”
821am ClashBlog: Another nice article from PunkNews.Org, get along and read that one too.
829am Stewart, Montreal: “10 years since Joe Strummer’s passing.He brought oppression and politics to the mainstream with his music. Simply the greatest ever. RIP Joe”
831am ClashBlog: Reddit.com have a sorta weird forum/messageboard thing for Joe’s 10th going on if that’s your thing. Or you can stick around here. Might be a good place to spend an hour or so as I need to go to the supermarket shortly.
834am Robert from Malmo: asks if there is any Joe celebration planned in Malmo tonight? Over to you in Malmo if you know of anything, let us know. I was in Malmo a long time ago for a football match, it was cold and people were very pleasant/beautiful.
837am Spotify: If you’re clued up enough to have a Spotify account you might want to follow this link to hear all 57 tracks that comprise the Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros Hellcat Years release.
844am Don Letts: “I knew Strummer in The Clash, The Latino Rockabilly War, The Mescaleros and as plain old Joe. Whatever guise he appeared in, he remained open to all the world had to offer till the very end. Lessons to learn my friends… Lessons to learn.”
905am Tracey B, Hull: “The 10 years since Joe’s death have passed so quickly, but I still find it difficult to put into words what he meant to me. I listened to a lot of music during my teenage years but The Clash were the one band that I really loved with a passion. They were the only band whose name on a magazine cover meant that I had to buy it, even if the rest of the articles were rubbish or about artists I couldn’t stand. It was down to The Clash that I started to listen to a wider range of music. I still admire their determination to break out of the narrow constraints of what some saw as Punk and to experiment with musical genres. Joe’s death seemed such a terrible waste to me when he was once again in the public eye and seemed to have so much more to say. I sometimes catch myself wondering what he would have to say about the current state of the world. I feel still feel sad about Joe’s passing, but then I remember that I was privileged to grow up listening to his music and that he left us with a fantastic body of work to remember him by”
906am Joannie, New Jersey, USA: “Dear Joe: I miss you so much. Not a day goes by when i don’t think about you, or get inspired by you. When I hear you on the radio, my heart skips a beat. I never got to meet you, and that makes me so sad. But I grew up with you, and I always felt like you were the big brother I never had…teaching me, watching over me, entertaining me. I was so lucky to see you and The Clash perform at some of your greatest concerts. I’ll never forget my high school graduation day, and rushing off to see you afterward at Bonds in NY. It was a magical day…I’ll never forget it. After the show, which was perfect in every way, you stepped up to the microphone and helped a young man find his ride home. I thought that was probably the coolest thing I’d ever seen. I missed out on the Mescaleros years because I had two babies, and a marriage that was falling apart. I’ll always regret that I didn’t go to see you when you toured in NY in the late 90s. Little did I know that in a few short years you would be gone. At night when I look up at the stars, I always think of you. You’re my guiding star. Your lyrics taught me more about the world than all my years of school did. Your voice is so real, it gives me goosebumps sometimes. I love to watch your leg pumping as you work your magic onstage (thank God for dvds and youtube). I hope I have done you justice by wearing your t-shirts and telling everyone I know how great you are and how The Clash is the only band that matters. I hope I am living my life in a way that would make you proud. I like to think that if I had met you, we could have been fast friends! There is a special feeling i get when I listen to The Clash and you that I don’t get from anything else in this world. Thank you, Joe Strummer. I love you and I miss you. xxx”
1027am Anonymous: “It feels like yesterday, when I first met you in December 1976. It always feels like yesterday when I hear your music. You helped, through your music, make people see the world we live in, and helped me understand what we have to do, to make a better, more equal and more tollerant world for everyone. Thank you Joe, stay free x”
1028am Barry, Newcastle, UK: “Hurray…2013 Strummerville calender just arrived…Weird”
1032am Kevin, Hamilton ON, Canada: “Listening to Joe and missing/loving him. Thanks for all you do” (Kevin was listening to this brilliance below)
Please watch, with speakers loud and heart wide open.
1036am Skatym: “‘from hero to zero,’ he said in Let’s Rock Again. But Joe, even at the bottom you were head and shoulders above, and we still look up to you.”
1037am The Baker, Tightwad NC : “Joe….why did you have to go?”
1040am: ClashBlog: Right on cue Rolling Stone show no style or skill, tweeting their Joe Strummer story with instead a link to a Metallica article. Arseholes as ever.
1042am Josef K, Los Angeles (via Twitter): “Would love to see Joe Strummer trending, as a tribute to Joe’s passion & morals and timeless music: they don’t make ‘em like joe anymore .. “
1049am ClashBlog: NPR Radio put together a great broadcast and article. You can both listen and read via one link and I have it here. Chris Salewicz states ‘he never saw The Clash as a political group, but a satirical one’. Not sure everyone will feel the same, but its a great listen.
1219pm ClashBlog: What did I miss? Sorry I had to step away, we’re celebrating xmas early as the youngest of the household has to fly away to see his hopeless ‘Dad’ on the morning of the 25th. He got a pair of tickets to Legoland tomorrow and mountains of other stuff, I’ll do London Calling next year when he’s old enough. In the meantime this tribute piece to Joe from Spin magazine who this week announced they’ll stop publishing.
1224pm Jim Morrison (?): † remembering Joe Strummer † !!! check out: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Birthdays-of-Rock/179744375400961 xxx Jimbo
1225pm Angela, Toronto, Canada: “Joe – I still miss you every day but your influence remains within and around me. Thank you for inspiring me to be true to myself and live with passion.”
1227pm Jeanne, Seattle, USA: “So so many memories and thoughts. I thought I would share a memory of Joe Strummer that typifies his good heart. I had gone to see the Clash play in Seattle in 1979. Being a rabid fan, I braved the mosh pit to get as close as possible. During the melee, someone stomped on my hand and injured one of my fingers. Later, I was backstage talking with Joe. He must have been exhausted from performing, but he was very concerned about my finger, which was obviously bleeding, in spite of some tissue that I had wrapped around it. He offered to have someone from his crew drive me to the hospital. There was no way I was leaving!!! Such a kind, kind man. He remains a large part of my life every day through his music, his words and primarily, his inspiration.”
1229pm Mark, Sweden: “No gig in Malmo tonight. Too young (?) to see them in Malmö 1977 I at least saw them twice during the 16 tons, Lund and Gothenburg. Was let in backstage in Gothenburg, what an inspiring moment. Funny thing about 1977 and the gig is I live in the same street now. Me in no 10 B and gig in no 54. “
1231pm Anonymous, Chicago, USA: “when I first heard the Clash back in 1980 I felt they were MY band. Their words spoke to me and meant so much. Joe Strummer Was such an inspiration. They were powerful, humanistic, anti racist, anti violence. They spoke up against injustice. Authentic,, uplifting, creative and empowering describes their music at a time when everything else seemed so bland. They always seemed uplifting and optimistic while opening your eyes to various issues which are still relevant today. They were loyal to their fans and we return that loyalty. I love Joe Strummer. Always have and always will. I was lucky enough to have seen the Clash in NY but regret I missed seeing Joe with the Mescaleros. Joe, you were the best and to many of us, you still are. I listen to you daily and am still inspired by your work. We grieve your loss and will never forget you, your amazing music and your awesome voice. You are always in our hearts”
1240pm Gretel, PA, USA: “I can’t believe it’s been 10 years already, thinking of you Joe Strummer ! You’re impact is still going strong, and you’re still an inspiration. You’re the Punk Rock Warlord forever, and no one can hold a candle to you”
1244pm ClashBlog: Another ten year tribute for you, this one from Consequence of Sound.
1247pm Andrew, Toronto, Canada: “This was the last time I saw Joe Strummer…It was a cool night and when he arrived on stage it was warm welcome reminiscent of an old friend we hadn’t seen in a while. He smiled and grinned and launched into the first song. It was usual Joe giving his all and the crowd was open mouthed and bouncing, some who hadn’t witnessed the presence that was Joe just stood and admired. Joe, stopped in silence halfway through and took a knee. He talked to the crowd, it was like he had the power to look every one in the eye simultaneously. The crowd drew closer to the stage. He discussed politics but always with a message, he left us some thing to take away. The crescendo of Yalla Yalla, rose around him. The warmth and good feeling of all in the room enveloped us. That was classic Joe, whether as in previous shows, would stop and help some one that seemed in trouble at the front of the stage or address political figures and try to raise that ire in us to make a difference. When Joe died 10 years ago today, I hadn’t received the news but was rebuying one of his CD’s. Silver and Gold was playing and clerk told me. All he said was this was the last song he ever played. Openly weeping he stood there and we both acknowledged the loss of one of the worlds most powerful presences. We didn’t know him well but was like he knew us. RIP Joe”
1253pm Catterina, Italy: “Joe Strummer and The Clash have completely changed my life and my way to see reality. They taught me to think about the world we live in, to care for social problems, to use my own brain. But most of all, I’m grateful to Joe because I learned from him that it’s always worth to fight for something we believe in, even if we know we’re probably gonna fail. I would be a different person without Joe. Thank you.”
1254pm ClashBlog: Something blindingly obvious has hit me today reading all of your wonderful thoughts. So many are using words like – showed, taught, guided, inspired, motivated. Joe had some serious pressure from us, expectations that a singer in a band is rarely likely to face again. With all that said I remain convinced he did his best with a heavy plate. I think he’d love the diversity of memories and diversity of locations we all hail from. It has been great to read your thoughts today, I’ve hardly had time to sit and feel sad this year. Thank you.
1259pm Mike: “This post is a great summary of how I feel too. Without Joe & The Clash, my life would have gone in completely different direction. From my first would-be girlfriend who had an album (so of course I became interested). I never got the girl but I got the band, a love of Levi Red Tags, Converse shoes, playing the bass and a willingness to not accept everything. Something I summarise as “what would Joe do”. He’s been an influence in so much as an idea or thought pattern, I never got to meet Joe but I saw the band many times, met Mick and Paul and 34 years later those sounds, those memories and the ideas they inspired in me remain alive and as close to me as ever.
I still try to avoid wearing blue & brown – I mean who wants to work for the clampdown! I’ll always think of we rather than me i.e. left-sided politics And the band and Joe’s music will always be close at hand. Best of all, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
113pm Rob, Toronto, Canada: “For some reason folks, Toronto has not sufficiently got onboard to celebrate the legacy of the one and only Joe Strummer on this 10th anniversary, but many of us have rallied, networked, urged Torontonians to strike up some Clash, and recollections of the Strummer just the same. A buddy of mine and I are committed to making a Toronto Strummerfest happen for subsequent years. Tonight though, we get together with friends, play lots of his music on recordings, maybe some live performances too, and toast a truly great voice of the people for the people. I’ve been playing his music all day since waking up. Joe, thanks for your ire, your passion, your eyes on what’s going on in this zany world! More than remembered, you are a daily mantra for me to get up, get out and make a difference! Cheers mate and all at the Clash Blog, and all Strummer/Clash/Mescaleros fans and fans of music! May we all work together through the inspiration of great music to create better ways of connecting with each other as a human family. The Future is Unwritten! RB”
120pm ClashBlog: I like The Housemartins, a lot, but can someone explain why they are trending on Twitter and #Strummer isn’t? Meanwhile LSMedia have written a good article on Joe (the page has fake snow, nothing wrong with your monitor).
130pm ClashBlog: A fantastic piece on Joe from yesterday’s Scotsman. Someone (or a few) up at that paper love The Clash. With that said I better eat some lunch. Cheers for a bit after 9 hours and 6,400 (of mostly your) words.
215pm Andrea: “I wrote this a few days ago: http://xraystyles.tumblr.com/post/38184782200/crying-for-joe-is-not-a-bad-thing I’m planning on writing more tonight. And I’m copying and pasting this from a thing I wrote in February: When I first got into The Clash, I didn’t think that would happen…the sadness. I remember being all OMG I LOVE THE CLASH SO MUCH AND THEY MAKE ME HAPPY AND WEIRD AND CREATIVE AND INSPIRED and I had this jacket I wrote lyrics on the back of…theirs and the Pistols..then ONE DAY I was on my LiveJournal (no facebook and stuff) and this music loving, weed smoking, reggae loving guy on my friends list had an RIP post. And I thought it was a joke. I distinctly remember, as the fear and numbness crept in, thinking, “why would you say that?” then I googled and…it was true. I am quite sure I went to listen to them (on my Discman) and felt…detached. And the more I listened, and the more I thought about it, the darker it felt. I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT HIM, other than The Clash… but high school was a dark time for me and that year I finally got into Bowie and The Clash and Pistols and Blondie and I felt like my weird quirks and differing opinions were VALID. That this small town mindset was not going to define me cuz look at what Joe is saying…other people are pissed off about things and make it out and create and that was INSPIRING to me and though I didn’t yet know how witty and dorky and weird and fond of vests he was, I knew something special was there, and the fact that I was able to gain such strength and sense of validation from his words made me realize JOE STRUMMER MATTERS. JOE STRUMMER IS IMPORTANT. JOE STRUMMER LIVES. Why is everyone saying he’s dead? His thoughts and creations and energies he formed have shaped this teenaged outcast and made her realize there is more world than she knew of. We are not defined by our past…thinking differently is okay, it is encouraged, it is strength and world-changing and beauty and art and the air in my lungs that keeps me going. And to be told that he was gone was like…IS like…no, no, that isn’t true. That can’t be true because when someone is dead, it signifies there is no more they do for the world, no more interactions with the world, no more breaths and words and fears and dreams. But dammit, that is NOT true. Because I feel that he is still here. Be that through the life in his creations, or something spiritual, he is here all the same. The fact that there are still those he inspires, that he makes people find an outlet and make them strive for change, that his words and attitudes and everything he created are still relevant and inspiring people and he DOES live, he lives like a gnarled tree that has long seen its last season lives…does it grow new leaves each season? No. But its foundation remains, this thing that is beautiful in its twisted up facade, that refuses to stop being present although it no longer blooms. And you know what happens to such things? They start to nourish other things and encourage them to grow, it becomes the supporting system that sustains and gives life to others, that through its own battered and weathered shell, gives up pieces of itself to be carried in the physicality, the mind, the everything of countless others. The moss, the butterflies, the ants, the birds. This is not sad…this is not the end…it is a continuing life…one that grows even after it ends, that ensnares in its withering roots and forces you to to fall, to feel the pain, to be angry and then inspired and take that anger, take that pain, use that tree that remains although it does not bloom, and take pieces of it with you, use its branch to prop you up, take what it created and let it be your comfort and shade. There is nothing to be sad about because his life wasn’t wasted…wasn’t forgotten…was not a mistake or something wiped out from the pages. This is what it means to say that JOE STRUMMER LIVES, to say that death is not the end, that the life we live may not always traverse the path we had set it on, but every little life we encounter feels us and has the capability to be touched and inspired and encouraged to grow. To spread itself out til it cannot possibly lay itself any barer, to show the world THIS IS WHO AND WHAT I AM. I am here. I breathe. And when I do not breathe, I will still exist in the lives I have touched and ideas I have planted”
238pm Tony: “The Clash provided the soundtrack to my youth and Joe has been a lifelong inspiration. Watched The Future is Unwritten earlier and now of to raise a glass or two in his memory”
245pm Dani: “When I discovered The Clash I had no idea about what music was supposed to be, or how it had the power to really affect people. I heard my brother listening to Clash City Rockers and I liked it- I thought it sounded neat; something an uncoordinated person like myself could jump around to. From there I made my way through The Clash’s repertoire, completely enamored. The band just made me happy- that’s all there was to it. A song like “I’m Not Down” is not something I had never heard before. “I’ve been beat up, I’ve been thrown out, but I’m not down. No I’m not down.” To a severely timid 16 year old girl with little to no self confidence, this helped. It really did. I’m not saying that Joe or The Clash solved these problems for me. I still have them. But I’m getting better, and having Joe there to tell me the importance of being honest with myself and letting go of the past was a godsend. Music builds for me the bridges that I need to get where I’m going. I’ve come to realize this. “The toughest thing is facing yourself. Being honest with yourself, that’s much tougher than beating someone up. That’s what I call tough” he said. If I’ve learned anything from Joe, it’s that anyone can be tough. I can be tough. I can do anything I want to if I give it all I’ve got. If we’re lucky we hear these things from our parents and sometimes our friends, but I think it’s important to hear it from someone outside of our own realms- someone who can show us that it’s the truth because they’re living proof that it is. For me and whole lot of other people, that person is Joe. I’ll admit that in the past I’ve gotten far too caught up in analyzing everything about him. ‘He did this, he did that- I don’t like that, I don’t agree with that there.’ But I’ve realized that if you’re searching for somebody perfect to look up to, you’re never going to find them. Besides, perfection isn’t something anyone’s going to learn from. Lord knows I’ve made enough wrong turns. But now I know that when I get knocked down I have to get up off the ground and keep on marching. That’s what Joe did. I really owe this realization to him. I had never been told this truth straight out and as is until Joe. We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but to have that fellow man there with you to keep you moving is invaluable. “Without people, you’re nothing.” As I’m writing this, it’s all falling into place. I’ve never found some perfect, glorified hero in Joe Strummer; I’ve found a person- a good person. I know he’d be the first to say that he’s not worthy of such praise. He’s just a man, but he’s the one who reminds us that we can be tough. He toughened me up, and I’m better for it. That’s definitely worthy of something. “People can do anything. This is something I’m beginning to learn.” We’ve all learned with Joe, I know for sure that I have. I’m really thankful to have been graced by his influence in my life. So in simple terms: Joe, from me and every person you’ve ever inspired- you rock. -Dani”
245pm Siiri, Finland: “I’m thankful to Joe every single day of my life until I die, that’s for sure. I’m thankful for everything he taught me about life and death and everything in between, and everything he gave to the world, all the beautiful music and the wise words, lyrics and advice that have affected hundreds of thousands of people, including me. I wish I had the opportunity to thank him in person and tell him that I am one of the lucky people whose lives have been changed by him and The Clash, and that I’m happy and very grateful for it. But since I’m not fortunate enough to have that opportunity, I wish that all of the kind and loving words from his family, friends and fans reach him today, wherever he is. So, Joe, if you hear us, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope you know how much you still mean to us. We love you! xxxxx – Siiri, 16, Finland”
249pm ClashBlog: So much has been written and added online today that it’s almost impossible to document it all. Here’s some more to be getting on with for your afternoon/evening depending on where you are. In Italian this article in Panorama I hope is good (you’ll have to tell me…Silvia?), meanwhile in Spanish there’s this update from La Viola (I think Joe would love all this!). Also here’s a gig I missed in Vancouver but I’m not too late as it’s tomorrow at the Electric Owl. There’s also this piece about tonight’s event in Buffalo NY at Mohawk Place which sadly looks set to close next month. Kittin on Tumblr had a few words to add also.
300pm ClashBlog: It is 3pm here and I see we’re gradually losing readers from Europe but perhaps we’ll get a late flurry after the pub. I’m going to stick around for a few more hours yet so please feel free to add your comments, photos or a favourite song or two – we need more music everyone.
307pm Imogen, London, England: “Joe Strummer passed away 10 years ago today. One of the best musicians of this century!”
309pm Laura (CO?), USA: “Can’t say much more than all those above who’ve eloquently shared what Joe’s life means to them. All I can do is add my name to the countless others he inspired, motivated, and taught. I carry Joe with me every day. Hopefully through my actions, and through the lives of all of us who love him, he will live on forever. Strummerville is where I’ll always be. Thank you, Joe, for helping shape me into who I am today. Love you.”
311pm Amanda: “(I wrote this earlier today and since I’m really in love with this idea of sharing thoughts and stories about Joe here today, I might as well post something too.) Alright Joe, first of all, I love you. I love you so much and I don’t know how to put it into words but I’ll try. Every single day since I first discovered The Clash has had your music as its soundtrack. There hasn’t been a day where I haven’t spent at least a couple of hours soaked in your passionate, powerful, uplifting and important lyrics, and the accompanying magnificent melodies, riffs, drum beats, harmonies and all other instruments used in your songs. There’s something truly great, something incredibly life changing about the whole combination.
Your music gives me a reason. Whatever it is I want to do, your music gives me a reason to start something, to keep going, or to make a change. It fills me with immeasurable amounts of passion, and also willpower. I’ve gotten endless amounts of inspiration from you, and you keep inspiring me more and more every single day. People speak of how music can touch your soul, and you’re a perfect example of that. I’ve spent so many of what feels like endless nights thinking, smiling, dancing, crying, laughing and thinking some more to the sound of your music, and I don’t see that habit ending anytime soon, or ever. It really hurts that I will never be able to directly tell you how wonderful you are and how much I admire you. It freaking hurts that you’re not out there everyday, making music and doing your everyday little wonderful things. That being said, you’re not gone. People all over the world listen to your music. All the time, new people start listening to your music and have their world changed because of you. I’m sure you’ve saved a lot of lives, lots of unhappy and discouraged souls. Because when things seem hopeless, you really are such a big help. Every day, people have fun, dance, cry, smile and laugh to your music, not to mention are encouraged, inspired and touched by it. People all over the world, every single day. Important parts of your legacy are the memories people have of you, and the joy you’ve brought into their lives. But there’s something bigger than that. You make people, myself included, want to be a better person. You always seemed to want to be the best you could be. I especially admire the way you made sure people were never left behind. Whether it be friends, family, fans, not to mention total strangers. Your warm, welcoming personality and total generousity will forever be extremely inspirational for all of us, and we love you even more because of that. All human beings have their flaws, and being the best you can be is hard, also for you. But I think you did it very well, and I don’t know how to express just how much of an inspiration you are in that area. Your music means so incredibly much to me. You’ve given me so, so much, and the least I can do is try to be a better person, and along with all your other fans, keep your ideas and hopes alive and fight for them every day. So thank you, Joe. Thank you for the endless amounts of happiness and hope you’ve brought into my life. Thank you for making me feel like I’m your friend, and for being someone I can relate to. Thank you for making me think, making me question things and want to fight for what’s right. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for making us all believe that it’s our life, and we have to deal with it and make our own choices. Thank you for your encouragement, and for being such a huge inspiration for all of us. Thank you for your kind spirit and warm personality, and for making people believe that everything is possible, that one just has to get out there and do what needs to be done. Thanks for bringing people together and making us feel like a part of something important. But most of all, thanks for all the joy you bring to my life every. single. day. – Amanda, 18″
332pm RudeGrrrl put together a nice Joe Special on Soundcloud which accompanies today’s blog rather well I think:
335pm ClashBlog: Here’s a story I know Joe would have loved to read today; ”
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — The South American country of Guyana says it will receive an additional $45 million in cash from Norway as a reward for protecting its Amazonian rainforest. President Donald Ramotar says the money will help fund a hydroelectric project in central Guyana and provide electricity and Internet service in remote jungle communities.”
348pm Kathie, New York City, USA: “Yes, You have stated most of my feelings on Joe/Clash. At 19 I had major panic attacks, felt so alone. The Clash lyrics made me feel like I had power. My mantra when feeling down is ” get punk rock on your life” The music was my sanctuary. I felt hope and went to many punk shows feeling kindrec spirits. I saw them 3 times ,but the best was seeing Joe with the Mescalaros a month before his death. Small club, I stood right up front. There he was. I know we all wish wr could tell people that impacted us how grateful we are. I silently hoped I could. So like a previous comment said lets not mope or feel down. Joe would not like that as we remember him. Love to all my fellow Clash lovers, Kathie NYC”
356pm ClashBlog: Well after hearing the Tymon Dogg news/song above I’m thrilled and then rapidly frustrated a bit. Sony Music can release a deluxe box set next year with special packaging and replica backstage passes and such – but the fact remains there are songs and versions of songs that still haven’t seen the light of day. That needs to be corrected before throwing an expensive boxset out there for people who already own it all.
407pm Kevin, PA, USA: “Thanks for the music and inspiration Joe. I can’t believe its been 10 years without my favorite musician of all time. I’m off to North Star Bar for the Joe Strummer tribute concert. Time to pour one out for my homeboy!”
409pm Hugh, UK: “It’s 10 years, 10 whole years, since the passing of Joe Strummer – good grief, TEN bloody years – where did that time go so quick? “
411pm Tim: “It’s been 10 years since Joe Strummer passed. The most punk motherfucker since Jesus. Go buy London Calling for your loved ones this holiday “
412pm Alice, Sheffield, England: “10 years today since Joe Strummer died. The world would be a worse place if he hadn’t lived, THE most inspiring and sincere rockstar. RIP x “
428pm Paul, London, England: “Have ended the 22nd December with a bit of Joe Strummer & The Mescaleroes live in Acton. Ten years gone, never forgotten”
430pm Tom Morello: “Are u taking over?/or are u taking orders?/Are u going backwards?/or are u going forwards?” Rip Joe Strummer”
435pm ClashBlog: An old friend Leanne in Dublin blogged about Joe on her blog Thunder and Threads today, so go and have a read.
448pm Sonya, WA, USA: “10 years ago today an influential & amazing British punk rocker named Joe Strummer passed away. Thanks for all the amazing music “
454pm ClashBlog: This might have made my day, a nine year old girl blogging about Joe and his Future Forests project back in the 90′s. Well done to you Hannah – please read her post and leave her a comment! Right then, I’ve been doing this the better part of 13 hours now and thank you all for being part of a day where I’ve been too busy to even listen to much music. I’ll be taking a break for a while and see if the rest of the house fancies dinner tonight.
8pm here and 4am back in London, I think that about does it for today. Thanks everyone for your generous contributions and to The Clash for being that inspiration in the first place. Joe Strummer has now been gone for 10 years but in many ways I can tell that he stays with all of us. Goodnight.