Hello you wonderful people, thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day and dropping back in to the blog. Can’t guarantee it’ll always be worth it but I shall of course try my best.
One major story today which is a few days old so you might have read it, but I had other things I wanted to cover this week. Speaking of those other things please be sure and read this post to learn how you can help our friend Pete complete his Strummer of Love book. He’s actively seeking contributions from people (you!) who would like to reflect on The Clash and of course Joe. A bloody good chance to get your name in print and someone even more famous than here, what more could you ask for. Also don’t forget to enter yesterday’s prize drawing for free tickets to the Joe Strummer tribute coming up in New York on January 29th which looks like it will be one for the ages. Read more about that right here. Also, look for more competitions on the blog this year, I’ll do my best to get some goodies for you because you deserve it. Looking ahead the next few days we have more videos from last month’s Joe Strummer events, news on a new Clash book and the return of the fabled Clash Cup. So come back soon and often.
Today’s tale caused me both a burst of joy and then the twist of frustration rapidly following thereafter. It was just last week that I wrote at length about how I would like to try and launch a successful campaign to see The Clash honoured in some official capacity in London. They’re one of the very finest bands the capital has ever produced and we’ll argue with challengers that they have been the most important bands to emerge from the punk scene. Alas here we are three decades on and nothing permanent has been done in the city with the notable exception of the Joe Strummer Subway at Edgware Road tube station. I do think we can make some progress here with your support, more ideas coming soon. Anyway, right on the back of writing that was the exciting news that the Spanish city of Granada has chosen to honour Strummer by renaming a square in town ‘Plaza Joe Strummer’.
It’s a wonderful tribute and one that pays the correct homage to the enduring love that Joe held for Spain in general. You’ll know that he first visited many years before The Clash with Paloma from The Slits and that the band had a loyal following in that part of the world, most evidenced by their live appearances in the nation. It has also become a part of Clash folklore that as the band imploded and during the unofficial ‘wilderness’ years Joe’s time spent in the country was a constant source of pleasure for him. I’m thrilled, it’s wonderful news, but wait til you read this.
The renamed square was approved following the city council receiving a petition with just 2,000 signatures. On that basis I think we should start contacting every small to mid-sized city in Europe and get this to become an epidemic. If only London was so accommodating we’d be met with quick success. Credit to Spain though for taking care of such an honour before London has done the same. Daniel Galan from the Granada City Council told the BBC:
“The initiative came from a neighbourhood association, backed by some political parties and was approved. It was a popular movement. It is very well known the connection between Joe and the city and people still remember him. There were some people who were friends with him and came here and (now) live here”
You can read the rest of that story on the BBC website in addition to this interesting piece about the Joe news from Spain in The Guardian, if ever a paper decided they love The Clash it would have to be that one. You watch and see Manchester beat London to the punch next, we mustn’t let that happen. I’m only half kidding, we’ve seen the bar set and now have to match it. Hopefully we’ll get photos when the event happens and I’m sure it will then become a place that Clash fans head to in great numbers.