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for December 24, 2002

One Who Mattered
by Stiffy Biceptz

Joe Strummer, founding member of the Clash, died Sunday of an apparent heart attack at his farm in England. He was only 50. He played guitar, he sang and co-wrote many of the Clash’s greatest tunes. Another fantasy reunion fades away forever.
Joe had recently been touring with his band, the Mescaleros. His death appears to be an absolute shock to everyone. It shoud be when you're only 50.
The Clash were one of the original English punk bands, erupting on the scene circa ‘76-77 along with the Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Buzzcocks and The Damned. Of those bands, they were really the only ones who made it in the U.S., starting with London Calling and peaking with Combat Rock in 1982.
The Clash, like the Jam, were more politically oriented among the punk leaders, and their impact was felt beyond the concert hall. They arose during a time when England was in political and economic decay, and their messages resonated well with the working classes.
At this moment, everyone reading this should do one of two things. If you knew and loved the Clash, spend the rest of the week playing their music, accepting the fact you will never see them again, while being grateful they existed in the first place.
If you’re too young or still wading in the shallow end of the music pool, go out right now and pick up a couple of Clash CD’s, and discover their greatness and authenticity. I suggest London Calling and Sandinista. You’ll find your current "punk lite" favorites won’t seem so cool and original anymore. Ska was not invented in the 90’s...
Thanks for the music, Joe. Say "hi" to Joey and Dee Dee. We miss you all.

©2002 Stiffy Biceptz

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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