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Joe Strummer - Dead at 50

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Acacia, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    LONDON (Dec. 23) - Joe Strummer, frontman with the Clash whose 1979 track "London Calling" exploded as one of punk's biggest anthems, has died at the age of 50, a spokesman said on Monday.

    The singer, guitarist and songwriter died on Sunday at his home in Somerset, western England of unknown causes.

    "We do not yet know the cause of death, but we believe it was not suspicious and that he passed away peacefully. An autopsy will be forthcoming," the spokesman said.

    Born John Graham Mellor in Ankara, Turkey, Strummer's talents propelled him from busking on the London Underground to fame with the Clash, who with the Sex Pistols defined the in-your-face sound and style of 1970s British punk.

    Until they split in the 1980s, the Clash produced a catalog of punk classics, including "Career Opportunities" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go?," distilling the depression, anger and energy of 1970s Britain.

    But they transcended the three-chord aggression to deliver messages of anti-racism and social consciousness. Strummer, the son of a British diplomat, wrote many of their biggest hits.

    "He was one of the most important figures in modern British music, a powerful performer and wordsmith on a level with Bob Dylan," said Pat Gilbert, editor of British music magazine Mojo

    "His music had compassion and vision, backed with an agenda to change the world for the better," he told Reuters.

    Sometimes described as rebels with a cause, the Clash fused a variety of musical styles -- reggae, funk and even rap -- with a political message that brought punk to the mainstream and also found big success in the U.S. market.

    Bono, lead singer from the Irish band U2, said: "The Clash was the greatest rock band. They wrote the rule book for U2."


    In 1976, Strummer met a then 23-year-old guitarist Mick Jones and linked up with bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Terry Chimes. As the Clash, the quartet made an immediate and explosive impact in Britain.

    Rolling Stone magazine called their 1977 eponymous debut "The definitive punk album."

    Follow-ups "Give 'Em Enough Rope" (1978), and "London Calling" (1979) also became instant punk classics. After The Clash split, a tireless Strummer stayed center stage with a variety of projects, dabbling in acting and writing music for films.

    More recently, Strummer toured with a new band, the Mescaleros, and played a benefit concert with Mick Jones in November, reuniting with his partner in punk for the first time in nearly 20 years.

    At the time of his death, Strummer was collaborating with U2's Bono and Dave Stewart, formerly of the Eurythmics, on an AIDS awareness track.

    "The Clash are to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year and there was hope that there would be a reunion and a tour...this must be especially sad for their fans," Gilbert said.

    Strummer's death was a double blow for punk fans still mourning the fatal drug overdose in June of singer Dee Dee Ramone from legendary American band the Ramones.

    Strummer is survived by his wife, two daughters and one stepdaughter.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

  3. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    errr...sorry, looked and didn't see it. delete this one if'n ya wanna, no biggie.
  4. Mike


    Sep 7, 2000
    He wrote a few a great tunes, man. Bummer.
  5. bassackwards

    bassackwards Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    This puts stuff into serious perspective. I grew up on the Clash and loved Strummer for a long time. But... I seriously resented him when he took Shane McGowan's place in th Pogues. I was a big-time Pogues fan until Strummer joined. But, it's like, who thought the dude would die at 50? I should have just apreciated him for who he was and what he gave to me and the rest of the world. I'm gonna serously rethink alot of my opinionated attitudes about musicians that I'm critical of for stupid reasons. I hadn't thought about Strummer in years, but I find myself suprisingly saddened by his untimely death. He was a true inovator and originator and opened the minds of alot of people in his time. We should all strive to achieve what he did.
  6. bassackwards

    bassackwards Member

    Dec 16, 2002
  7. ARA punk

    ARA punk

    Jul 11, 2001
    USA, Shelby, NC
    Man this totally ruins my day... I loved the Clash, and I was really diggin' the Mescaleros too... had plans to go and catch them in concert on their next tour. really bites..
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i wasn't much of a punk fan, but i loved what strummer did. many of the songs on the albums that didn't get played on the radio were all sublime, imo. what a sad loss - it's said that he died of a heart attack. what a shame. :(
  9. Man, that sucks :(
  10. I heard about it in the news today... it's really sad.

    weren't they planning on coming back together soon?
  11. oh man i just found out like an hour ago and i almost cried!!!!! i'm so sad. i'm going to wear my clash shirt for him for the next week!!! rip baby! i love yoU!!!!
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    You are missing the point big time and being very insulting to me (against the forum guidelines and unnecessarily vituperative!) - I was just pointing out there was already a big thread about this,with many tributes from other people.

    If you have already taken the time and trouble to compose a heartfelt tribute, then it feels wrong not to be represented, but just repeating edited highlights from another forum feels inappropriate as well.....
  13. JayAmel

    JayAmel Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Carcassonne, France
  14. SoyBase


    Jul 1, 2001
    Atlanta, Ga
    R.I.P. Mr. Strummer

    It sad to see that I'm finally at the age where some of my favorite artists are starting to fade.

    Joey Ramone, then this...A sad sad day....

  15. bassackwards

    bassackwards Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Sorry man. Didn't mean to offend. I just perceived it as being a bit nit-piccky. No hard feelings.
    RIP Joe

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