“We aren’t particularly talented. We try harder!”― Joe Strummer
“—Authority is supposedly grounded in wisdom, but I could see from a very early age that authority was only a system of control and it didn’t have any inherent wisdom. I quickly realised that you either became a power or you were crushed”
― Joe Strummer
August 21: Joe Strummer was born in 1952
As frontman and main songwriter of the Clash, Joe Strummer created some of the fieriest, most vital punk rock — and, indeed, rock & roll — of all time. Strummer expanded punk’s musical palette with his fondness for reggae and early rock & roll, and his signature bellow lent an impassioned urgency to the political sloganeering that filled some of his best songs.
~Steve Huey (allmusic.com)
The Edge inducts the Clash Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions 2003:
You sure look fine tonight, in the beer sign light.
Why did you seem surprised when I saw through your disguise.
All your friends were there and no one had a care.
They all just looked away in this Honky Tonk Masquerade.
– Joe Ely
“I think I’ll always be restless, always trying new stuff, I gotta do that. I like the unknown. I like to see what’s going to happen without knowing what the outcome will be. For some reason, I like jumping off into new places where I have no clue what will happen.”
– Joe Ely
“We aren’t particularly talented. We try harder!”―Joe Strummer
“Authority is supposedly grounded in wisdom, but I could see from a very early age that authority was only a system of control and it didn’t have any inherent wisdom. I quickly realised that you either became a power or you were crushed”
― Joe Strummer
Today’s unreleased gem rare track is from Joe Strummer’s hand and it was first taped with The Clash, it is the marvelous In The Pouring Rain. I noticed it when it appeared on the soundtrack of The Future is Unwritten, but I knew I had heard it before…
I dug through my old Clash bootlegs and found two of them with different versions of the song. It exists in at least three kind of incarnations. I believed it was unreleased, but there was a soundtrack to the documentary about Joe Strummer and it is included (damn! he, he). It is hard to find, so I will post this anyway, but not as part of the Unreleased series.
In the pouring Rain (The Clash 1984, Cut the Crap line-up):
Recorded at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle in 1984, great quality! It was played both on the USA and European legs of the tour in 84.
This version is from one of my favorite Clash bootlegs, Give’em Enough Dope. The bootleg gets mixed reviews but I like it, the quality is way above average and the material is excellent. The drumming is a bit sloppy on some tracks (Topper was deep into his heroin addiction at this time and Joe shouts: “Come on you bastard! Stay with us, stay with us, keep going” . ) but the rest of the band keep it together. But that was the 81 Clash (the first part of the bootleg), now to the 1984 Clash…
The rest of the CD is taken from various gigs in 1984. The Clash line-up was Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon, Vince White, Nick Sheppard and Pete Howard. This is a line-up that is generally considered second class, don’t believe them, if you listen to these songs you will understand they are plain wrong. These songs are incredibly energetic and are performed with a tight professionalism. This lineup handles the old songs great, and the new tunes are great. The guitar playing is fantastic! The album, Cut The Crap doesn’t do these guys justice. In The Pouring Rain is one of my favourite songs from the band at this time. It is moving and has all the qualities of a classic rock song, and it’s criminal that this Clash lineup gets slated at all when this is what they did on stage. The song will amaze you. Make sure you get hold of this bootleg just for this.
When asked for his opinion on the subject/the man/the musician Bruce Springsteen in 1997, Joe Strummer sent the following letter to “rocumentary” filmmaker Mark Hagen. The film in question, ‘Bruce Springsteen: A Secret History’, was broadcast in 1998 on British television:
London Calling, with Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello and the Clash:
Springsteen returned the compliment during a gig in 2008, declaring Strummer “one of the greatest rockers of all time” before launching into a rendition of I Fought the Law.
I Fought the Law:
He has also covered Joe’s last masterpiece Coma Girl.
Coma Girl (audio only):
On the Saturday night of Glastonbury you may be lucky enough to seeBruce Springsteen & the E Street Band power through their version of the Clash’s London Calling. One key figure in securing the Boss’s booking? One of that song’s co-authors, Joe Strummer. (refering to the letter in this post)
cont. The Guardian:
It’s a sentiment that Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis would agree with; in his later years, Strummer became a figurehead for the festival and when it came time to persuade Springsteen to appear, he still had a significant part to play. “I did an eight-page document about the festival for Bruce with quotes from Joe included,” says Eavis. “I’ve never done anything like that for anyone before. It’s going to be an amazing couple of hours.”
A nice story about two great persons and musicians!