Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Strummer At His Best

This will probably be the last post I make as part of today's celebrations. In a not unrelated note, I'm actually listening to London Calling as I write this. Gosh, I love that album. Anyway. Much like my previous picture post, I could have picked any amount of favourite videos. Actually, I was only going to pick one of these videos. Could I decide which though for the life of me? Like hell I could. In the end, I decided to go for both. They're at two very different points of his career, but both equally sum up why I love him so much.

Firstly is a clip familiar to all those who have watched The Future Is Unwritten. If you haven't, I highly recommend it. It's a great documentary.This little gem is perhaps the highlight for me. In the video, a journalist asks a perhaps probing question about Topper Headon's reason for vomiting. What comes next is truly classic. Joe launches into a passionate defense of Topper with a few expletives thrown in for good measure. The first time I seen this I absolutely cried with laughter, his reaction is just fervent. It's interesting to note though how quickly things change. Only a few years after this Topper would be sacked from The Clash. His sacking would be something that Joe would come to bitterly regret though.

The next video is equally awesome, but tinged with sadness. It's a much later video, from Global a Go Go era Mescaleros. It too features in a documentary, this time Let's Rock Again, which was made by Don Letts. It's not as known as The Future Is Unwritten, but it's equally as recommended. This time Joe walks around Atlantic City, handing out flyers for the evening's performance. It's as down to earth as a celebrity could hope to be, in fact he even hand makes the flyers himself. You have to love that. What's sad about it though is the reaction of the general public. Bar one or two, they have no idea who is approaching them asking them would they be interested in that night's show. The idea of that is totally alien to me. If Joe Strummer had ever approached me like that.... well I'm not quite sure what would have happened next. Tears, and hugs I think. All on my behalf of course. And lots of shaking. Most likely a loss of speech too - believe me when I say I'm rarely speechless. It's sad to think that someone who was the front-man for an internationally successful band has to resort to these measures. Although to be honest, I get the feeling Joe would have relished having to adopt such a grass-roots approach.

Realistically, this will probably be the last post I make on the blog tonight. I hope I've gone some ways to explaining adequately enough why I love this man so much. I've tried to encompass all eras, not just The Clash. Truth be told, I don't feel that four blog posts (and various posts on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook etc) does him justice. I guess I feel I'll always be in debt to him, even though he's gone. Above all though, I feel truly blessed to have this man's wisdom in my life. I may never have been a fan whilst he was alive (I was simply too young), but I'm making up for lost time. As I said on Facebook, if I can be half the person he was, I'll be satisfied. So Joe, I hope you're someplace beautiful. Once again - happy birthday <3

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