Talk:Joe Strummer

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Misc. comments[edit]

Let's Rock Again was released before 2006, it may be available on DVD now, but it was released a few years back; I remember watching it at the Tribeca Film Festival, it may actually have been 2002, or '03? Shouldn't be hard to look up. Actually, I just checked it was 2004 (wow, it seems longer).

To do:

It was released in 1980 in the US, Rolling Stone is also a US magazine. (Mr.Blonde 11:33, 31 July 2006 (UTC))

Did he co-found the Clash? Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Keith Levene as well as Terry Chimes were already writing and rehearsing before Joe joined up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.137.225.34 (talk) 18:09, 2 February 2010 (UTC)


I removed the following last line:

In the United States, Strummer and The Clash are better known for their 1982 number one hit, Rock The Casbah.

This seems a bit like having an article about Canada that says "In the United States, Canada is better known for the Wayne Gretzkey, Paul Shaffer and the frequent use of the word 'eh'". Perhaps that's a bit extreme...if someone can work it in more gracefully than it was, I wouldn't object. - RobLa 08:46 Dec 27, 2002 (UTC)

Don't forget Rush. 68.108.115.69 00:55, 22 January 2007 (UTC)


What's this about neo-fascist imagery on an early album cover? I don't think this is correct. Which album?

I wondered about that, too. I remember the fuss when The Sex Pistols appeared on stage wearing swastika armbands, but I don't recall anything about The Clash. If nobody comes up with an answer to your question in the next few days, I think we should remove that statement. GrahamN 20:38 Jan 30, 2003 (UTC)
It's more than a month now, so I'm taking it out. GrahamN 15:39 Mar 4, 2003 (UTC)

It's out. User:IAG 1:41 Mar 27 2004

I suppose it could have been suggesting Joe's wearing of the Brigate-Rosse/RAF t-shirt at the Victoria Park LMHR show. That seems a bit far-fetched though, and I know it didn't make it into any album art. Thanks for taking it out, it shouldn't have been there.
Wasn't Strummer actively anti-fascist?JamieKeene 21:36, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, he later was embaresed about wearing the shirt and said he was only trying to raise awareness for the group.

I'd like to know more...[edit]

i'd like to know more about strummer's education. i doubt his public school education did him much good. did he go to university? where did he learn about the world? his lyrics are so educated and educational. Kingturtle 00:44, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I know he went to an art school. When he was a child he traveled a lot because of his dad's job which was involved in the military. He went to a Spanish school and had to learn spanish there, which is where a lot of those influences come from in The Clash.(24.70.95.203 01:49, 31 October 2005 (UTC))

He never really learned to speak spanish, in all of the clash songs where he sung in spanish they were translations done by one of the 101ers horn players' mom who had immigrated from el salvador.

His dad was in the Foreign Service, not the military. He spent more time at a public school than traveling with his father, though I'm sure that he still had a bit more of a world outlook because of his father's work. Most of his political outlook was (by his admission) heavily influenced by Bernie Rhodes.

Also he learned some Spanish from vacationing so much in Spain. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.137.225.34 (talk) 18:15, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Lawsuit with record company[edit]

Wasn't Strummer involved in a huge ten-year long lawsuit with his record company to get released from the Clash's final contract that they signed shortly before Cut the Crap? Anyone have any more info on this? I was under the impression it was a rather big deal.

I added information about it in the article. Underneath-it-All 04:30, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

Added and expanded biography[edit]

Hey, I have added and expanded the biography with more information about his childhood and his early bands. If anything is incorrect please let me know. Thanks. Underneath-it-All 04:32, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I found: "Continuing CBS/Sony contract embroidments seemed to have brought Joe's career to a permanent stop. After realizing he could not possibly come up with the £5 millions it would take to get him out of his contract, he went 'on strike', boring the company out. He got his way and the contract was terminated at least as a solo artist, which allowed him to scout for a new deal. Hellcat Records, a independent label based in California, run by Rancid's Tim Armstrong, a huge Clash fan, was first on Joe's list and the deal was struck." on JoeStrummer.org. They have other references there. Evan Davis 22:53, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Date correction[edit]

It says they signed to CBS in 1976. That should be 1977, right? I'll look into it before I change it. 67.153.235.42 18:50, 27 December 2005 (UTC)

Tom Delonge?[edit]

Ok, who added the line about Tom Delonge?

In addition to being grammatically horrible, I'd just like to know why said person thinks the Clash were an influence on Delonge and/or any of his bands? Don't get me wrong, I'm actually a big fan of Delonge, but I've never heard him mention anything about the Clash.

Jlee562 00:32, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Extended biography[edit]

I have decided to add more to this profile concerning the untimely death of Joe Strummers brother David. Other then that this profile is ace!

Viva la Strummer

Troy Stephens

195.194.86.166 10:27, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Marriages[edit]

What about his marriages?

POV[edit]

I added the neutrality tag for a fair few lapses:

  • ie. "Strummer saw the future of music. He saw that the music that the Sex Pistols were performing was dangerous and exciting and realized that The 101'ers were going nowhere."
  • "It was all heroically idealistic, but The Clash were deadly serious about everything they did. "
  • "Strummer and the band signed with Mercury Records, and issued a stunning album in 1999" etc.

Fair enough, no? Me677 18:01, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree on the third, although by all indications the first two are technically true. Strummer abandoned the 101'ers when he saw the Sex Pistols, and the Clash were pretty serious as a political band. The first should be modifed, the second, should probably be axed as a whole, unless you have any ideas on how to reword. Jlee562 05:37, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The first line is kind of correct. He says about as much on a interview on The Story of the Clash. I can listen to it later and post it verbatim if you would like. Evan Davis 22:55, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

I took it out for now. If it is restored, it should be as a verifiable quote. --Guinnog 14:11, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Grosse Pointe Blank soundtrack[edit]

No mention of Strummer's work on the soundtrack for the film Grosse Pointe Blank?

--Labcoat 14:41, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

He just had one song as far as I can tell. "War Cry (Instrumental)" Evan Davis 22:52, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Strummer did incidental music for the movie as well as "War Cry", which you can hear once or twice, but it has never been realeased. 13 September 2006

I believe he was officially credited for composing the score, if I'm not mistaken. -WebNinja 23 March 2010

Ignore Alien Orders[edit]

Strummer pasted the slogan "Ignore Alien Orders" in red letters on his guitar some time in the seventies. This slogan mysteriously appeared all over the US and (as I understand it) Britain. You still see it sometimes, and you can buy T-shirts with it too. This fact should be included in the article. Someone surely knows more about this than I do, so I will hold off adding it for awhile.

--wellsoberlin 03:26, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

it's still happening http://www.grayblog.co.uk/2006/03/ignore-alien-orders/

nobody seems to know where he got it from or what it means either (there's a similar situationist slogan though)

I believe it just means to ignore the orders of people who don't know what they're talking about.

Rumor has it that it spread out of head shops in San Francisco during the 70's. Someone on the Strummernews message board claims that their friend did the original run of stickers. Jlee562 02:45, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Joe Strummer's marriages?[edit]

I don't think he ever married Gaby Salter. They were basically common-law man and wife.

He didn't. Salewicz's biography makes it clear that he couldn't because he was still married to the woman he married so she could get British citizenship.Devilgate 14:47, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Rebel Apostrophe in the Wood[edit]

I'm not sure whether Joe's Future Forest on Skye is now called "Rebel's Wood" or "Rebel Wood". References on the web vary. It could even be "Rebels' Wood". But there's no way that it's called "Rebels Wood"; not in English. I'm going to change it to "Rebel's Wood", but maybe someone could visit it and check. ;-) Devilgate 10:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Further to my pedantry, I've just finished Chris Salewicz's biography of Joe. In it he tells us that a wood that Lucinda has planted overlooking their house is called 'Rebel Wood'; he doesn't give a name for the forest on Skye. Does anyone know more about this? Devilgate 17:12, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

noticed that, one of a few little niggly details in the book, that didn't seem quite right. funny that Chris Salewicz doesn't mention Joe's involvement in Future Forests at all.

I bought a tree from future Forest in February 03 - just checked and both the tube and certificate say Rebels Wood (no apostrophe) but I've found a photo of the sign and the forest is Rebel's Wood http://www.theclash.org.uk/images/rebwood.jpg (can't find a better photo online)

carboneutral.com is no longer selling the tree tubes or has any mention of Joe's support for the company on their website. 217.134.125.68 23:44, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten[edit]

This article has some info about it. It says it's supposed to be in US theatres by early summer 2007. w00t! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 75.34.2.229 (talk) 06:13, 18 February 2007 (UTC).

I just saw the movie, which brought me to this article. Certainly necessary material for any Strummer admirer; probably not the best rock film made. Between endless chit-chat (by aging stars and groupies we are supposed to instantly recognize) Strummer's life definitely fell into stages starting (obviously) with his upbringing, and maturing in the Shepard's Bush squatter scene with the 101s, which was named for a squat.
The movie describes him as "selling out" to punk (as ironic as that sounds) through his manager by dumping the friends who helped him mature. He showed the punk bias against hippies that has been described by Henry Rollins.
He also dumped the 101s rockabilly sound to attempt a Sex Pistols sound, but apparently fell into his groove when he adopted Rasta music, both traditional Maroon and London Ska. My musical introduction to the Clash was through London Calling and my first visual was him wearing a silly decorated beret and other "poser" clothes. Rocking the Casbah was also an early introduction for me, and I have to admit that I thought he was a sellout at the time. And the movie suggests that he may have been because of mapping by record and production managers.
Stardom withdrawal hit him particularly hard, and the movie shows him deliberately destroying his relationship with the record industry much the way Neil Young did--by making an expensive "art" record. Then he suddenly recovers the tribal connection at a Glastonbury gathering, and apparently becomes an organizational genius factors greater than he was during his financially successful years. Here he makes the statement "it only makes sense in the moment" while organizing lyric contributions, a phrase I find particularly descriptive when attempting to understand the environmental relationship. His sound refines, but remains characteristically Strummer: gravelly, flat, and prose-y; and he successfully leverages Internationalism and tribal spirituality naming his final band the Mescaleros. This Southwestern connection seems to successfully cement him with his initial rockabilly, folk-oriented roots in the London squat scene. (My own punk connection came indirectly through fascination with the Rasta religious sound, and the punk groups I assisted, particularly Reagan Youth, preached pure unity; I saw no anti-hippie bias by muscians and related artists--not to say that there wasn't conflict!)--John Bessa (talk) 14:24, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

David's Suicide[edit]

"Strummer was never very close to his brother David, but nonetheless David's suicide significantly changed Joe's outlook on life." The only other mention of this brother was that he was 10 when they went to boarding school. I'm hesitant to completely remove the sentence, despite the fact that it makes little sense in the placement it currently holds. Ultraviolet 03:08, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Left vs. right-handedness[edit]

"Though left-handed, he was taught to play right-handed by his friend Tymon Dogg; this hampered his abilities somewhat and confined him to strumming chords." This is a completely ridiculous thing to say. Many left-handed people play guitar right-handed extremely well. One person I know who matches this description likes to point out that the dominant hand (i.e. his left) is more suited to doing the fiddly bit (the fretwork) amd the non-dominant hand is more suited to strumming.

I think that this is refering to when he was just learning to play the guitar, which would have influenced his playing style. Joe made the following comment about his playing. He said that he "could only play all six strings, or none at all. Which is why (he) called (himself) strummer." This line is in the film The Future is Unwritten, but I don't have an origional source for the quote.Natt the Hatt 22:16, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Electric Dog House?[edit]

An anonymous editor added the following to the article, which I removed on the grounds that it sounded like a hoax. I'm a very great Strummer fan and I had never heard of this ensemble.

With Electric Dog House[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album Additional information
1997 Generations 1: A Punk Look At Human Rights Compilation Album. Electric Dog House was Joe Strummer, Rat Scabies (the Damned), Seggs (the Ruts) and Chaz(?).

I received the following:

Hello. I see that you removed my contribution about Electric Dog House as a suspected hoax. Why didn't you do some research and listen to the song before making that (incorrect) determination? It's available on eMusic, rhapsody and probably a million other places and it's one of his greatest post-Clash works. It's a glaring ommission from this entry, so please put it back.
The compilation album at Rhapsody: http://www.rhapsody.com/album/generations1apunklookathumanrights?artistId=66603
Photos from the recording session: http://www.geocities.com/mythograff/cl_videoclips/EDH_gallery/index.htm
A mention of EDH by Rat Scabies: http://www.acc.umu.se/~samhain/summerofhate/ratscabies2.html
I have to say that I remain unconvinced on the merit of including this but I thought I would post it here anyway to see what other people thought. --Guinnog 22:26, 19 May 2007 (UTC)
Hello, I posted the original information because I thought discography meant a list of all recordings by a particular artist. If completism doesn't merit the inclusion of this great song by Strummer, then don't include it, but the fact that a self-proclaimed "very great Strummer fan" hasn't heard of it means nothing. You can go to the first link above and listen to the song if you need further proof. Or, you can buy it from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Generations-Vol-Punk-Human-Rights/dp/B000001YOM/ref=sr_1_2/102-3702103-8829730?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1179771541&sr=1-2).

- Jeff Forbes

Well, I guess if his work on the Grosse Point Blank soundtrack isn't included, that same case could apply here since it's only one song on a compilation. Please take the time to find the song and listen to it though. You'll be glad you did.

-Jeff Forbes

Movie[edit]

Does anyone know if The Future Is Unwritten will be played in US theatres?--Rastabilly 06:51, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it will be. It played at the Mill Valley Film Festival and opens in San Francisco in November. Check the website for details. Jlee562 07:11, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Photo of Joe[edit]

Come on. That is a terrible photo of him. Almost doesn't look like him. Surely a better and more useful one could be found?

Image:01scenestrummer08 copy.jpg exists - I'm not sure when it was taken or how it can be used, but someone else may be. Giggy 08:37, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I've put in one of mine from PUNKCAST#140. The truth is he did have a tendency to grimace when playing. Wwwhatsup 03:41, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
How about this one? http://www.mondotrasho.blogger.com.br/clash%20joe%20strummer.jpg —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.108.115.69 (talk) 23:20, 21 October 2007 (UTC)
Copyright? Wwwhatsup 23:25, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Clashes with the law[edit]

I seem to recall Joe being busted for weed in Portsmouth or somewhere similar around 77-78. It was around the same time that Keith Richard was busted and weaseled out of his rap. Joe, in contrast, was unapologetic & stood up & took his punishment like a man. Am I imagining this? Seems like it would have created visa problems later. Wwwhatsup 18:08, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Joe-Strumer&themescaleros1.jpg[edit]

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Image:Joe-Strumer&themescaleros1.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 02:30, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

How do we feel about this pic? Is it worth fighting for? Who's going to do it? Wwwhatsup 03:38, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Pogues[edit]

I think this article glosses over Joe's relationship with the Pogues. He was more than a 'temporary' member, as has been suggested. To this day, the Pogues come on stage to "Straight to Hell." More than that, Joe originally filled in as a replacement for Phil Chevron, that was about 88 or 89 I believe, and that's not mentioned here. I would even add The Pogues to the "associated acts" column. Jlee562 02:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Joe's archive[edit]

"There is always more to say about a life as eventful as Joe Strummer's. Friends, family and fans of the lead singer of The Clash have spent the past five years wondering about the stories he might have told and the songs he might have sung had he lived a little longer.

They thought he had taken such secrets to the grave when he died on 23 December 2002. But in today's Independent Magazine, Strummer's widow, speaking to a British newspaper for the first time since he died, reveals that she discovered a treasure trove of scribbled notes, cartoons, cigarette papers, songs - and forgotten Clash lyrics."

http://arts.independent.co.uk/music/news/article3233347.ece

Wwwhatsup (talk) 15:16, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Lets-rock-again-2.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Lets-rock-again-2.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 06:55, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Origin of "The Future is Unwritten"[edit]

I know the phrase is in liner notes for Combat Rock under Know Your Rights but it isn't a line in the song. When did he first use the phrase? Or is it a literary reference? 24.193.15.50 (talk) 16:29, 5 May 2008 (UTC) Ben Mo

Lucinda - his widow[edit]

Shouldn't she be referred to as Lucinda Mellor? She took his name in the marriage. 155.188.183.7 (talk) 19:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

This article has been selected for Version 0.7[edit]

This article has been selected for Wikipedia Version 0.7. Version 0.7 aims to be a collection of around 30,000 articles taken from the English version of Wikipedia, compiled by the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team, due to be released on DVD, and available for free download, later this year.

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We would also appreciate your help in identifying the version of this article that you think we should use, to help avoid vandalism or POV issues. The version can be recorded at this project's subpage of User:SelectionBot/0.7. The Editorial Team is planning to release the selection for the holiday season, so we ask you to select the revisions before October 20. For more information, please see the WPClash's Talk Page. Thanks! –pjoef (talkcontribs) 17:55, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Unsourced statement in Marriages and relationships[edit]

In the Marriages and relationships section of this article, there is a statement that says "During his relationship with Salter, he had multiple affairs spanning the 1980s." This statement is unsourced and I have never seen this statement anywhere else. Though I am not going to remove it until I get a response to this. If this is sourced please let me know and add the reference to the article. I have added a [citation needed] tag beside the statement though. --BLAguyMONKEY! (talk) 04:07, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

The source is Chris Salewicz's book. Unknown Unknowns (talk) 09:57, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

Oh okay, sorry, I have not read that book. My bad. --BLAguyMONKEY! (talk) 10:13, 23 September 2011 (UTC)

If you mean Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Salewicz it's on Google Books. - Benzband (talk) 13:53, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Simple Strummer[edit]

You might want to visit (and expand) the stub article on Joe Strummer at the Simple English Wikipedia. - Benzband (talk) 13:48, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Why "The wilderness years"?[edit]

Why is the section on 1986-99 headlined "The Wilderness Years"? This rather poetic flourish does not seem justified by the varied and creative activities he got involved in. Could it be renamed something more appropriate? Peteinterpol (talk) 18:10, 18 May 2012 (UTC)

The Acton gig in 02..[edit]

Mick Jones was actually backstage and it was a surprise for Joe when he came on, all pre planned..

awesome evening — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.156.171.176 (talk) 23:16, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

mellor or strummer?[edit]

This article seems to waver between referring to him as 'mellor' or 'strummer'. I'm not sure which is correct, but I'm sure that mixing them is confusing.

e.g.

" in 1970, Strummer moved on to the Central School of Art and Design in London,[6] where he briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a professional cartoonist, but ultimately completed a foundations course.[1] During this time, Mellor shared a flat in the north London suburb of Palmers Green with friends Clive Timperley and Tymon Dogg. In 1971 Strummer became a vegetarian " — Preceding unsigned comment added by 193.110.130.103 (talk) 14:49, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Cause of death in lede[edit]

User:72.201.184.111 insists on inserting the cause of death in the lede, with the summary : gave preview of cause of death so u don't have to hunt through the article for it if ur in a hurry. User:DoorAjar reverted, summarizing thus Removed cause of death from the introduction; generally death info doesn't go there unless it's a big part of why the person is notable. User:72.201.184.111 then reverted that, with no further summary. I re-reverted, as I agree with DoorAjar's argument. User:72.201.184.111 has just reverted my revert, with no further summary. Anyone else want to pitch in? Wwwhatsup (talk) 00:41, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Photo[edit]

Does anyone really think the fake photo of Strummer (File:Joe Strummer alone.jpg) is acceptable? --Zundark (talk) 21:16, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

Absolutely not. No-one should be expected to live with two left arms, especially if one of them is slightly shrunken. Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 22:06, 2 September 2013 (UTC)