joe strummer

The closest I got to seeing The Clash was attending a filming of the BBC music show Later a couple of years back. We’d gone to see The Delgados without knowing who else was due to play, and found ourselves seated right next to Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. Not sure what to expect, Joe opened the show with a strident, incendiary version of ‘London Calling.’ For some unknown reason, he turned and pointed at my friend and I (we were about ten feet away) each time he reached part of the chorus that goes “cause London is burning, and I….” and prompted us to finish the line, which we did by screaming “LIVE BY THE RIVER” at the top of our lungs. At the end of the song he turned to us again, winked and nodded as if to say thank you. For all his musical achievements, including the pivotol role he played in shaking up music in the 1970’s, it’s probably this moment I shall remember first when people mention his name. RIP.

Here’s a nice tribute written by Mr Billy Bragg.


  1. Thanks for your little story, apart from the music it’s the hundreds of little stories like this that we will remember him by.

    Thanks also for the Billy Bragg link.

  2. And yet… Jim Davidson still lives.


  3. Mescaleros, not Mescalitos!