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Joe Strummer

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(1952 – 2002)

John Graham Mellor (21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002), better known by his stage name Joe Strummer, was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and lead singer of the English punk rock band The Clash. He was also a member of the The 101’ers and Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros.

Following the end of the Clash, Joe spent a period moving from project to project. He acted in films like Walker and Straight to Hell, and OF COURSE his most unforgettable role as the awesome Johnny aka Elvis in the Jim Jarmusch masterpiece, “Mystery Train.” He even sang for The Pogues after Shane MacGowan bizarrely quit/was sacked on the Hell’s Ditch tour.

Finally, in the mid-to-late 1990s, Strummer gathered top-flight musicians into a backing band he called The Mescaleros. Strummer and the band signed with the Californian punk label Hellcat Records, and issued a stunning album in 1999, which was co-written with Anthony Genn, called Rock Art and the X-Ray Style. A tour of England and North America soon followed; sets included several Clash fan favourites. In 2001 the band released their second album, “Global A Go-Go”. The album was supported with a 21-date tour of North America, Britain, and Ireland. Once again, these concerts featured Clash material (“London Calling”, “Rudie Can’t Fail,” “White Man in Hammersmith Palais”), as well as classic covers of reggae hits (“The Harder They Come”, “A Message To You, Rudie”) and the band regularly closed the show with a nod to the late Joey Ramone by playing The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop”.

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