Joe Strummer was the most important musical icon of the punk generation. Everyone who followed the Clash knew it to be true and it was no mere boast that the Clash tag-line was "The Only Band that Matters". There were other voices from the punk era that mattered, but none of them had the combination of sarcasm, sincerity, talent and optimism, the will to cause change as did Strummer. When the double album London Calling came out and the price was that of a single album, The Clash were the most important band at the time. When the three album set Sandanista came out and it too was issued at a reduced price, the Clash proved their integrity to their fans again.Seeing the Clash on Broadway night after night was one of the most amazing and lucky experiences I've ever had. The Clash had Reggae and Rappers open their shows and Joe castigated the audience for not giving their music a chance. The sincerity to expand people's consciousness and to challenge their beliefs worked on a whole generation.
Things changed when Combat Rock was released. Strummer himself began to feel the dishonesty of the mega arena and many of his fans felt it too. The last "Clash" album released without Mick Jones was the nail in the coffin for the Clash. They knew it and so did their fans. Joe Strummer went low key and was not really heard from much other than through some film roles and soundtrack until 1999 when he formed Joe Strummer and the Mescalaros.
His version of Redemption Song is a landmark version and a great companion piece to the Bob Marley song.Yet another amazing song from Joe is the film version (Black hawk Down) of Minstrel Boy.
The CLASH performing London Calling!
"The ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in…."