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Today would have been the 61st birthday of Joe Strummer, legendary guitarist and lyricist for punk icons The Clash. Best known for being the heart and soul of that influential, genre-defining (and defying) group, Strummer also released solo work through the 80s and 90s, collaborated with The Pogues and others, and released a solid string of albums with his band The Mescaleros up until his death in December of 2002. He was 50 years old.
Two decades prior, The Clash was riding high on the massive commercial success of their fifth full-length, Combat Rock, which was to be the final release with their “classic” four-piece lineup. A late summer tour opening for The Who brought them to Philadelphia on September 25th, 1982, playing to a massive crowd at JFK Stadium. The set featured songs from the recently-released album – “Rock The Casbah,” and of course “Should I Stay or Should I Go – but also drew from across their discography for selections like “Police on My Back,” “White Man in Hammersmith Palais,” “Clampdown” and more. Audio from the entire performance is on YouTube; listen to it below and tell us your favorite Strummer songs or memories in the comments.
To mark the anniversary of Clash guitarist Joe Strummer’s passing, the North Star Bar will be hosting In Memory of Joe Strummer: A Benefit for Strummerville. The show benefits the Strummervile charity that financially support struggling musicians who aspire to change the world through music. The charity was established by family and friends of the influential punk rocker, and a variety of acts will be performing in support of the cause including Blayer Point du Jour and the Rockers Galore, The Cold Roses, Betty Iron Thumbs, I Yahn I Arkestra, The Future Unwritten (named after the Strummer documentary), The Successful Failures and Split Red. More information on the foundation can be located here. Below, watch one of the Strummerville sessions directed by famed punk scene DJ and Clash associate Don Letts.