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Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer

Part Five: Earthquake Weather sets Strummer wandering solo through his “wilderness years” in the not so barren climate of Southern California.

All this week PopMatters is offering exclusive excerpts from the new Chris Salewicz biography of Joe Strummer, published this week in the U.S. by Faber & Faber.



Monday [5/21]: In the first installment, beginning with news of Strummer’s death, Salewicz remembers Joe’s drive, humor, and constant internal conflict.  [read | listen]


Tuesday [5/22]: Hop aboard the Anarchy tour bus for an exclusive ride with everyman’s thinking man and his smart band: the Clash’s first tour, first single, and their first album. [read | listen]


Wednesday [5/23]: Strummer hangs with Warhol; Thatcher comes to power, and after a lot of sweaty work in a shadowy space in the back of a garage, London Calling is unveiled like a gleaming, bad-ass drag racer. [read | listen]


Thursday [5/24]: Megavitamins and beer, egos and conflict, Combat Rock goes on tour and Mick Jones gets the (combat) boot.  [read | listen]


Friday [5/25]: Earthquake Weather sets Strummer wandering solo through his “wilderness years” in the not so barren climate of Southern California.  [read | listen]




Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer


by Chris Salewicz

Faber and Faber


May 2007, 640 pages, $30.00

 


Excerpts from REDEMPTION SONG: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz, published this week by Faber and Faber, Inc., an affiliate of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.  Copyright © 2006 by Chris Salewicz.  All rights reserved.


Thursday, May 24 2007

Redemption Song: On the Other Hand… [1988–1989]

"Music's got shit, Thatcher became God, ninety percent of the papers are right-wing and brown-nosing." -- Joe Strummer to Carol Clerk in Melody Maker interview.


Wednesday, May 23 2007

Redemption Song: Anger Was Cooler [1982-1984]

"(Joe) seemed this sad, lonely figure, confused with life, Hank Williams playing on his ghetto blaster in the background. I felt sorry for him." -- Mark Cooper, Record Mirror


Tuesday, May 22 2007

Redemption Song: Red Hand of Fate [1979]

Johnny Greene and a roadie... found a rehearsal room... (it) was at the rear of a garage, the kind of premises you might see in American gangster films as heists are planned... Here, hunkered together with no visible means of financial support, the Clash would rigorously write and rehearse the new songs that would emerge as London Calling, which time would judge one of the finest rock 'n' roll albums ever made...


Monday, May 21 2007

Redemption Song: Under Heavy Manners [1976-1977]

"... people like Joe Strummer... were like the punk intelligentsia, they were the thinkers... (Joe) knew all the cultural and literary references, all the revolutionary references, and he put it all into context... there's a lot more ideas (sic) in one of Joe's rhyming couplets than there are in some people's entire albums..." -- Don Williams


Sunday, May 20 2007

Redemption Song: Straight to Heaven [2002]

"...I learned that fame is an illusion and everything about it is just a joke. I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all." -- Joe Strummer


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