Praise for Joe
I did some searching about the internet and have stolen some quotes of praise about our late Punk God. I hope you enjoy them.
"Our friend and compadre is gone. God bless you, Joe."
- Mick Jones -
"Joe had moved to the country. He rented my basement to keep a base in London. We spent many an evening spinning everything from Lee Hazlewood to Anthony Newley, only to be found asleep in the morning by my wife, with the table still turning."
- Paul Simonon -
"It's taken Joe's death to make me realise just how big The Clash were. We were a political band and Joe was the one who wrote the lyrics. Joe was one of the truest guys you could ever meet. If he said 'I am behind you', then you knew he meant it 100 per cent."
- Topper Headon -
"He was a clear contemporary and we were rivals. I believed we had to get inside the pop culture -- he believed you should always stay outside and hurl things at it. He was a very important musician. The Clash will be endlessly influential. They will always be one of the deathless rock bands."
- Bob Geldof, former Boomtown Rats vocalist and Live Aid organizer -
"The most profound voice of any musician I have ever heard, Joe took his message to the world and the world listened. He managed to influence more than one generation with his innovative and determined manner and I am not alone in repeatedly turning to his thoughts and lyrics when searching for inspiration. The Clash was the greatest rock band.
They wrote the rule book for U2. Though I was always too much of a fan to get to know him well, we were due to meet in January to finish our Mandela song with Dave Stewart. It's such a shock."
- Bono -
"The Clash turned punk into a proper political movement, and Joe Strummer showed recently that he still had much of value to say. It is a terrible tragedy to lose him at this early age."
- David Bowie -
"I'm very, very sad at the news of Joe's death. I cannot pretend that we were that close but I am a great admirer of his songs and lyrics. The last time I saw Joe, we were driving through Notting Hill at 60mph in his Hot Rod VW. I think that this says a lot about him and his spirit. My thoughts are with his family and friends."
- Elvis Costello -
"A true genius, a man of class and convictions. A personal hero. I can't believe he is gone. My heart goes out to his wife and children."
- Mike D, Beastie Boys -
"Joe Strummer. First, last, and only true rock and roll hero. Straight to heaven, I presume."
More from Jakob: "Joe Strummer. I could never say enough. I haven't stopped thinking of him since I heard the news. Honestly, it has unexpectedly taken the wind out of me.
"There are very few leaders. Alot of the records I loved when I was younger no longer hold up as great records. They take you back, but they've lost the thrill. Not The Clash. Not Joe Strummer. I really believe they were the greatest band of them all. I met him twice when I was young, during Combat Rock. You may have heard this before, but i told him i liked his vest. He said "You do?" Then he gave it to me. I put it in a frame, as well as many posters. We played with The Mescaleros a year or two ago. I told him about the vest. He laughed. I laughed. I felt stupid. He looked cool. Seriously, he did look cool.
Here's an odd note. The week before he died, I went searching on ebay. Yes, I do that sometimes. I went looking for my Straight To Hell shirt. I lost it many yrs. ago. I found it, I won. I'm checking the mail everyday. I can't wait to wear it.
God bless Joe Strummer. You were not a punk. You played punk, but you were a king. As righteous an artist we'll ever see. I will not forget. I'm still listening, here in my 'garage, with my bullshit detector.'"
- Jakob Dylan, The Wallflowers (from thewallflowers.com bulletin board) -
"I remember seeing The Clash at Sheffield Top Rank in 1977 & thinking ... Wow!!! ...compared to what was usually on at the Top Rank they couldn�t really play (in the sense of what was the norm back then) but the excitement that came off the stage was phenomenal !!! ...I went in a totally different direction music wise, but nevertheless, The Clash left a lasting impression on me to the point that every time I'm on tour I end up buying "The Clash" & "London Calling" over & over again because I left them at home !!!! What a shame we won't get to see the reunion that might just have happened next March when The Clash are inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall Of Fame. Condolences to ALL his family, friends & fans.......RIP"
- Joe Elliot, Def Leppard -
"Joe Strummer checked out. When we were driving to the Fuji festival in Japan a few months ago we got into this conversation about Joe Strummer. It went like most conversations we have ever had about Joe something like this:
'Joe is the coolest guy with the most integrity'
'Remember that time Joe went out of his way to make someone feel good who was obviously uncomfortable?'
'How about when Joe was accosted by that fan who any other rock star in the world would have run from instantly but Joe gave him a hug and talked to him for 5 minutes because he was grateful that people cared about his music?'
'My favorite record is 'Sandinista', really you think 'London Calling'?'
and so on.
When we got to that festival all the bands were hanging out in the backstage area and it was fun but not Joe.....he was out camping with the people by a river whooping it up.
I didn't know him that well but hung out with him a few times through mutual friends.
Once I was hanging out in the studio when he was recording his record 'Earthquake Weather' and my girlfriend Loesha (now my xwife) was with me and she was just 17 years old and had come down from Canada and was shy and culture shocked. She sat there fidgeting and drew a picture on a piece of paper of a cat. Joe grabbed it and Thumbtacked it up on the wall saying "This is gonna make us play great!"......just to make her feel good.
Last time I saw him was at a rock show in L.A. and he hugged me and kissed me. I went home feeling great. He was a walking bundle of love.
The Clash are my favorite band. They never stopped growing and changing. Their music means so much to me. It makes me feel so good when I hear it. The sound of it. I know it is supposed to be political but that's not what it seems like to me. To me it is purely humanitarian, it is all love. To me Politics means playing games to get what you want. Joe sang about people he didn't think were getting a fair shake, it is obvious that he cared deeply about them.
I love him. If anyone was ever my role model it is him.
The world has lost one of it's best humans.
When he played at the Troubador before he walked off the stage he said "It's a sad and beautiful world! Goodnight!"
- Flea, Red Hot Chili Peppers -
"You changed our lives... god rest your soul"
- Mick Hucknall, Simply Red -
"The Clash were innovative, radical and helped drive a change in music that was ground-breaking. In comparison to some of the music today they sounded like they meant it. I still listen to their music today to remind myself what music made with commitment sounds like."
Another Quote from Chrissie: "I went to his funeral and to the party afterward. I felt very lighthearted and really great and was wondering why. Obviously, it was a very sad day, but the reason I felt so up and good afterward was because Joe provided so much light, he had such a positive force. He had such good innings while he was here."
And another: "He was the great humanitarian to come out of punk."
- Chrissie Hynde, The Pretenders -
"He wasn't some phony. He was a big part of the whole punk movement"
- Steve Jones, The Sex Pistols -
"Joe was not just a great bloke - he was also a great musician who wasn't afraid to take a chance and write lyrics that made a difference. His death is a very sad day for the music scene. Yet again it's one of the good guys who's died young."
- Glen Matlock, The Sex Pistols -
"I was shocked to hear Joe Strummer had died. Seemed totally inappropriate somehow - not at all believable. There he was at the the Gorillas night at the Royal Opera House just a couple or three weeks ago, looking utterly normal and bouncy and strong - not overweight, seemingly as full of life as ever. I didn't actually even say hello that night, though I'd intended to - the dressing rooms were miles from the stage, and miles from each other, and I was pacing the floor trying to make sure I didn't forget the words of these songs that I never normally sing. So the moment never happened. I DID speak to his violinist when I bumped into him half-way through the show. I said, "You guys should come up and join us on "Crazy Little Thing" at the end of the show". I know Bryan Adams had sent the same message that night - it would have been a nice way to end the evening if it had happened. But probably we all thought of it too late - we should have rehearsed it really...
I didn't know Joe very well - Queen were hardly ever in the UK during the days of the Punk Glories - we were constantly on tour - you become quite distant from what is happening back home. So our paths never crossed at that time. Of the whole movement, I related to the Sex Pistols music very much, but didn't really take to the Clash in that instant - it was much later, in retrospect, that I began to enjoy their stuff. But a couple of years ago I found myself on a long plane journey with Joe. It took a few minutes to warm up - I think each of us thought the other guy wouldn't be interested in talking to us!!! But then we got on like a house on fire - we talked about recording, touring, living, families, fame, and moving on from fame - and found much to share and enjoy. He knew almost everyting about our band, to my surprise, and could quote from our lyrics - I had no idea he liked our music. And by that time I knew enough about the Clash to talk sensibly about his group too! I left the plane thinking we would stay in touch, and fully intended to, but life gets so overcrowded with stuff... I never did follow up....
He seemed such a nice, genuine, mature bloke on that journey, which is now a fond memory.
Happy journey on, Mr. Strummer. God Speed ya to the Better Place!"
- Brian May, Queen -
"I can't believe it. Joe was as huge an inspiration to me now as he was in 1977. He combined cool with an uncompromising stance, infused reggae into punk and taught a whole generation of us more about politics than any number if teachers or politicians. I desperately wish news of his death was untrue.
Joe - you were the best."
- Iggy Pop -
"They were unique because, here they are, breaking up at the peak of their popularity and having plenty of offers to come back, and not doing it. While other bands always come back for the money, they had a belief in what they were doing, and even though they could've used it, they never really cared about the money."
- Johnny Ramone -
"Numb, gutted & shocked - 3 words that sum up how I feel. Passionate, principled, genius - 3 words that sum up Joe Strummer."
- Martin Scorcese -
"The Clash were a major influence on my own music, they were the best rock n roll band. Thanks Joe!! "
- Bruce Springsteen-
"On December 23 (sic), 2002, Joe Strummer suffered a fatal heart attack. Joe was a long-time friend, collaborator, sometimes front-man, producer, co-star, and part-time live musician with the Pogues. He was a pillar of the music industry and has influenced more than twenty-five years of music and musicians. His influence on the world will be missed.
With great sadness I extend my most sincere condolences to the friends and family of Joe."
- The Pogues -