Archive for March, 2012

Joe Strummer 1952-2002

Great hatred, little room, Maimed us at the start. I carry from my mother’s womb a fanatic’s heart.

 I miss you Joe. That much is true. You see we live in an ever blander world. A Post-modernist era, arguing about the rise of secularism, the rise of the religious right, cynical times, poverty times, hard times and the internet age.  Wither the poets, wither the prophets? Wither the ire? Wither the teenagers with a driven heart, a fanatic’s soul and an electric guitar? I miss you Joe. That much is true. In the end we have your words and we have your music but the world seems a bit sadder that you are not in it.

I remember the first time I heard you sing. 1989 and the song was London Calling. A friend and I were mitching off school and we caught the song, which was recorded off MTV (back when that particular station played music). Shot on the Thames with the rain beating down you were barking out the words and barking out a message. I miss you Joe and I especially miss the message.

What message? The message that we could change the world and all we needed was a guitar and words. Pre-internet, pre-grunge and pre-the days before the underground was the overground you re-affirmed why I had to get on to playing music and to make fucking sure my voice would be heard.

All the blisters, all the hours in my room, all the laughs in garages, all the nights of booze and friends and sing-alongs, all the pre-gig nerves and all the words I spewed out on to a page you were part of that, you remain part of it. You kept the light lit and you made the darkness a bit more bearable. You shone a light on injustice, keeping an eye on the bullshit and opened my eyes to a wider world.  I just wanted to say thanks.

Advertisements