Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Adventures of Coma Girl and the Excitement Gang

Admittedly, I arrived at the greatness of The Clash a long while after they were 'new' to the scene. Years, a decade or more, later.

That's not totally true. I did own a cassette version of Combat Rock when it came out. But I'll fully admit ignorance to (most) anything they'd done prior to that "MTV" record in 1983. Give me a break; I was 13.

That doesn't diminish their influence on me and the esteem to which I hold them as a band. A pillar, an essential of Rock and Roll. One of, if not my favorite, artists of all time.


You may or may not like The Clash. And that's fine. But I'm willing to bet that more than one or two post-punk era bands you enjoy, did. No, not bet. Guarantee.

I can't get into a whole Clash history here - but I have to give a nod to my man. Joe Strummer.

Back a few years ago, I'd heard that he was touring with his own band - The Mescaleros. I decided I didn't have the time to go to the show, and missed it. A while later, he died.

My bad. I should have gone to see him live when I had the chance.

This isn't some sappy "now that you're gone" retrospect. I've been listening to Streetcore in my car, recently, and realized that his talent and influence have been wildly overlooked - or underappreciated.

Joe Strummer was a master lyricist. His songs filled with words making up part of the instrumentation. Check out Beck and Anthony Kedis as those who, I'm not shy in suggesting, were influenced by him. I have no proof - but I'm sure a 50/50 bet would score.

There's lots to say about this guy that I don't have the time for right now... but after the past week, listening (again) to his voice, his lyrics, and the way Streetcore was finished after Joe's passing that makes me confident in my assessment.

Joe Strummer is a man that can not be overlooked when reviewing the history of Rock.

There may be more detail here in the future.. Until then, just remember his name.

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