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December 23rd, 2002

i dont know about you guys, but i loved the clash as much as u2 @ 12:15 pm

ryandreamer:
I'm currently feelin: sad sad

Clash's Punk Pioneer Strummer Dies at 50

By Jason Hopps

LONDON (Reuters) - Joe Strummer (news), frontman with the Clash whose 1979 track "London Calling" exploded as one of punk's biggest anthems, has died at the age of 50, a spokesman said on Monday.

The singer, guitarist and songwriter died on Sunday at his home in Somerset, western England of unknown causes.

"We do not yet know the cause of death, but we believe it was not suspicious and that he passed away peacefully. An autopsy will be forthcoming," the spokesman said.

Born John Graham Mellor in Ankara, Turkey, Strummer's talents propelled him from playing for change on the London Underground to fame with the Clash, who with the Sex Pistols defined the in-your-face sound and style of 1970s British punk.

Until they split in the 1980s, the Clash produced a catalog of punk classics, including "Career Opportunities" and "Should I Stay or Should I Go?," distilling the depression, anger and energy of 1970s Britain.

But they transcended the three-chord aggression to deliver messages of anti-racism and social consciousness. Strummer, the son of a British diplomat, wrote many of their biggest hits.

"He was one of the most important figures in modern British music, a powerful performer and wordsmith on a level with Bob Dylan (news)," said Pat Gilbert, editor of British music magazine Mojo

"His music had compassion and vision, backed with an agenda to change the world for the better," he told Reuters.

Sometimes described as rebels with a cause, the Clash fused a variety of musical styles -- reggae, funk and even rap -- with a political message that brought punk to the mainstream and also found big success in the U.S. market.

Bono, lead singer from the Irish band U2, said: "The Clash was the greatest rock band. They wrote the rule book for U2."

DEFINITIVE PUNK

In 1976, Strummer met a then 23-year-old guitarist Mick Jones and linked up with bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Terry Chimes. As the Clash, the quartet made an immediate and explosive impact in Britain.

Rolling Stone magazine called their 1977 eponymous debut "The definitive punk album."

Follow-ups "Give 'Em Enough Rope" (1978), and "London Calling" (1979) also became instant punk classics. After The Clash split, a tireless Strummer stayed center stage with a variety of projects, dabbling in acting and writing music for films.

More recently, Strummer toured with a new band, the Mescaleros, and played a benefit concert with Mick Jones in November, reuniting with his partner in punk for the first time in nearly 20 years.

At the time of his death, Strummer was collaborating with U2's Bono and Dave Stewart (news), formerly of the Eurythmics, on an AIDS (news - web sites) awareness track.

"The Clash are to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year and there was hope that there would be a reunion and a tour...this must be especially sad for their fans," Gilbert said.

Strummer's death was a double blow for punk fans still mourning the fatal drug overdose in June of singer Dee Dee Ramone from legendary American band the Ramones.

Strummer is survived by his wife, two daughters and one stepdaughter.
 
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From:divve197
Date:December 23rd, 2002 09:39 am (UTC)

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sad! *lighting creepy-jesus candle in reverance* i never understood or got into the clash until less than a year ago when my band started covering london calling- when i learned the words to that song, i realized- wow, these guys are brilliant. so in a span of like 3 weeks i bought london calling, from here to eternity, the US debut, superblack market clash, and combat rock... and at age 21, almost 25 years after the their first record was released, these guys still managed to change the way i saw all the music that followed them.

"1977..... i hope i go to heaven."
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From:ryandreamer
Date:December 23rd, 2002 09:48 am (UTC)
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i know exactly what ya mean. i mean i started getting into the clash about 5 years ago when i was 15, and i mean, it had been a good many years since their time, but it felt more relevant and worthwhile and amazing to me than anything that was coming out at the time. i still remember 'attacking' sandinista, listening to it over and over trying to just swallow it whole. grar.
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From:neverletmedown
Date:December 23rd, 2002 09:55 am (UTC)

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Oh no...
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From:alhambara
Date:December 23rd, 2002 10:02 am (UTC)
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Well...I didn't love them as much as U2 but I did like the a lot. I thought (and still feel) that 'London Calling' was one of the brilliant songs I've ever heard...

It is sad...very sad.
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From:kevvvy
Date:December 23rd, 2002 12:00 pm (UTC)
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Its absolutely devastating news! God knows what state todays music scene would be in if it wasn't for the influence of Joe! Some people get tagged with the word legend for simply doing a job but Joe got that tag for being a sheer genius and his work will live on and on and on! I just feel so fortunate to have seen him live last July and be able to hear White Man In Hammersmith Palais live!! Quite a moving experience! One of my idols died yesterday. R.I.P. Joe Strummer!!!
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From:thewanderer
Date:December 23rd, 2002 12:32 pm (UTC)
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so sad. i remember seeing something on him recently too. maybe vh1. he looked fairly healthy. 50 is way too young to die!!

is it just me, or does bono seem to very frequently bring things back to how people or events effected u2 and their development. he's clearly paying tribute, but it almost comes off self centered. or maybe he's just trying to give the writers what they want: a good quote.

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From:ryandreamer
Date:December 23rd, 2002 01:34 pm (UTC)
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i think its just good tribute, i dont think its selfish oranything at all.

i mean as a music fan he can only say he loved the clash or something os much, ya know? any fan that loved the clash could say that, but hemakes it relevant to his place in music by attributing what he has done (partially) to that band's influence.

i think hes just being honestm, ya know?
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From:thewanderer
Date:December 23rd, 2002 02:05 pm (UTC)

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yeah, you're right. im usually fasinated when he talks about u2's early influences. i think it just struck me that way because it reminded me of the way he has spoken about others. on its own, it certainly isn't a self serving remark.
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From:ryandreamer
Date:December 23rd, 2002 10:51 pm (UTC)
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i think while at first one might find the remarks a little too similar to those concerning joey ramone, when you think about it, hes said things about both of these before, or hinted at such influences, and so really its just coincidental that both deaths occurred so tragically close.

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