Friday, December 18, 2009

Joe Strummer, Redemption Song

A short while ago I finished reading Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer by Chris Salewicz. It was a good read. It started out a little slow, but all of the material needed to be covered to explore Strummer's beginnings as a singer/songwriter. The photos in the book were very cool. I think the book was called Redemption Song because the song was sung over and over on Strummer's tours and many times in vans and buses, along the way, after lots of drinks. The book didn't exploit anything and it didn't sugar coat either. While I read it I had many images replay in my mind from a dvd I own called Revolution Rock and Westway To The World. Many other rock docs and articles try to connect early reagae to punk. They usually miss the bulleye completely. Salewicz helps make that connection without ever setting out to do so. Redemption Song highlights The Mescaleros, toward the end of Strummer's life, in the correct light of what the bands goals and interests were along with Strummers. I enjoyed the screen acting projects and soundtracks and this book gave good background anecdotes of that period in Strummer's work. The book helped wake me up to how much can be learned from someone elses life and dreams. So many musical groups both selfconsciously and unaware, have new offramps on and off musical highways from the life and times and influence of Joe Srtrummer.

NPR page about the book.


Anonymous tom coyne said...

great post and awesome video!
i remember seeing him when he sang with the pogues, how cool was that!?!?!?
RIP joe strummer

and my fave song from xray style....coma girl...check it out!

2:00 PM  
Anonymous tom coyne said...

2:02 PM  
Blogger Four Dinners said...

We'll never really know why he wouldn't join in a reformed Clash.

His choice and respected by all.

But why?

I would love to know why.

Maybe he didn't quite realise what The Clash meant to so many of us.

Or maybe he did?

Sleep well Joe.

You DID make a difference. x

4:07 PM  

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