joe strummer, most famously the front man for the clash, died at the tragically young age of 50 on december 22, 2002. his untimely death was all the more tragic because strummer was in the midst of a musical resurgence, as he toured with his new group the mescalaros. after his days with the clash ended in the mid-80's, he fell into the musical wilderness for more than a decade before getting back to his roots.
it's no understatement to point out that the clash is one on my all time favorite rock bands (easily in my top half dozen favorites - along with the dead, zeppelin, the beatles, and green day)! their album covers ("give 'em enough rope," "london calling," and "sandinista") lined my dorm room walls. their shows in the late 70's/early 80's nyc are some of my greatest concert memories! it's hard to believe the interesting connections - such as allen ginsberg hooking up with the clash back stage at bonds (and how they collaborated on lyrics, no less)!
two great documentaries that focus on strummer are seriously worth checking out: "joe strummer: the future is unwritten" is must see for any fan of the clash, and "let's rock again!" is a short (one hour) documentary of strummer's brief time with the mescalaros. in memory of his death, a tribute album was released today in the uk ("winter sessions showcase album 2009") along with a christmas card handdrawn by strummer just before his death.
take a minute to think of joe strummer today!