You Gotta Live In This World Diggin’ The New

On this day in 2002 Joe Strummer died of a heart attack at home after walking his dogs. I think he is still sorely missed, not just by his family and friends (which goes without saying really) but by his fans, his people. 1970s punk has had such a high profile over the last decade, autobiographies and documentaries abound, the clamour for a re-union would have been immense (especially as Paul and Mick both continue to record and perform), and his views on British and world political events would have been sought. Of his solo albums Rock, Art And The X Ray Style, released in 1999, was his step back into the world and it captures the spirit of Joe as much as any record he made since the Clash split up. On Tony Adams he sings about a power cut in New York over thumping timpani and pays tribute to Arsenal’s troubled captain. On Yalla Yalla  Joe and Richard Norris play electro-dub and raise their arms aloft. On Sandpaper Blues The Mescaleros shoehorn umpteen musical styles into four minute highlight with cowboys, African chanting, male voice choirs, hand drums and mariachi and Madeira. On Diggin’ The New Joe sings ‘You gotta live in this world, diggin’ the new’ and that kind of sums up the man up- always looking for the next thing, open to new ideas and experiences. I miss him.

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One Response

  1. I too miss Joe. But I do wonder what he’s be up to if he was still alive. The Mescaleros would, I imagine have folded at some point, and it’s hard to imagine anything other than a Clash reunion for the money. Particularly in the States. Which would have been interesting…

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