46664

While doing my Mick Jones post the other day I remembered another lesser known recording. The last song Joe Strummer wrote was Long Walk To Freedom 46664, a tribute to Nelson Mandela (46664 was Mandela’s prison number). Never recorded by Joe it was performed at one of Mandela’s 46664 concerts which aimed to raise awareness about and funds for HIV/Aids in Africa. Joe wrote the words. The music was written by *clears throat* Bono and Dave Stewart and it was debuted live by *clears throat again* Bono. I’ll try not to mention him again. Joe’s widow Luce and daughter Eliza were guests of honour at the 46664 concert when it was performed. According to the best of my knowledge/internet chatrooms Luce asked Mick Jones to record the song too after Joe’s death and Mick agreed, re-writing the tune and playing all the instruments himself. In the months before Joe died legend has it Joe and Mick had been writing together after Joe asked Mick to come down to the Streetcore sessions. Mick felt uneasy but some writing may have taken place and one interviewer claims Joe had told him they weren’t for a new Joe Strummer/Mescaleros album but for ‘the new Clash record’. Whatever the truth, this would appear to be the last Strummer/Jones song, never officially released. Even the bootlegs are rare.

46664

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Nelson

It’s worth remembering (as Drew and others have pointed out), as everyone joins in to pay tribute to a great man, that admiring Nelson Mandela was once a political act.