In Granada

Joe Strummer fell in love with Granada in Spain, visiting first with girlfriend Palmolive, drummer of the Slits. He returned there often including spending time there in 1984, sheltering from the fall out of sacking Mick Jones and taking The Clash Mk II on the road, when these pictures were taken. He continued to visit for the rest of his life. In May last year he had a square named after him- Plaza de Joe Strummer. He also produced local local punk band 091, who he first heard on a jukebox in a bar. Like Joe’s hi-tops I’m not sure they’ve dated very well.

Complete Control was released 37 years ago yesterday. Complete Control, written to complain about the record company and Bernard Rhodes (who told the band he wanted ‘complete control’, who then pissed themselves laughing). Complete Control vies with (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais and Bankrobber as the greatest non-album single The Clash made. The original version was produced by Lee Scratch Perry and then remixed by Mick Jones.

This live version is one of the most exciting things you will ever see or hear.

‘I don’t trust you, so do you trust me?’
‘You’re my guitar hero’

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Oh Ma Corazon

Some kind soul has uploaded The Clash’s 1979 song Spanish Bombs onto Youtube alongside newsreel footage from the Spanish Civil War. Their most folk-punk moment (English Civil war excepted maybe), this song is a sublime piece of Strummer-Jones songwriting and playing. It’s all about the ratatattat drumming and the multi-tracked acoustic guitars and Joe’s timeshifting lyrics- jumping back and forth between the days of ’39, Federico Lorca dead and gone, and the ETA bombings of discos and casinos, all as imagined by Joe while flying in on a DC10 tonight. There’s also a theory that in this song, during the chorus, Joe is bidding farewell to ex-girlfriend Paloma (Palmolive of the Slits).