Joe Strummer, 1952-2002

Dec 26, 2002 12:00 PM


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Joe Strummer, frontman for the seminal British punk band The Clash, died on December 22, 2002, at his farmhouse in Somerset, southwestern England.

Strummer had most recently been touring with his band, The Mescaleros. Since The Clash disbanded in 1986, Strummer has dabbled in film music (Sid & Nancy), acting (Walker, Mystery Train, Straight to Hell), sat behind the producer's desk for The Pogues and got back behind a mic as a solo artist (Earthquake Weather, Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, Global A-Go-Go).

"Joe's more of an intuitive guitar player," engineer Bill Price told Mix ("London Calling," Classic Tracks, November 2000). "He used to bash the living daylights out of his guitar when the song demanded it. He also had a sort of unconscious way of damping the chord with his right hand, which used to produce this incredibly urgent, clanging and clashing sound, which I've never heard any other guitarist ever produce. Joe always played a Fender, unless it was broken, and then he'd play anything. Joe's strumming was so intrinsic to him that we used to do his vocals with him strumming an unplugged Fender, because it was the only way he could get into it. And if he didn't have a guitar there for some reason, Joe would beat his chest with his right fist."

For more, check out the "Mix Interview" in the August 1997 issue.

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