Rob Jones

A Joe Strummer Get Up, Stand Up two disc set offers a career assessment of The Clash icon. One of the original 70’s punk statesmen is honoured via a well produced tribute.

Disc 1 (a.k.a. the Viva Joe Strummer DVD) features conversation with a series of Clash associates including band mates Mick Jones and Topper Headon (as well as a host of others from the inner circle). From this viewpoint it is clear that many who got close to Joe formed strong bonds with him and the great man also cast a spell over a number of people during a lifetime that sadly ended in 2002.

On the musical front the footage displayed is enough to put Strummer on a pedestal-and, the live lustre of both The Clash plus The Mescaleros was something that I was proud to witness. The Clash was all action and from their early rebel rock rhythms this combo went on to encompass a smorgasbord of styles. From a London springboard global fame was to follow but that success came via a lot of hard work and in particular excessive touring.

Along the way there were some memorable albums and eventually transatlantic chart glory secured a lustrous legacy for Strummer and his sidekicks. Just head to albums such as The Clash, Give ‘em enough Rope, London Calling, Sandinista plus Combat Rock and savour sounds that unite the likes of dub, funk, punk, reggae, rap, rockabilly and ska.

The bonus of Disc 2 is a CD that combines a series of interviews with Joe and of particular interest is the section that discusses the exit of Mick Jones from The Clash (which in essence signalled the start of the end of this chapter). However, one of the highlights of the DVD is the reunion of Strummer and Jones for an unplanned three song liaison at a benefit concert shortly before the sad passing away of Joe at the age of 50.

Joe Strummer (21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002) lived a full life and this release honours his memory. Since his death the formation of the Strummerville Foundation promotes new music and good causes plus annual events still celebrate a major player in contemporary culture. In October 2013 Mick Jones indicated that Strummer wanted to reform The Clash and new music was in the pipeline. However, even though we have been denied that potent proposition there are enough tunes in the tank to confirm the worthy entry of Strummer and The Clash in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.