Cry for the Clash
<p>Joe Strummer is dead .</p> <p>I had been <a href="http://www.rumblestrip.org/blog/archives/2002/11/you_know_youre_getting_old_when.html">feeling old</a> lately, realizing much of the music I like is over a decade old. My musical taste had always been odd, but now it’s just predominately old. But the too-soon death of Clash guitarist Joe Strummer on December 23, 2002 really has me in a musical funk now. </p> <p>The Clash were, quite simply, the Greatest Punk Band Ever. Rolling Stone Magazine named “London Calling” the greatest album of the ‘80s, and I did the same thing a month before those poseurs, for my college magazine’s “best of the decade” piece. (The New York Times, in their typically annoying manner, had a one-sentence paragraph in their obit piece about the fact that the album was actually released in 1979. True for the U.K., but “London Calling” was not released in the U.S. until 1980. So go screw, Times.) </p> <p>I can still remember wearing out a copy of London Calling, getting complaints from the neighbors for the enthusiastic volume settings I played it at, memorizing all the “Ha! Gitalong gitalongs” in the song “Working for the Clampdown”. Their first three albums form not just the foundation of punk, but also a playbook for how it’s done, and no one ever came close to matching what they did, the way they did it. I missed them over the years, and now it really feels like they’re gone. </p>
lighting simulationist, crossfitter, former drinker.