Outlaw songs are at least as old as popular music itself. The image of a gallant loner battling a rigid and unyielding legal establishment has proved irresistible for generations of songwriters. In 1959, Texan Sonny Curtis wrote one of the best, "I Fought The Law." Intended as a vehicle for himself and the post-Buddy Holly Crickets, their single went precisely nowhere.That is, until it was covered -- the first hit cover was by The Bobby Fuller Four in 1965, then another major version came out 14 years later, from The Clash who revived the "oldie" into what is now a "punk anthem." From there, the covers start piling up.... [more inside]
Straight to Hell is a 1987 action-comedy film directed by Alex Cox, featuring Sy Richardson, The Clash frontman Joe Strummer (after whose song the film is named), Courtney Love, Dick Rude, Dennis Hopper, Grace Jones, Elvis Costello, Xander Berkeley, Kathy Burke, Jim Jarmusch, Edward Tudor-Pole, Miguel Sandoval, as well as members of The Pogues, Amazulu and The Circle Jerks. ... While the film received almost no positive reviews, it has (like several other of Cox's films) achieved a minor cult status, largely due to its cast of musicians, many of whom have cult followings of their own. A soundtrack has been released. (previously, awesomely)
"It was fantastic to be undeniably receiving radio from Britain. Ever since then I've always wanted to spin records on the World Service." Former Clash frontman Joe Strummer first listened to the BBC World Service while visiting his father in Africa as a teenager in the mid-1960s. [more inside]
Shane MacGowan is the face and name most often associated with The Pogues. Unraveling Shane's psyche would require a book-length study but the crux of his identity lies somewhere in that conflict between English experience and Irish heritage. The abbreviated story of his life starts with his birth in England, but he was raised in Ireland, and moved back to England some years later. He won a scholarship to the renowned Westminster School, where he was possibly enrolled alongside Thomas Dolby and other notable people. MacGowan was involved with drugs and publicized hooliganery before being in a band, the first of which was The Nipple Erectors in 1977. [more inside]
Filmmaker Julien Temple chronicles the life of Joe Strummer in his new film titled The Future Is Unwritten.
"Window in the Sky" is a YouTube style video synch mash-up done on a professional budget with the magic of copyright clearances. "It's a triumph of postmodern reconstruction" says the Washington Post.
Joe Strummer Dies at 50. Not exactly what I was hoping to get for Christmas... I have a feeling that my wife is going to be quite sick of Sandinista! and London Calling after today...
50 is an odd age for a rock star to die. 25 or 75 both seem right. But fifty? That's absurd! And he never got round to reforming the Clash ...