Don Letts - Welshman and former drug smuggler Howard Marks and Friends including actor Rhys Ifans who played Marks in a film, perform in concert at The Forum in London, United Kingdom - Saturday 28th February 2015
A child of British diplomats who was always keenly embarrassed of his public school education and refers to himself as "a mouthy little git," Strummer was squatting in London with gypsies in the mid-1970s, busking for food money, playing in a pub band called the 101ers, and generally charming the pants off of everyone he met. It was a hand-to-mouth existence, but seemed like the kind of thing Strummer could do for years, living his beloved lowlife. Then he was being introduced to a trio of short-haired punks, The Clash was formed, and Strummer was on his way to rock stardom. He wasn't a singer, he was a yelper (as some fantastic footage of him laying down the vocal track for "White Riot" shows particularly well), a snaggletoothed smoker with a penchant for nonsensical lyrics and overblown statements. But in Strummer's work, with The Clash and afterwards, there always rang true a tone of absolute and unmistakable sincerity, sung and played with complete conviction each and every time. This was a man without irony, leading a band that set the model for all the conscious groups which would follow (tellingly, Bono is one of the interviewees here, talking about The Clash being his first concert, and in short the reason he got into music).
Continue reading: Joe Strummer: The Future is Unwritten Review