Joe Strummer Remembered: 10 Years After His Death
This evening (Dec 22nd) will mark the ten year anniversary of one of the 20th Century's greatest individuals, both in and outside of music: John Graham Mellor, or as he was better known, Joe Strummer.
Strummer, who led the hugely influential punk band The CLash from their incarnation in 1976 until their eventual spilt a decade later, blended elements of ska, reggae, rock and punk to create what was then a truly original sound, and what is now a sound that has been replicated numerous times.
Of course, Strummer's legacy transcends his music, for he was so much more than just your throwaway singer/guitarist. He was a man of strong and noble morals, and stood by them no matter what, whether it was through his constant backing of the Rock Against Racism campaign or fighting for the rights of Planet Earth with the Future Forests campaign. He was dedicated to forward-thinking politics and his songs would almost always be infused with his own political agenda, whether he was writing for The Clash or any of his post-Clash projects and even when he left punk behind he still remained the living embodiment of its DIY ethos.
Even today, artists new and old still pay tribute to the work of Strummer, whether individually or through the charity Strummerville, which was established shortly after his death by his wife Lucinda.
It seems more appropriate now than it did at the time, that 2012 also happens to be the year of the London Olympics, with Strummer's ode to the town 'London Calling' blaring over speakers across the globe. London is still calling, calling out for it's lost brother and one of the great city's greatest residents.
Joe Strummer may be gone, but as we look back on this anniversary we can clearly see that he will never truly be gone at all as his is a star that will continue burning for decades to come.