Strummer's Widow Reveals Cache Of Unheard Clash Songs
The widow of THE CLASH frontman JOE STRUMMER has unearthed a treasure trove of scribbled notes, cartoons, and forgotten song lyrics left by the late musician. In her first interview since the rocker died in 2002, Lucinda Mellor tells how the secret possessions will form the basis of a tribute book to the uniquely talented musician, which will be produced in conjunction with his friend, the artist Damien Hirst. The discovery was made in a room buried in the depths of the farmhouse she shared with her husband, which she rarely if ever ventured into while he was alive. When Strummer returned home after a tour, he would throw his suitcases into the room, leaving them jumbled alongside other suitcases he brought back from his travels. Mellor left the suitcases untouched until long after her husband died of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. But when she finally ventured into the room to investigate the baggage, she was astonished at the contents. She tells British newspaper The Independent, "I suddenly realised that each bag was pertinent to a week on tour or a session. "Each bag told a story which was amazing. I had done quite a bit of sorting before I really realised..." When the value of her discovery dawned, Mellor drafted in the artist Gordon MCHarg to help archive the material, cataloguing it and storing it between acid-proof paper. If sold at auction, the memorabilia could fetch tens of thousands of dollars. But for now, Mellor plans to convert the material into a book, co-authored by Hirst. She adds, "It's not something that's going to be rushed into; it's going to be beautifully done. It'll be like an art book, with photographs, lyrics, drawings, maybe unreleased songs, rarities. It'll have CDs in it, rare Joe stuff - we'll see what we've got."