R. Hell Site Forum Message

Joe Strummer

Posted by:DeCapite
Posted on: 9 Jan 2003
I’m listening to “White Man in Hammersmith Palais” and I’m sorry Joe Strummer died, not because death is a bad thing, in fact death would be a welcome event for a vast number of people who grew up under the influence of punk rock, but it wouldn’t have been for Strummer, who believed in life. His career was a heartfelt protest against death, rather than the celebration of it or lust for it that inspired so many of most of his contemporaries’ songs. For a guy who tried hard to face down and document the ugly truths of this world, Strummer did an admirable job of fighting death and worse: cynicism, which is death in life. To me, he stands for toughness without rigidity, humor without cleverness, disillusion without bitterness, pain without self-pity, vulnerability without softness, poetry without sentimentality, and integrity without surrender. And he’s personally responsible for instilling political awareness in almost everyone I know in my age group (40ish).
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a single one of his contemporaries whose recorded worldview wouldn’t lead you to a dead end. Strummer was blessed with, and blessed many of his followers with, an angry, amused curiosity which was supple enough, hopefully, to build a life around. He provided a viable starting point, which is a lot to be thankful to him for.
Of course, it’s easy for those of us who’ve run out of road to write him off as a failed utopian or a romantic innocent child. But listen to a bunch of his songs again, loud, and then try to tell me, honestly, whether you wouldn’t rather still be that kind of child than the one you’ve become. When Joe Strummer ran out of road, he came by it honestly. Can you say the same?

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Message thread:

         thanks and greetings by Richard Hell, 7 Jan 2003 (33)
                 strummer and bangs by rudeboy666, 7 Jan 2003
                         free press by zauberkraut, 9 Jan 2003
                                 Free Press by BINAOH, 9 Jan 2003
                                         active/passive by rudeboy666, 10 Jan 2003
                                         where's the beef? by Lucy, 9 Jan 2003
                                                 YES, lucy by zauberkraut, 9 Jan 2003
                                                         I'm ignorant by Lalu, 10 Jan 2003
                                                                 Jon Stewart's channel is by Mitch, 10 Jan 2003
                                                                         Thanks again by Lalu, 10 Jan 2003
                                                         Hey, magic-kraut by Lucy, 9 Jan 2003
                                                                 j.s. continued by zauberkraut, 10 Jan 2003
                                         yesiree by Lalu, 10 Jan 2003
                 Joe Strummer by DeCapite, 9 Jan 2003
                         Daily Show and Punk Rock by BINAOH, 10 Jan 2003
                                 back to the point...? by Lucy, 10 Jan 2003
                                         it's okay, your ass is wise by zauberkraut, 11 Jan 2003
                         4-D Tequila Anyone? by Debbie Jean, 10 Jan 2003
                                 Strummer by DeCapite, 12 Jan 2003
                                         It just stinks... by Jonathan, 12 Jan 2003
                                                 You didnt miss THAT much ! by Deborah olin, 13 Jan 2003
                                                 Wait you did miss something..,! by Deborah olin, 13 Jan 2003
                                                         But...! by Jonathan, 13 Jan 2003
                                                                 The Stones o yea.,But the Velvets...? by Deborah olin, 14 Jan 2003
                         Joe as Elvis, or... by AK, 11 Jan 2003
                                 Guns by DeCapite, 14 Jan 2003
                                         Hey DeCapite by BINAOH, 14 Jan 2003
                                                 The Paris of the Midwest by DeCapite, 14 Jan 2003
                                                         Paris of the Midwest by BINAOH, 14 Jan 2003
                                         Fear by AK, 15 Jan 2003
                                                 is a man's best... by DeCapite, 15 Jan 2003
                                         Effervescing Elephant by AK, 15 Jan 2003
                         Thank-you by Ginger, 11 Jan 2003
                                 Child/adult by DeCapite, 14 Jan 2003

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