Wednesday, August 21st: JOE STRUMMER
Joe Strummer was a British musician, singer, composer, actor and songwriter who was the co-founder, lyricist, rhythm guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the Clash, a rock band formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk rock.
Their second album, “Give 'Em Enough Rope” (1978) reached number 2 on the UK charts. Soon after, they achieved success in the US, starting with “London Calling” (1979), and peaking with 1982's “Combat Rock,” reaching number 7 on the US charts and being certified 2× platinum there. The Clash's explosive political lyrics, eclectic musical experimentation, and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock music in general and alternative rock in particular. Their music incorporated reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap, and rockabilly.
Strummer's career included stints with the 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, the Mescaleros, and the Pogues, in addition to his own solo music. His work as a musician allowed him to explore other interests, including acting, creating film scores for television and movies, songwriting, radio broadcasting, and as a radio host on the BBC Radio show London Calling.
Strummer and the Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 2003. In his remembrance, Strummer's friends and family established the Joe Strummer Foundation, a non-profit organization which gives opportunities to musicians and support to projects around the world that create empowerment through music.
Strummer died on December 22nd, 2002. Today would have been his 67th birthday.