Joe Strummer: 21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002

This is a reprise of a post from a couple years ago. Hard to believe ten years have passed since Strummer’s passing, more than 30 since I saw The Clash at the State Theatre in Akron, OH. In a week, I’ll also be marking the 30th anniversary of my father’s passing. Where has the time gone?

I remember Strummer stopping the show in Akron to engage with some kids a few rows behind us who’d come into the concert toting their skateboards. “In Birmingham,” he quipped, “they use one for each foot!”

The text below is part of a collection of short bio-fictional works I’ve dubbed “Evocations.” They seek to evoke the spirit of their subject. The video is a treatment of the piece I put together for a reading I gave at University of Maine in 2007, but which some technical hangups prevented me from showing.

I came at them a leather-clad rooster of the Apocalypse, my nicotine cockadoodle rousing the weary that they might receive the London call. Belying my nom de punk, I didn’t so much strum tunes as punch salvos of witty rebuke, my Fender Tele faring no better than my bloodied right fist.

Read the entire piece with accompanying art by Jeff Edmunds. [PDF]

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