Watch Tom Morello, Josh Homme + More Salute Late Clash Singer Joe Strummer on His Birthday
This past Friday (Aug. 21) would have been Joe Strummer's 68th birthday, and to salute The Clash legend's spirit singer Jesse Malin, Strummer's estate manager David Zonsine and DJ Jeff Raspe organized "A Song for Joe: Celebrating the Life of Joe Strummer" benefit to raise funds for the #SaveOurStages campaign.
The livestream event opened with images and sound bites from the late singer, expressing some of his humanitarian views. "People can change anything they want to. People are out there doing bad things to each other because they're being dehumanized," stated Strummer, adding with the desire to put some good in the world, "It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring. Without people you're nothing."
One of Strummer's final performances of "Police on My Back" from the Brixton Academy in London on Nov. 24, 2001 opened the performances, before the rest of the stream focused on testimonials, birthday wishes and a number of musical performances.
Bad Brains' H.R., Bruce Springsteen, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, actors Steve Buscemi and Matt Dillon offered recollections and birthday wishes during the livestream, while performances came from a variety of acts located around the world.
The Interrupters had first crack, with a filmed performance of "Get Down Moses" (at 10:58 in the player below), followed by Tom Morello strumming on an acoustic guitar and using the harmonica while playing "Backrobber" (at 19:59).
Host and organizer Jesse Malin took the stage in New York to play one of Strummer's late career favorites, "Johnny Appleseed," from Strummer's time with The Mescaleros (at 24:09). The Gaslight Anthem's Brian Fallon served up a pre-taped black and white performance (at 43:21) of "Long Shadow" while several members of Dropkick Murphys rocked "Tommy Gun" from the comfort of their rehearsal space (at 52:53).
The Strokes' Nikolai Fraiture played in front of an outdoor Joe Strummer mural covering "Police and Thieves." Queens of the Stone Age's Josh Homme and Troy Van Leeuwen delivered a standout pro-shot version of "Train in Vain" (1:05:24) while Frank Turner rocked from on "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" (1:11:57).
Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer gave a spirited performance of "Rudie Can't Fail" (1:16:33) and perhaps one of the more interesting bits of the evening started with a story of how Strummer met the Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and ended with Weir joining Malin on a cover of "Death and Glory" (1:46:25).
Strummer's career with The Clash began with 1977's self-titled debut album. They would release six studio albums total before disbanding in 1986. Strummer also spent time with the 101ers, Latino Rockabilly War, the Mescaleros and The Pogues. The Clash were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, but sadly Strummer died on Dec. 22, 2002 at the age of 50 from a congenital heart defect.
You can watch the whole salute to Strummer below and if you wish to donate to help #SaveOurStages, you may do so at this location.
A Song for Joe: Celebrating the Life of Joe Strummer
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