Friday, August 21, 2009

Today woulda been Joe Strummer's Birthday

When I was a kid I was a real Punk. A Punk Rocker. My heart rate still goes up when I hear bands like the Dead Kennedys, The Ramones, Jonney Thunders and the Heartbreakers. But The Clash were the MOST IMPORTANT BAND. That was their motto. It was true.

I remember seeing them at the Palladium in the (then) grimy Greenwich Village and at Bond's Casino in (then) porno district of Time's Square. To be in "The Pit" just feet from the stage was an unforgettable experience. All the thrills of a roller coaster with out a seat belt. I hope my kids can enjoy something like that but not tell till 20 years after they do it.

So today I am in the car today enjoying one of my rare alone moments with the radio as loud as it goes. The DJ on 101.9 say that it would have been Joe Strummer's 57 birthday and they are gonna play one of his songs next. Cool, I park, roll up the windows and brace myself for maximum volume Clash. Then they play.... WHAT THE FUCK... Train in Vain. Not only the most sellout song the Clash ever made but it was sung by Mick Jones.

This reminded me of the day Joe died. At that time is was listening to WNEW FM. They announced in the morning that he had died. I listened all day for some sort of tribute. Nothing. I called at 6pm. The DJ answered. I said
"Hay Joe Strummer has been dead all day and you have not done anything. I know you are not a punk station but don't you think you should do something. I starting getting really pissed and he kept talking to me....kept me talking. I told him that I might be 40 years old now, but Joe Strummer was "the voice of my teenage anger". Now I am the guy that your advertisers want to reach and you are loosing me."

He told me to keep listening, they would get to a tribute soon. It turned out they edited my voice and made me the introduction to the tribute. Instead of being pissed at WNEW, they just made me sound angry. Fuck um

That was the end of WNEW for me, and now they are gone.

I looking up info about Joe Strummer I learned that he ran 4 marathons in the early 1980s


  1. i loves joe strummer! saw him plenty of times w/the clash (and loved every show)!

    i wish i had seen him, just once, w/the mescaleros :(

  2. That is the problem with most radio today, they just play stuff like Rock The Casbah, Train etc.
    Fortunately there are a few public and college stations that play more eclectic choices.


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