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Joe Strummer RIP: 21 August 1952 - 22 December 2002

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Today sees the ninth anniversary of the death of a legend and hero to not only me, but a whole generation.

That legend was Joe Strummer - born John Graham Mellor - and his band was The Clash.

The Clash live were the most exciting rock 'n' roll band in the world, and the records weren't too shabby either. Pistols or The Clash? Always The Clash for me. Beatles or Stones? Always The Beatles. The Clash, just like The Beatles before them, defined and captured a generation. But unfortunately, I think to be fair you had to be there to fully get it.

Watching on YouTube last week Primal Scream sharing a stage at The Scala in London with the remaining members of The Clash - bar Topper Headon - and performing Brand New Cadillac and Rocks reminded me of the energy and power of The Clash from all those years ago.

It also made me realise Rocks was always a proper punk rock song! I released it and I never knew it until I heard Mick Jones and Paul Simonon play it live with The Scream. Gillespie was screaming it, not singing it! Just an amazing version.

I was lucky enough to know Joe a little and visited him at his home once for Sunday tea. A gentleman and absolute rock 'n' roller.

I was privileged to have him come to my 40th birthday party which in honesty made it for me and I was thankful! I actually even told him he was a childhood hero and he responded as a very humble man - as all of The Clash were or are.

They destroyed every other punk band, they had the tunes and the look and more importantly, they had Joe Strummer. Apart form Elvis or Lennon, nobody has ever been that cool again in rock 'n' roll. People believe in religion and that's fair enough. I believed in The Clash.

Long may you rock and roll, Joe Strummer. Forever missed and loved by Clash fan's worldwide and he always will be. Long may you run...

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