It has been awhile since the last I See Dead Historical Figures installment, so today, I’m proud to present a posthumous interview with Clash frontman and music legend Joe Strummer.
BM: Joe, first off, welcome to the blog, and I have to say… I was so shocked and so sad when you died of a coronary in 2002.
BM: I gotta admit, at the time of your death I was very skeptical of your new projects with the Mescaleros, but since then I’ve grown to love each of the albums, especially that last one –Streetcore.
JS: It’s not very surprising.. after all the fame and recognition of the clash, it’s a tough act to follow yeah? But I really felt, and even dead I feel, that each of those albums was a great musical journey, especially Streetcore. Some people don’t want to hear it, they only want the clash, but what can I say, it ended.
BM: Speaking of the Clash, any final thoughts about the legacy and that time in your life?
JS: I didn’t need to die to realize it was a great ride. It made me an icon, I’ve got no illusions about that. But that fucking record label and their ridiculous contract made, and still make, artists into slaves. I’m sure you heard what I went through to get out of that contract yeah? — GENERAL STRIKE — for nine years.
BM: And you ran in the Paris Marathon… not bad.
JS: Yeah.. that was a hell of a time.
BM: Your music taught me alot about politics Joe, especially about the cold war and the secret objectives of the American and Soviet governments around the world. Anything to say about politics today?
JS: Well you should definitely not turn to me for all your history lessons. What went on wasn’t a big secret, except that it was buried or ignored by people and the press. Watching politics today is like watching a rerun. Terrorism isn’t new, and neither is this cold war part 2 they’ve started. Hell even most of the actors are the same. Its a crime how history repeats itself.
BM: Before I end this interview, I wanted to compliment you on that recording of redemption song with Jonny Cash.. its beautiful.
JS: I also felt pretty lucky to get to do that with him. And if you’re curious, being that we’re both dead, we’ve lots of time to jam together.
BM: Fantastic. If you release any zombie records, let me know. And hey.. thanks alot for doing this Joe… we miss you.. the world I mean.
JS: Not a problem. This blog and podcast world is very interesting, especially since the dead can finally get involved. We’ve been waiting for something like this for a long time.
There you have it…. one of my most favorite people ever.
Today’s Sounds: Accident Hash Podcast