The day the punk music died

Joe Strummer by Simon White at Toronto Calling
Photo by Simon White in Toronto Calling exhibit

It’s been 9 years since Joe Strummer passed away from an undiagnosed congenial heart defect. Joe Strummer and The Clash were my biggest musical influence. I eagerly awaited the release of The Future is Unwritten (and I’m now the proud owner of a Region 2 DVD from Amazon.co.uk). My friends Scott Berkun, Roger Chabra, Saul Colt and others have reminded me about how important Joe was both musically and politically.

Joe Strummer by Simon White - Toronto Calling
Photo in my living room thanks to Lee Dale, Kristin Heeney and Simon White for the best friends and a special gift

“And so now I’d like to say – people can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks – I am one of them. But we’ve all got to stop just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything – this is something that I’m beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other. That’s because they’ve been dehumanised. It’s time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain’t going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you’re nothing. That’s my spiel.” — Joe Strummer

It was Billy Bragg’s post this morning that connected connected Joe’s view on worker and humanitarian rights explicitly for me to the Occupy movements.

Thanks Joe!