Gates of the West & Dark Horse Records present ‘A Song For Joe: Celebrating the Birthday of Joe Strummer’ on Friday, August 21 at 8pm BST / 3pm EDT / 12pm PDT.
Taking place on Joe’s birthday, the event will honor Joe’s legacy and feature performances and testimonials by many of the former Clash front man’s friends and notable names in the music & arts community, as well as never-before-seen Joe Strummer live footage.
“To see so many musicians and artists come forward to honor Joe is really touching,” says Joe’s wife Lucinda Tait. “Community was always important to him. Whether it was playing music with friends, organizing all night campfires, or hijacking festivals, Joe was always focused on bringing people together. Even though we can’t all be in the same room together, I cannot think of a better way for us all to feel united. Joe would have loved this.”
The A Song for Joe: Celebrating the Life of Joe Strummer livestream also features Bob Weir, Hinds, Steve Buscemi, and never-before-seen Strummer footage
Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme, former Texas Representative Beto O’Rourke, Bob Weir, Steve Buscemi, Hinds, and others are participating in a livestream tribute to the late Clash frontman Joe Strummer. The two-hour event—called A Song for Joe: Celebrating the Life of Joe Strummer—takes place on Strummer’s birthday (August 21) at 3 p.m. Eastern. Along with the special appearances, the livestream will feature never-before-seen live footage of Joe Strummer.
Jesse Malin (who co-produced the event with Jeff Raspe and Joe Strummer estate manager David Zonshine) will host A Song for Joe. “This tribute to Joe is not only a great way to honor him, but to also remind people how important his message is right now,” Malin said in a press release.
Group’s latest, a Bandcamp exclusive, “recorded in splendid physical isolation on mobile phones, broken cassette recorders, clay tablets and other ancient technologies”
In Paris, in 1925, Yves Tanguy, Jacques Prévert, André Breton and Marcel Duchamp invented a game they called ‘cadavre exquis,’ derived from a phrase that came up when they first played: ‘le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau’ (‘the exquisite corpse will drink the new wine’).
Basically each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see only the end of what the previous person contributed. In the current plague year 2020, after a planned rendezvous in Valencia was necessarily cancelled, mekons adopted this method as a means of collectively assembling lyrics and tunes and recording their new album.
Locked down in various locations, scattered from the West Coast of California to the East End of London, they sang and played into their mobile phones and emailed, uploaded and Whatsapped their wailings, beatings, scratchings and strummings around the globe through the billions of interconnected nodes of our networked panopticon.
Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” may rightfully be seen as a forlorn goodbye to a too-young singer and his band, but ultimately it pulses with love.
Ian Curtis was exuberant. His band Joy Division had the wind at their backs and were days away from their first North American tour. On the evening of May 16, 1980, they had a superb rehearsal and crammed into bassist Peter Hook’s car to drop off Curtis at his parents’ house in Failsworth, England. As Hook remembered 32 years later, the boys were on top of the world — especially their legendarily scowly lead singer.
“We were laughing and joking… one of us would go, ‘I can’t believe we’re fucking going to America!’ We were screaming in the car, jumping up and down on the seats, properly shouting, whooping, hollering: ‘Yeah! America!’” Hook wrote in his 2012 memoir Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division. “I drove [Ian] home that Friday night and he was cock-a-hoop, full of it.” Curtis exited the vehicle outside his house a quarter of a mile from Hook’s. It was the last time Hook ever saw his bandmate and friend.
Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)
On Saturday morning, things took a despondent turn. As Hook wrote, Curtis received a letter about his impending divorce proceedings from his wife Deborah. Curtis canceled a water-skiing trip with guitarist Bernard Sumner, and that night, Deborah dropped by Ian’s house to find him drinking whiskey and coffee after watching Stroszek, Werner Herzog’s film about a European émigré to America who kills himself rather than choose between two women.
Deborah offered to stay the night, worried that Curtis, an epilepsy sufferer, would have a fit, but he asked her to leave instead. After listening to Iggy Pop’s The Idiot on repeat, he hanged himself to death on a kitchen clothes rack in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was two months shy of his 24th birthday.
Accounts from those close to Curtis vary on his state of mind in the last few weeks of his life. “The week before, we went and bought all these new clothes; he was really happy,” Factory Records co-owner Touching From a Distance: Ian Curtis and Joy Division. On the other hand, Curtis reportedly told Psychic TV’s Genesis P-Orridge that he’d “rather die” than go on tour. (“Maybe he did say that, but not to us he didn’t,” Hook explained in his book. “No way. With us, Ian was bang into the idea.”)