Mail Clashrocker

    Joe Strummer was born John Graham Mellor in Ankara, Turkey on August 21, 1952 and his father was a British diplomat. He changed schools around the world for much of his early years, residing in Cyprus, Mexico City and West Germany before settling into a boarding school in England (Epsom?) where he got "O" levels in English, History and Art, and where his tastes in music developed. This led onto a very short stay at London's Central School of Art before he headed off to Wales with his then-girlfriend. Whilst there, he played a few gigs with a band called Flaming Youth (later to be called The Vultures, and while he was named Woody Mellor) but he became tired of Wales and moved back to London, where he formed a new pub-rock band, the 101ers, in 1974. They were beginning to make a name for themselves on the pub circuit by playing classic rock covers as well as some original songs. They released one single, called "Keys To Your Heart".....then came Punk Rock! Joe Strummer had become a king when he thought he was a crud, and watching the Sex Pistols on April 1, 1976, changed his life, and the future of Rock 'n' Roll forever.

He broke up the 101ers to become the lead vocalist of a band that was to become THE CLASH

After The Clash broke up in the early days of 1986, he went on to a flegling career in acting. Through his connections with film director Alex Cox, he was able to score a lead role in the B-grade flick, "Straight To Hell" which was poorly accepted by all critics. He also dabbled in a bit of soundtrack work, overseeing the "Sid And Nancy" soundtrack (upon which he collaborated with fellow ex-Clash member Mick Jones to write "Love Kills" and it's B-Side, "Dum Dum Club") and the "Walker" soundtrack which he did completely and he even acted in the movie but lost his parts through the editing process. He also contributed to the "Permanent Record" soundtrack with help from his support band, The Latino Rockabilly War. He acted in one more movie, "Mystery Train", in 1989, before officially announcing his return to music. In late '87 he replaced guitarist Phil Chevron on The Pogues' tour of America and in 1988 and '89 played relatively successful tours with The Latino Rockabilly War around Britain and America and even did some benefit gigs for left-wing-anarchists, "Class War". They released a record, "Earthquake Weather" in 1990 before Joe, once again, faded into obscurity.

In 1992, Joe received another call from The Pogues, this time to permanently replace their figurable singer Shane MacGowan (now leading The Popes). He only held that job for a short time before leaving again. Since then he has done more soundtrack work (for "Pigs Might Fly" (1994?) and "Grosse Pointe Blanke" (1997)) and acted once more in the French film, Docteur Chance, which was filmed in Chile in 1997.

Last year, Joe presented 4 weekly world music programs on The BBC World Service ("Joe Strummer's London Calling") and during the second program, he gave us a hint that he would soon return by playing one of his own compositions, "Sandpaper Blues" and he also appeared on the South Park soundtrack with the song "It's A Rocking World". This year, 1999, sees his return to the touring circuit. With his support band, The Mescaleros, he is currently on a short world stadium and club tour to promote a new album, "Rock, Art and The X-Ray Style", due in September, and it's first single, "Yalla Yalla", due out next month (July).

To see reviews from this tour, click here.

  your picture here