Today would have been John Graham Mellor’s 61st birthday. And I often wonder what he would be doing today if he wouldn’t have passed away in 2002 from an undiagnosed heart problem.
The world knew Mr. Mellor by his
legendary iconic stage name, Joe Strummer, and so he shall always be known.
Strummer’s mark on the music world is so unbelievably important it’s hard to fathom. It kind of all started in earnest in 1976 with the formation of The Clash, a band that blended rock, rap, reggae, ska and a nice amount of rockabilly with lyrics full of social commentary, youthful angst and politics. The musical style and timing couldn’t have been more perfect. London (as well as NYC) had a new form of music gaining traction in the clubs and streets called Punk Rock and The Clash would come out as the flag bearers of the movement.
Sure there has always been the, made up by dummies, debate of who were the true ‘punk rock’ gods of the time. Sex Pistols(est.’75), The Ramones(est.’74) or The Clash? Legacies have proven that The Clash had made more impact on future music than the others in this silly argument.
Just take a listen to the albums “Give Em Enough Rope” (’78), “London Calling”(’79), “Sandinista”(’80) and “Combat Rock”(’82) and then listen to the alt-rock, rock and the so called punk-rock of today and tell me what band these modern day rockers have been influenced by.
“If I had five million pounds I’d start a radio station because something needs to be done. It would be nice to turn on the radio and hear something that didn’t make you feel like smashing up the kitchen and strangling the cat.” – Joe Strummer
Whatever your thoughts are about about current rock offerings, you shouldn’t deny Joe Strummer’s role in what is out there on the radio and in the clubs today.His legacy will live on forever.
You can check out all you need to know about Joe Strummer’s days with The Clash and his other important musical explorations HERE.
You are missed Mr. Mellor!
Also Born Today: Nick Kane – Mavericks (1954), Steve Smith – Journey (1954), Budgie – Siouxsie & The Banshees (1957), Serj Tankian – System of a Down (1967), Kenny Rogers (1938),