"I think we're going to have to forget about the radio and just go back to word of mouth." - Joe Strummer
He was born John Graham Mellor in 1952, and was already immersing himself in the sounds of reggae and rock as he attended boarding school in London. He formed the pub rock group the 101’ers in 1974, but less than two years later, after seeing a concert by Johnny Rotten and the Sex Pistols, Strummer quit rock to enter the world of punk.
He founded the Clash in 1976. Although the Clash was not the first British punk band, it came to be known as the definitive icon of the genre. They mixed their idealistic, leftist politics with an adventurous sound, incorporating reggae, dub, and rockabilly into their hard rock & roll.
Six incredible albums later, the members of the Clash went their separate ways, having made their mark on music history. After the breakup for the Clash, Strummer became involved in film, acting in movies including Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, and Alex Cox's Straight to Hell, and scoring movies such as Walker, and Sid and Nancy.
In the mid 90’s Strummer returned to the music scene with a backup band called the Mescaleros. He released an album called Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, which was loved by critics, and was followed by several tours of England and North America. With the Mescaleros, Strummer covered Clash hits, reggae classics, as well as material from other bands, including the Ramones.
Joe Strummer died of a heart attack in 2002, leaving behind innumerable fans and an incredibly influential body of work, both from his various solo projects and his time with the Clash.