August 21, 2015
Happy birthday to (the late) Joe Strummer: Colossal pain in the butt, goddammit
Blasts from (my) past:
Unreported at the time — especially not in Joe Strummer’s piss-and-vinegar, all upper case “tour diary” commissioned by England’s punk purist New Music Express – was a tiny yet telling incident that took place the night before the band mounted the stage.
It’s a throwaway anecdote that accidentally captures, in miniature, the beginning of the end of the Seventies, as two cultures collided and one era split into two.
As road manager Johnny Green recalls, Strummer called him first thing in the morning, hoarsely begging Green to come to his room right away.
“I’ve done something awful. Terrible. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Having learned of Sid Vicious’ ignominious end just days earlier, Green’s mind raced.
“Done what?” he demanded, bracing himself for the answer.
“I went out last night with Andy Warhol to Studio 54,” a shamed Strummer confessed.
Adding, according to some versions:
“And I enjoyed myself.”
(And one of the “10 Obscure Songs That Should Have Been Hits”)
“That’s it. We’re not gonna be The Gentlemen anymore…”