So, Strummer sacks Jones and Headon. Meanwhile, Terry Chimes had been brought back in as drummer. Joe Strummer decided to carry on with The Clash hiring Vince White and Nick Sheppard. They released an album: Cut the Crap, which was basically awful. Joe Strummer decided to then finally split The Clash up. He even publicly apologised to the band’s fans for how poor the album was. Without Mick Jones, Strummer arguably didn’t have that cutting edge. The fire that was there with the two of them writing songs, had gone. Mick Jones’ work with B.A.D. was OK but nowhere near as good as his work with Strummer in The Clash.
So what next for Joe Strummer? Well after a few years away from music, in 1989, Joe Strummer scored music for a film called Walker and one starring him called Straight to Hell.
During the 1990s Strummer became a fully-fledged member of the Groucho club and struck up a friendship with the actor Keith Allen and the artist Damien Hirst. He began going to festivals, mainly Glastonbury, and was rather famous on the scene for his camp fires. He guested on 1996 England football themed song England’s Irie which was recorded for the European Championships and also featured another new friend of Joe’s, Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays fame.
Towards the end of the decade Joe started up a group called Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. They released their first album: Rock Art and the X-Ray Style in 1999. The album received critical acclaim and was seen as a return to form from Strummer.
Global-a-Go-Go, a second album from the band followed in 2001, also to critical acclaim. The title track of the song featured backing vocals from none other than Roger Daltrey of The Who, a long-time friend of Strummer’s.
In December 2002, Joe Strummer had a heart attack in his chair, and died, aged just 50. The loss was felt the world over and tributes were made by Bono, Julien Temple and various others. A third Mescaleros album was released in the wake of his death in 2003 called Streetcore.
Never again would the world see the passionate former Clash frontman. Thankfully, for his old friend Mick Jones, the two had one last performance together at Acton Town Hall in late 2002, at a benefit gig for striking firefighters, fittingly for such politically minded individuals.
R.I.P. Joe Strummer, 1952 – 2002.