Joe Strummer

Mar 1, 1984

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  1. 1 Interview Part 1 19:00
  2. 2 Interview Part 2 16:34
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This 2-part interview presents polar extremes of Joe Strummer. The first part most likely takes place in late 1983, after Mick Jones left the band but before the new Clash line-up started touring together. The majority of this segment involves Strummer heatedly discussing all the reasons Jones was fired. He then goes on to talk animatedly about the new incarnation of the band and how everyone in America is on drugs.

In the second part of the interview, recorded in the beginning of 1984, Strummer sounds melancholy and exhausted. However, with the departure of Mick Jones from The Clash being old news by this point, Lisa Robinson is able to steer the questioning towards what Strummer makes of performing, success, and his music.

Part 1
00:00 - Why Mick was fired: emotional blackmail
01:15 - Bitterness
01:56 - Success vs. personal problems
02:48 - Mick's vision for the band / guitar synth
03:59 - Who/what constitutes The Clash
06:10 - Making a not-so-great Clash album: Combat Rock
07:05 - Glyn Johns saves Combat Rock (as per Joe Strummer)
07:55 - Glyn Johns ruins Combat Rock (as per Mick Jones)
08:35 - Forcing Mick Jones to sing "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"
10:22 - An honorable way for a band to go out
11:00 - The two new guitarists (Vince White, Nick Sheppard)
11:39 - Hoping to be possessed
12:40 - A divorced writing partnership with Mick / "Death is a Star"
14:02 - Writing with Paul Simonon / road-testing new songs
14:55 - Pete Howard on drums
15:07 - Recording a new album
15:49 - The US Festival
16:46 - Everybody in America is on drugs
18:29 - [phone]: Mick Jones' response

Part 2
00:00 - Other aspirations / graphic artist
00:51 - Growing up with a diplomat father
01:57 - A feeling of homelessness
02:29 - Slagged for being middle-class
02:59 - The reaction in Britain to the disbanding of The Clash
03:45 - Taking some criticisms to heart
04:25 - Not enjoying playing in stadiums
05:45 - Crowd behavior / whose fault
07:13 - The ideal performing situation
07:49 - Pros and cons for The Clash getting bigger
08:30 - Avoiding the problems of The Who
09:09 - The commercial success of Combat Rock
10:48 - [A false start]
11:07 - Joe's opinion of The Clash's music
12:11 - Musical influences
12:45 - The blues boom of the '60's in Britain
15:05 - Re-selling R&B to the U.S.