February 19, 2009

I watched a Joe Strummer documentary and then I got extremely bummed out because I will never meet Joe Strummer. But even though the documentary wasn't amazing, Strummer was such a uniquely awesome guy that his personality and wisdom leaped the banks of the merely-good doc and left me with the following quotations, which I will now share with you. They range from throughout his career, from when he was in The Clash and even though he said it in the prototypical snotty-UK-punk-being-interviewed-by-someone-daft way what he was really saying was "Be decent, and we're trying to push things forward," to near the end of his life when he was in The Mescaleros and he was saying completely forthrightly and in earnest something along the lines of "Be decent, we're trying to push things forward, and I think that techno music is awesome, hell, ALL music is awesome, because I subscribe to the open-minded ethic that punk stood for rather than the it-has-to-have-this-many-guitars-and-only-these-chords doctrine it has come to stand for," probably while hugging a Japanese fan. Here goes:

"We're not particularly talented, we try hard...we give it all we've got, that's all, it's so simple. Everybody's used to paying eight dollars and like getting half-measures and going home satisfied...You've got to give it all you got or forget it."

"I was hoping that maturity would arrive. I'm still waiting at the station for it."

"When you get a great idea for a lyric just push people out of the way, throw yourself down on the floor and write it down because it only makes sense in the moment."

"When in doubt always formulate the strategy from a position of absolute confidence IE go for it." (This one he didn't actually say, it was written in one of his notebooks, hence the bad punctuation.)

"Punk rock means exemplary manners to your fellow human being."

"I don't have any message except, don't forget you're alive! Sometimes when you walk around the city or when you yourself are in a bad mood, you can think, 'Hey wait a minute! We're alive, y'know, we don't know what the next second will bring!'"

"It's time to take the humanity back in the center of the ring and follow that for a while...Without people, you're nothing."

"I think it says in the Bible, there's a time to dance to techno, and a time not to."


I really wish he weren't dead. But hey, here's maybe my favorite song ever:

The Clash - "White Man (In Hammersmith Palais)"

Posted by DC at February 19, 2009 09:55 PM
Comments

That song is great.

I need to be more familiar with The Clash.

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