Strummer Week: The Family

This Saturday, December 22, will mark a decade since Joe Strummer died of an undiagnosed heart defect. As Joe is the “patron saint” of NTSIB (our look riffs on Clash imagery, our name is drawn from one of his lyrics, and his attitude about and love for music fuels our mission), we will be featuring bits and bobs from Joe’s life and music this week.

Joe’s spirit is carried on still by the women who called him family: ex-wife Gaby Salter, daughters Jazz and Lola, widow Lucinda Garland, and step-daughter Eliza.


“Strummerville” – a film by Don Letts


Lucinda began Strummerville soon after Joe’s death, and it has grown into a foundation that continues in Joe’s vision of punk as a do-it-yourself revolution of people helping people by doing everything from supporting UK artists (Frank Turner was a Strummerville beneficiary) to aiding musical education for children in Africa. While Strummerville has always been a part of the Glastonbury festival, where Joe set up a campfire every year and dubbed it Strummerville, the foundation put on its own festival this past August, Strummer of Love. Artists like the Pogues, Billy Bragg, Mick Jones and the Justice Tonight Band, Alabama 3, Seasick Steve, The Jim Jones Revue, Frank Turner and a ton more played to raise funds to continue the Strummerville mission.

“To Have and Have Not” – Billy Bragg, Strummer of Love


Read an interview with Lucinda at The Independent from the lead-up to the festival. She recalls her life with Joe and shares some personal photos.

In the aforementioned interview, Lucinda speaks of his daughters and how they are “so like him”, even step-daughter Eliza. Here is Eliza singing with Alabama 3:

“Bulletproof” – Alabama 3, featuring Eliza Mellor


Joe’s daughter Lola, who has a clothing line called She Vamps, also sings. She leads her own band called Dark Moon.



Joe’s oldest, Jazz, is a crafter and writer, founder and president of the Shoreditch arm of the Womens Institute, Shoreditch Sisters WI, and gave birth this year to Joe’s first grandchild, a girl named Boudicca.

This past summer, The Guardian featured an interview with Jazz and Lola that will bring a few tears to your eyes.

Bits: The Wu is coming through, Strummerville by Letts, the story of K Records

  • There’s never a shortage of news from the Wu-Tang Clan, and our first four items are devoted to them. Up first: The Wu will be playing the Rock the Bells festival tour at the end of August, performing their masterpiece Enter the Wu-Tang Clan (36 Chambers) in its entirety. This year’s bill also includes Rakim, KRS-ONE and Slick Rick, among others.
  • Raekwon has released a new mixtape, Cocainism, Vol. 2, and you can download it here.
  • Pollen, The Swarm Part 3 is on its way, and you can download the first track, “Roll with Killer Beez”, here.
  • It was inevitable: RZA is making a kung fu film. The Man with Iron Fists was co-written by RZA and Eli Roth and will be directed by and star RZA.
  • Filmmaker Don Letts has produced a documentary about the creation of Strummerville, the foundation that carries on Joe Strummer’s work of promoting music from beyond the fray, and the DVD of the film is being sold exclusively through the Strummerville site where you can also watch a trailer for the film.
  • Pitchfork’s One Week Only feature this week is The Shield Around the K, the story of K Records, the independent label founded by Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening in 1982 and still operating to this day.

And because you know I can’t let an opportunity to push the Black Keys pass, here’s a web exclusive of the guys performing the excellent “Ten Cent Pistol” during their appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last week. (And you can see their televised performance of the bangin’ “Howlin’ for You” here.)