Various: The Future is Unwritten/Joe Strummer (Sony)

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Various: The Future is Unwritten/Joe Strummer (Sony)

True story. Earlier this year after a classical concert in Auckland's Aotea Centre I was introduced to a guy who, in the course of a free-ranging conversation, said he'd met Joe Strummer -- and Joe had written a song about him.

Bullshitting is fun, but this guy was serious and quoted the following Strummer lyrics: "Well, I was walking down the High Road and this guy stops me. He'd just got in from New Zealand, and he was looking for mushy peas . . ."

It was all true he said (I believed him, they came from the Mescaleros song Bhindi Bhaghee) and then went on to say how Joe invited him to the studio where he hung out for a while as the Mescaleros recorded it.

A lot of people have similar stories about what a nice guy Strummer was -- which explains why on his death at age 50 in 2002 he was much mourned. He had transcended the world of punk and The Clash to become a world citizen.

This album is the soundtrack to the film about Strummer's life by Julien Temple which includes a track from his pre-Clash band The 101ers, some previously unreleased Clash songs, Rachid Taha's version of Rock The Casbah, and Joe introducing various songs that were his favourites on his long-running BBC World Service radio show (Elvis' Crawfish, MC5's Kick Out The Jams, some roots reggae, Woody Guthrie, Dylan and so on).

It is also punctuated by Joe in soundbites speaking about his life and the music he was inspired by.

Nice guy -- and this interesting collection illustrates the breadth of his musical interests.

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Gavin Hancock - Dec 13, 2011

Great CD for those unable to access Joe's excellent BBC radio series London Calling. My fave cut is "Martha Cecilia" by Andrés Landero - a jaunty cut of cumbia from Colombia...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuyRbMIs5Ec

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