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Ickmusic Live: Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, 1999

Redemption Song

I. Am. A. Slow. Reader.

I’ve always enjoyed reading books. But damned if it doesn’t take me an eternity to read one. Especially over the last decade, as the internet has consumed any free time I previously devoted to books. And maybe it has something to do with reading right before bed. Four, five pages and I’m too tired to go on.

So my intent is to do my first book review, since I was just sent Chris Salewicz’s new book, Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer. But since it may take me while to get through it, I wanted to at least make you good people aware that this book is out there. Chris Salewicz was a music journalist in the seventies, covering the exploding punk scene for several publications, and befriending many of the bands, including the Clash – so he has a unique insider’s perspective on Joe Strummer.

Joe’s been gone for more than four years now. He left us too early at the age of 50. Shitty thing is, he was just hitting his stride again with the Mescaleros. After a long hiatus, he had formed the band in the late 90’s, and released Rock Art and the X-Ray Style, their debut album, in 1999. A tour followed, and as you’ll hear, Joe was back in prime form. With healthy doses of Clash favorites, old reggae songs, and new Mescaleros tunes, the live shows were great.

Interspersed between the songs is the classic Strummer stage banter. Before launching into Toots & the Maytalls’ “Pressure Drop”, he introduces it this way:

“We’re doing it by a Clash arrangement where we fuck the whole song up completely. But what can you do? I’m a great believer in tradition.”

Enjoy the show. I should have a quality book review to you by, oh – let’s say, Christmas.

Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros
Theater of the Living Arts
Philadelphia, PA
November 24, 1999

Intro
Shouting Street
Diggin’ The New
X-Ray Style
Rock The Casbah
Ishen > Brand New Cadillac
Tony Adams
Trash City
Nitcomb
The Road To Rock n’ Roll
White Man In Hammersmith Palais
Safe European Home
Yalla Yalla
Rudie Can’t Fail
London Calling
Pressure Drop
Tommy Gun
Island Hopping
Forbidden City
Junco Partner
Straight To Hell
I Fought The Law
Bankrobber
White Riot

Published inRock

9 Comments

  1. Yeah Mike, I cannnot wait to see that documentary. It’s not very clear from the web site when it’s going to be released in the U.S. Do you know?

    I know what you mean about about asking Tillbrook about Joe. One of the first questions I would ask someone like Springsteen or Joe Ely would be to share their memories and thoughts about Joe.

    I am so, so, so happy about being able to download this concert. I’m a huge fan and I periodically email hellcat records about how its time for a Joe and the Mescalaros live CD. Did you see that the soundtrack for “The Future is Unwritten,” the documentary mentioned in this talkback, came out a few weeks ago. It’s not just Joe, but it’s certainly worth owning. I met Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze after a solo acoustic concert in Pittsburgh and, even though I’m pretty sure this is not what your supposed to do when you meet a famous person, I struck up a conversation about what he thought about Joe Strummer. And he surprised me by really considering the question and saying, “I used to think that he took everything way too seroiusly. But now I think he might have had it right.”

  2. Hey, cool to hear, Joe!

    Hey Pete thanks again for the concert, and I just want to say because of you I went to Youtube and watched a bunch of Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros videos. I am hooked, and I have to go and get all there cd’s. I always liked The Clash but never got around to buying the cd’s. See I am a huge Echo And The Bunnymen fan. I guess I feel about EATB the way you feel about Joe Strummer and The Clash. So off to buy some Mescaleros cd’s and The Joe Strummer Book. Thanks again…..

  3. Mike Brown Mike Brown

    I am so, so, so happy about being able to download this concert. I’m a huge fan and I periodically email hellcat records about how its time for a Joe and the Mescalaros live CD. Did you see that the soundtrack for “The Future is Unwritten,” the documentary mentioned in this talkback, came out a few weeks ago. It’s not just Joe, but it’s certainly worth owning. I met Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze after a solo acoustic concert in Pittsburgh and, even though I’m pretty sure this is not what your supposed to do when you meet a famous person, I struck up a conversation about what he thought about Joe Strummer. And he surprised me by really considering the question and saying, “I used to think that he took everything way too seroiusly. But now I think he might have had it right.”

  4. Joe Joe

    Hey Pete thanks again for the concert, and I just want to say because of you I went to Youtube and watched a bunch of Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros videos. I am hooked, and I have to go and get all there cd’s. I always liked The Clash but never got around to buying the cd’s. See I am a huge Echo And The Bunnymen fan. I guess I feel about EATB the way you feel about Joe Strummer and The Clash. So off to buy some Mescaleros cd’s and The Joe Strummer Book. Thanks again…..

  5. Joe Joe

    Thanks very much Pete, and thanks for the download of the concert. We All miss Joe Strummer………….

  6. Man, great minds think alike…I just posted about this last week after hearing about the new STrummer documentary coming to the States this summer, and was looking for that very book this weekend. So thanks much for this show!

  7. The easier it is for people to hear Mr. Strummer, the better off we all are!

  8. Anonymous Anonymous

    Brother Pete, you have outdone yourself. Thanks for the show, and thanks for making it so user friendly.

  9. Thanks so much for this! And thanks for the zip!

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