Today is the tenth anniversary of the death of the legendary Joe Strummer the singer and guitarist of the Clash, a band that had it not existed, music would be very different today. The Clash left an important legacy in the bands they influenced including, REM, The Cure, Arcade Fire, Manic Street Preachers, U2, Green Day, Public Enemy and Billy Bragg. Their artistic sensibility crossed over and influenced a generation of visual artists including the Turner Prize winning artist Damien Hirst who donated two brand new paintings on Guitars which were raffled to honour the 10th anniversary of Joe Strummer’s death, and support the music charity in his name, Strummerville. As a homage to the fantastic music The Clash left behind, Hirst has painted and modified a Fender Telecaster electric and an Eastwood acoustic guitar.
Strummer of Love, the Joe Strummer 10th Anniversary Festival, was a one-off opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of Joe Strummer. Organised last summer, all funds raised by the event was distributed directly towards helping Strummerville: The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music, a registered charity set up in honour of one of music’s brightest lights. Strummerville’s capacity to continue its work was greatly increased through the proceeds of the festival, which took place in Somerset over the weekend of August 17, 18 and 19 2012.
The 5,000-capacity festival was mounted in an area of outstanding natural beauty in the Blackdown Hills and featured a remarkable line up including The Pogues, Seasick Steve and Frank Turner. Mick Jones and the Justice Tonight Band closed the festival, in what was a memorable and emotional set.
Alongside the great music on offer festival-goers could also try their hand at crafts, unwind in the Healing Circle or spend time with the kids at Children’s World. A blazing campfire, burned for the duration of the festival, as a symbol of Joe’s love of conversation, his passion for people and extraordinarily unifying spirit that was undeniably represented.
Photo: © Chalkie Davies 1977