Sarah Zupko posts in PopMatters:
Chris Salewicz’s book, Redemption Song: The Ballad of Joe Strummer, is the most in-depth and in-the-know look ever at Strummer, a genuine rock and roll legend, as well as the history of the Clash. Pop these podcasts into your pod-like musical device or stream them right here. Then head over to Amazon post-haste and pick up this essential book for any music fan.
In the first installment, beginning with news of Strummer’s death, Salewicz remembers Joe’s drive, humor, and constant internal conflict.
Joe Strummer died on the birthday on an ex. When she woke up, my first words to her were “Joe Strummer’s dead!” Her response was similar to Salewicz’s, except for the alcohol. From one of the excerpts.
This is how I heard about Joe’s death: Don Letts, the Rastafarian film director who had made all the Clash videos, called me at around 9:30 on the evening of December 22, 2002.
“I’ve got to tell you, Chris: Joe’s died—of a heart attack.”
I poured a large glass of rum and stuck Don’s documentary about the group, Westway to the World, in the VCR. I called up Mick Jones, who in between sobs was his usual funny self, telling me how glad he was he’d played with Joe at the benefit for the Fire Brigades Union five weeks before.
“I don’t even know what religion he was,” Mick said.
“Some kind of Scottish low-church Presbyterian,” I suggested.
“Church of Beer, probably,” laughed Mick, tearfully.