I still can't quite get over the fact that such a magnificent human being as Joe Strummer was taken from us so soon. Today would have been his 55th birthday, had he not died of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect in December of 2002.
There have been quite a few good books and documentaries about Joe, but my favorite is definitely Let's Rock Again, which is showing this month on the Sundance Channel. It's a beautiful, loving piece of filmmaking by one of Strummer's dearest friends, Dick Rude. It's both inspiring and tough to watch, simply because it was filmed so close to his death, yet the man seems to be living life to its fullest and is kicking out some of his best live performances in years. Here's a sample:
Tonight the good folks at Hazlewood (many of whom are avowed Clash and Strummer fans) will host a little birthday celebration in recognition of the man. Nothing fancy, just a chance to listen to lots of Clash and Strummer classics (and rarities), and knock back cocktails with fellow fans. I have to head out to see Wilco shortly, but plan on hitting Hazlewood afterwards.