Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Saint Joe Day

I'm not a huge fan of the Hold Steady - I often describe them as what it would sound like if Bob Mould fronted the E-Street Band. That being said whenever I hear that song Constructive Summer, I just really love the lines:

Raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer
I think he might have been our only decent teacher

While the Hold Steady offer me little else, the idea of celebrating Joe as a saint strikes me as a fantastic idea. I think we should make it an international public holiday and day of remembrance.

It could be a day to celebrate the righteousness of positive action, inclusivity and the boundless optimism that Joe embodied. I mentioned in an earlier post that I met Joe Strummer very briefly. He shook my hand but there was a certain casual positive radiance coming from him. It’s hard to describe, whether it was charisma or just the shock of shaking hands with a hero but there was something about him that made the world a better place.

With this in mind, it could be a day for all those Joe represented: the punks, the rockers, the family men and women, the oppressed, the rastas, the lovers, the fighters, the pirates, the beautiful, the ugly, the shoplifters, the squatters, the activists, the kids, the women, the outlaws, the cowboys, the protestors, the rioters, the gunmen, the outsiders, the planet, the music lovers, you, me and everyone else his life touched.

So I figure Saint Joe Strummer Day should be on August 21, his birthday. I thought I’d flag this idea early because I guess I’ll have to write some Government official or something about making it a public holiday. Also, how do you become a saint? I guess being awesome and in the Clash is enough for sainthood, so let’s all get together to celebrate St Joe Day in August.



  1. I believe that several folks are up for "sainthood", St Joe, St Bob, and St Wayne come immediately to mind. It's not just about being good musicians, or what have you- for example, I probably stole more as a guitar player from John Haggerty and Ron Emory than I ever did from Joe, or Bob- and I prefer Josh Homme's more recent work, to Bob Mould's more recent work- but none of them seem to radiate that divine spark quite like people like St Joe. Heck, I even know that a guy like Michael Stipe is probably a better human being, as far as some sense of absolute morals go, but it just fits that Joe Strummer,Johnny Cash, Bob Mould, Mick Jones, Wayne Coyne, Frankie Stubbs, Johnette Napolitano, Howe Gelb, and Kim Deal should be canonized. These are folks that I would both confess my sins to, and would expect guidance and absolution from them. Yes, I am a nutjob, but still, there should be an alternate Hagiography for those of us who've made a religion out of music...

  2. Sainthood has nothinng to do with purity. All of the people you have mentioned done some bad stuff but they are saints to people like us, music will save your life - FACT!