Joe Strummer and The Clash

Before he was singing ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’ with The Clash, Joe Strummer had formed a smaller punk band a few years prior, known as The 101ers. 

After two years together, and one major single- “Keys to Your Heart,” Joe Strummer disbanded from the group. With inspiration from The Sex Pistols, Strummer joined Mick Jones, Terry Chimes, and Paul Simonon in 1974 as The Clash. By 1977, with the release of their self-titled album, they gained commercial success in the U.K but it wasn’t until early 1980 when the band became popular in the U.S. with the release of London Calling.

The band’s popularity may be credited to how Strummer and Jones collaborated on the lyrics– which were often politicized– and their rebellious attitude along with musical experimentation. The Clash went on to perform all over the world and were referred to as ‘the only band that matters.’ But while they faced musical stardom, The Clash faced internal problems with drugs and jealousy. The group disbanded in 1986.

A few years later, Strummer resurfaced in an Irish punk band, The Pogues, as a fill-in for singer Shane MacGowan while on tour. Strummer continued a solo career until he died in 2002 from a heart attack.

Here is a Youtube video of the Clash playing “I Fought the Law” from their 1977 self-titled album

And this is a video of “Keys to Your Heart” performed by The 101ers 



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