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Hey Joe

By Posted in - Dispatch on May 14th, 2015 2 Comments Hey-Joe

Welcome to the beginning of the Promised Land podcast. While The Beatles in their group and solo incarnations dominate our inaugural broadcast, it’s Joe Strummer I’m going to speak of. Joe, for those of you not yet born or who have been living under a non-musical rock for the past 40 years, was the co-founder of The Clash. You can research them on your own dime. Though I had a few chances, most notably in NYC during their famed Bonds Casino run in the Spring of ‘81 and in Asbury Park in the Spring of ’82, I never did see The Clash, but I did catch Joe Strummer with his band The Mescaleros at the Fillmore in San Francisco in 1999 and 2001. Fantastic shows both, but perhaps the most memorable was a 2001 in-store performance the band did at Amoeba Records on Haight St. I was one of the fortunate ones that got in and was even more fortunate to be standing just a few feet from the makeshift stage.

The band’s flight was late in arriving so they all bounded through the store and into a small dressing room. Joe comes out in his stage outfit and starts to banter with the crowd…but a few of us notice his fly is unzipped! After a few times of offering up the international sign that one’s fly is unzipped he finally got the message…triumphantly zipped up and started the show! I came equipped with a ye olde Kodak disposable camera to capture the gig.

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    I saw Joe and the Mescaleros around the same time at St. Anne’s in Brooklyn. Not as intimate as Ameoba’s but Joe was born to be on stage and he tore the place up with his young compadres. The bonus was that he honored the NYC setting with covers of “Blitzkrieg Bop” and “Walk on the Wild Side”. Talk about the Promised Land…

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