Thanksgiving Calling

Besides family, health and friends, here's another thing I'm thankful for. I was asked to write a little something for a Joe Strummer tribute in Scotland... Doing so, I remembered just how grateful I was he showed up on earth while I was around...

There was no one like Joe Strummer. There is a lineage, of course. Woody Guthrie, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan...I was always staggered by his voice. It was like a shaman should sound. If Roy Orbision sang for the lonely, Joe sang for the hungry.... His voice was liquid desire and it ignited as it left his mouth, his body shaking to contain the heat, like a rocket in the first phase of lift-off.... He was a pioneer who demanded art and politics be fused in the interests of humanity and truth. Often the truth was painful, just as often it was liberating, transcendent, and just plain fun. He was an icon of unrivaled integrity... Billy Brag said if it weren't for The Clash, punk rock would be just a sneer, a safety pin and a pair of bondage trousers... it sounds right to me... It's been said Strummer reinvented rock. That sounds right too. I know for certain he challenged, inspired and demanded us to think and feel in ways we hadn't before... demanded we use rebellion and anger as fuel for the journey to other, better worlds, never as an end in itself. Demanded we reach for the transcendent in everything and everyone, and to never suffer those fools who will not think and feel their way home. He was a guiding light and he got us out of many a tough jam. Knowing him, I was always humbled by his grace and intelligence, his passion, and the sheer ferocity of his will... and Jesus Christ that man could fucking rock.