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We’re NOT So Bored With The USA: Joe Strummer And New York.

We’re NOT So Bored With The USA: Joe Strummer And New York.

Above Photo: Mural of Joe Strummer in the East Village, New York.

On my last visit to New York, we were driving around the East Village late one afternoon when I spotted the above mural on the side of a building. It shows Joe Strummer of The Clash, who died in 2002.

Joe Strummer in New York (Bob Gruen)

Joe Strummer in New York (Bob Gruen)

It was such a visually explosive piece of art, I begged my friend to stop and let me out, even though we were in a long line of traffic. I said I’d catch up with him wherever he could stop. I just knew I had to take the photo and would never find my way back if I didn’t take it immediately.

the clash play new york topper headon joe strummer david johansen debbie harry new york palladium 1979

Joe Strummer with Topper Headon, David Johansen and Debbie Harry at New York’s Palladium in 1979

So I jumped out of the car and took some photos as the sun began to set, then ran almost two blocks to find my friend. I was really happy I’d acted on impulse; he less so.

Joe Strummer onstage with The Clash in Bonds New York, 1981

Joe Strummer onstage with The Clash at Bonds, New York, 1981.

I later learnt that in 2013, an earlier mural of Strummer in the East Village had been demolished during building works to a bar. It was only in late September 2013 that the new one had been unveiled. Attending the ceremony was Joe’s former Clash band mate, Mick Jones.

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These are two of my favourite USA-related Clash tracks, both very different in style and tone.

The Clash – I'm So Bored With The USA

the clash – broadway

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 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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