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Joe Strummer: Tougher Than Tough

Vivien Goldman, Spin, April 2003

IT WAS FITTING THAT HIS FINAL LONDON GIG WAS A CONTROVERSIAL benefit for union workers. Though Joe Strummer will be remembered for generations as the singer/songwriter of the historic punk band the Clash, he will remain beloved for his humble, restless idealism. Born John Graham Mellor in 1952, in Ankara, Turkey, a British diplomat's son who became a worldly pop star, Strummer never forgot the people beside him every day on the street. He chose his everyman stage name because he saw himself as a folk singer spitting raw information and emotion.

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