Redemption Song: The Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer

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9780007172115: Redemption Song: The Definitive Biography of Joe Strummer

Chris Salewicz was a close friend of Strummer from 1977 until Joe's death in Christmas 2002 shook the world. With full approval and cooperation of relatives, companions and fellow musicians, he writes the definitive account of British rock 'n' roll’s most fascinating of idols. An honest tribute to Joe's life, work and huge worldwide impact.

The Clash was the most influential band of its generation, producing intelligent punk anthems such as ‘London Calling’, ‘White Riot’ and ‘Tommy Gun’. Rolling Stone voted ‘London Calling’ the best album of the 1980s and for many they remain iconic mainstays of their generation. With his talent, good looks and laid-back attitude Joe Strummer was the driving force behind the band and the archetypal front-man of a punk band.

In recent years, apart from his own band, The Mescaleros, Strummer played with The Pogues and featured in several films, including Alex Cox's ‘Walker’ and ‘Straight To Hell’, and Jim Jarmusch's ‘Mystery Train’.

Joe Strummer’s untimely death in December 2002 shook the world and cemented his iconic status. He received extraordinary tributes from musicians around the world. Billy Bragg said: ‘The Clash was the greatest rebel rock band of all time. Their commitment to making political pop culture was the defining mark of the British punk movement’. Bono is quoted as saying: ‘The Clash was the greatest rock band – they wrote the rule book for U2’.

This book is an emotional and compelling account of Strummer’s life, and a comprehensive insight into the man behind The Clash. Chris Salewicz is better placed than anyone to write about Strummer’s life, his work and his huge worldwide impact. Both Strummer and The Clash transcended music stardom to become heroes to their fans and peers – this is an honest tribute to them, and the best and last word on the subject.

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Review:

Salewicz knew and loved his subject well, and that shows on every page.'
The Sunday Times

Salewicz depicts Strummer as a difficult man and yet, as the title of this inspiring and uplifting book promises, there is redemption at the last.'
Daily Telegraph

'Chris Salewicz's hugely, expansive biography, Redemption Song, is all the more commendable for refusing to fawn; tackling the frontman's frustrating contradictions and multiple flaws.' 'Drawing on more than 300 interviews with family, friends and associates, it's as exhausting and enthralling as Strummer himself.'
Metro

'A great read. Brutally frank and full of insights.'
Mojo

‘…one of the most comprehensive music biographies around.’ The Irish Herald

‘…a riveting read that will keep you gripped to the end.’ The Daily Mirror

‘Chris Salewicz is immensely insightful on the life and works of Strummer.’ The Herald

‘A great read.’ Nuts

‘Salewicz catalogues Strummer’s triumph through insight and unfettered access from the very start, but also finds space to identify Strummer’s weaknesses, fears and insecurities, offering the most detailed broad picture of his subject yet published.’ Record Collector

‘conjures up the excitement of the punk era’
The Sunday Telegraph Seven Magazine

From the Back Cover:

The death of Joe Strummer, three days before Christmas 2002,
shook the world. His synthesis of gritty toughness and poetic sensitivity
had touched people's hearts, reflecting his rabble-rousing role as front
man with The Clash, the most sensational rock'n'roll group ever.

On an iconic level, Joe had remained a man of mystery, wilfully reinventing
himself to take part in 1977's radical punk movement. The reality - which
included a secret family past, enormous worldwide success, bleak years in
the wilderness and a triumphant return to stardom - contained all the
elements of Shakespearian tragedy. But through enormous personal struggle
and resolve, Joe Strummer turned his life into an uplifting, epic story.

Chris Salewicz knew Joe as a close friend since 1977. With the full
approval and cooperation of his relatives, companions and fellow musicians,
he has written the definitive account of the most fascinating of all
British rock'n'roll idols, a man who really did change the way the world
thought.

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