TRIBUTES PAID TO CLASH STAR

Bono, Nicky Wire and Bob Geldof lead the tributes to Joe Strummer...

BONO and MANIC STREET PREACHERS star NICKY WIRE are leading the tributes to JOE STRUMMER, who died yesterday.

As reported earlier on NME.COM, one of the most influential rock artists of all time died at his home yesterday. He is thought to have suffered a heart attack.

Bono described The Clash as “the greatest rock band”, adding “they wrote the rule book for U2. It’s such a shock.”

Manics bassist Nicky Wire is a huge fan of The Clash, earmarking them as one of the reasons he wanted to form a group in the first place. He said in a statement: “We’re shocked and saddened to hear of the sad loss, especially at this time of year. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Bob Geldof described Strummer as a “very important musician”, telling BBC News: “He was a clear contemporary and we were rivals. I believed we had to get inside the pop culture – he believed you should always stay outside and hurl things at it. We had endless arguments about it. As we all got older I realised what a nice person he was. He was a very important musician. The Clash will be endlessly influential. They will always be one of the deathless rock bands. If they can influence people especially in this age of manufactured pop music then God bless him, he’s left something imperishable.”

Within the band’s inner circle, ex-Clash manager Pete Jenner has spoken of the loss. He commented: “The band were one of the best live bands, as good as any band I’ve ever worked with. My overriding memory of him and The Clash was that it was never boring.”

A post mortem is expected tomorrow.

Born John Graham Mellor in Ankara, Turkey in 1952 the son of a British diplomat, he began his musical career playing with rock standards covers band the 101ers. He put together The Clash in the mid-70s with Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Topper Headon in west London, helping the band emerge as one of the most important to burst from the 1976 punk explosion. Always political and edgy, public school educated Strummer and Jones swapped song-writing and singing duties within the band.

Their third album, ‘London Calling’, a double LP, was widely seen as their finest and still continues to be hailed as one of the all-time great rock releases.

After the Clash’s split in the early 1980s, Strummer continued making music with a variety of projects, including a stint with the Pogues. His most recent band is Joe Strummer and the Mesceleros.

Strummer also flirted with a brief film career appearing in Jim Jarmusch’s ‘Mystery Train’ and Alex Cox’s ‘Straight To Hell’.

Strummer had always turned down many lucrative offers to reunite The Clash.

However, in recent weeks, rumours had grown that some sort of comeback was in the offing.

Messages and tributes can be left on the Joe Strummer Tribute Board by clicking here.