Former Clash frontman Joe Strummer is dead. He was 50.
A spokesperson for the star, one of the most influential rock artists of all time, confirmed he died at his home yesterday. He is thought to have suffered a heart attack.
A posting on his official site today (December 23) reads: “Joe Strummer died yesterday. Our condolences to Luce and the kids, family and friends.”
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