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February 29 , 2008

Punk Rock Warlord: the Life and Work of Joe Strummer


Punk Rock Warlord explores the relevance of Joe Strummer within the continuing legacies of both punk rock and progressive politics. It is aimed at scholars and general readers interested in The Clash, punk culture, and the intersections between pop music and politics, on both sides of the Atlantic. Contributors to the collection represent a wide range of disciplines, including history, sociology, musicology, and literature; their work examines all phases of Strummer’s career, from his early days as ‘Woody’ the busker to the whirlwind years as front man for The Clash, to the ‘wilderness years’ and Strummer’s final days with the Mescaleros. Punk Rock Warlord offers an engaging survey of its subject, while at the same time challenging some of the historical narratives that have been constructed around Strummer the Punk Icon. The essays in Punk Rock Warlord address issues including John Graham Mellor’s self-fashioning as ‘Joe Strummer, rock revolutionary’; critical and media constructions of punk; and the singer’s complicated and changing relationship to feminism and anti-racist politics. These diverse essays nevertheless cohere around the claim that Strummer’s look, style, and musical repertoire are so rooted in both English and American cultures that he cannot finally be extricated from either.

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