Joe Strummer was born as John Graham Mellor in the family of Ronald Mellor, a British diplomat ofArmenian and anglo- Jewish origin and Scottish mother Anna Mackenzie. Joe enjoyed training to various private schools. He developed interest in guitar music. In the 1970s he worked in the London music scene where he under the name Woody (to one of his heroes Woody Guthrie) as pubrocker and street musician survived.
In 1976 he attended a concert of the rock group The Sex Pistols that left a deep impression on him. Strummer was asked by manager Bernie Rhodes to form a band with the guitarist Mick Jones and bassist Paul Simonon. They called themselves The Clash. The drummer Topper Headon was later recruited after many auditions. The debut album The Clash was and is an inspiration to many (aspiring) musicians.
The successor to Give 'em enough rope was also released in the United States and paved the way for worldwide success.
In december 1979 the double album London Calling came out that is still seen as one of the highlights from the history of rock and roll. It is interesting to note that here from the narrow punk framework was stepped and many other music influences in the music of the Clash were taken up, such as dub, reggae, rockabilly, etc..
Sandinista! 1981 was a three dubbelalbum, that goes on the course on their previous record was smashed. The title refers to the Sandinista revolution that took place inNicaragua at that time earned much respect and the group members.
In 1982 The Clash obtained their commercial peak with the album Combat Rock, which, among other things, the numbers Should I stay or should I go and Rock the casbah.
After that, things went downhill with the group. Due to his heroin addiction drummer Topper Headon was fired and the same fate would strike moments later guitarist Mick Jones, at the height of their success. A little successful album followed (Cut the Crap). The Clash was abolished In 1986 . Despite the many vraagmnaar reunion concerts, the Group has never played.
Strummer was afterwards engaged in acting and played in several bands. He produced an album for the Pogues and replaced the singer during a tour. He died unexpectedly on december 22, 2002 at the age of 50 to an unsuspected heart disorder while he was working on mixing the last cd by his band Joe Strummer and the Mescal eros. Also there were many concerts and activities planned for 2003, including a concert in South Africa, in collaboration with Nelson Mandela, in the context of the fight against aids.
In memory of Joe Strummer, the British environmental organization Future Forests on the Scottish island of Skye a forest planting. Strummer was one of the founders of Future Forests. The Strummerville Foundation, established after his death is committed to realizing rehearsal rooms for beginning bands.