in The punk rock politics of Joe Strummer
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Joe Strummer was no ‘ordinary Joe’. He was the most radical, politically aware and politically engaged performer of his peers. He prosecuted his politics with mass appeal, making him more successful in this task than any others from punk onwards. In 1969, radical folk singer Phil Ochs suggested any hope of revolution lay in ‘getting Elvis Presley to become Che Guevara’. Strummer came closer than any other to achieving this. Strummer understood music was a cultural battleground in the fight for social justice. For that, he will always be remembered. His legacy is a living one; it is one that seems to shine brighter the longer apolitical pop reigns. So this is the story of Strummer’s politics: what he thought, said, meant and did. Crucially, it is also the story of what impact he had. It is the story of his politics of radicalism, resistance and rebellion against the established order. It is the story of how one determined and talented individual made such a difference to the attitudes and behaviours of so many others. The study uses the framework of socialist realism to assess Strummer’s contribution and influence.

The punk rock politics of Joe Strummer

Radicalism, resistance and rebellion


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