By Ryan Arnold

October 15th, 2001: Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros play Metro Chicago. I didn’t go to the show. I could’ve, but I didn’t. December 22nd, 2002: Joe Strummer dies in Somerset.

I got into (I mean, REALLY into) The Clash in college. To me, they became (and still are) the band who’s good for all emotions, all situations, all the time. Feel good music? “Pressure Drop,” “I Fought The Law,” or “Rudie Can’t Fail.” Angry music? “Know Your Rights,” “White Riot,” or side two of the London Calling LP (playing “The Clampdown” two or three times for good measure). Sad breakup music? “Train In Vain,” “Lover’s Rock,” or their take on Dylan’s “The Man In Me.” Damn-The-Man protest music? Disc two of The Clash On Broadway oughtta do the trick.

Over the summer, an XRT listener started a convo on Twitter about The Clash (which I was quick to join). It didn’t take long for the thread to include this show and for a listener, who was there, to tell how Joe Strummer stood outside the club thanking people for coming. This is Joe Strummer. Joe F******  Strummer is standing outside Metro, in the cold, thanking people for buying a ticket to his show. Kinda surreal, right?

Missing this gig is one of my few music regrets. A few years ago, someone came across a bootleg of the show and offered to make me a copy. I said no because it probably would’ve been like lemon juice on a paper cut. I may wanna see if that offer still stands.

Your pal,
Ryan A.

Ryan Arnold @ original Joe Strummer mural outside The Niagara in NYC's East Village.

Ryan Arnold @ original Joe Strummer mural outside The Niagara in NYC’s East Village. September, 2008.


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