A two-hour tribute to the Clash’s Joe Strummer on his birthday this Friday will features performances or spoken testimonials from friends and fans including Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Bob Weir, Beto O’Rourke, Josh Homme, Steve Buscemi, Jim Jarmusch, the Dropkick Murphys and others.
Dubbed “A Song for Joe: Celebrating the Life of Joe Strummer,” the webcast is free but will serve as a benefit soliciting donations for Save Our Stages, the initiative aimed at getting federal relief for clubs and theaters that are completely shut down and likely to remain that way for many months to come. The show airs Friday at 3 p.m. ET/noon PT at JoeStrummer.com. (It’ll be a nighttime bow, at 8 p.m. BST, in Strummer’s native U.K.)
Which artists will be performing and which will speak wasn’t immediately revealed, although it’s known that Springsteen’s exclusive contribution will not be a musical one. Others appearing include a wide array of figures from music, film and visual art, including Tom Morello, Shepard Fairey, Frank Turner, the Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr., Matt Dillon, Joe Ely, Hinds, Cherry Glazerr, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady, Butch Walker, HR of Bad Brains, Bob Gruen and more. The late honoree himself will appear in what is described as previously unseen live footage.
Hosting the event is singer/songwriter Jesse Malin. “Very few venues are going to be able to survive,” Malin said in a recent Rolling Stone story about the music-shutdown crisis that made Save Our Stages necessary. “We need real financial help from the federal government, like they just did in Britain with the $2 billion bailout. The government needs to acknowledge that the arts are essential to our culture, community and growth.” In addition to being a performer, Malin co-owns the New York nightclubs Bowery Electric, Niagara and Berlin. He is producing the webcast along with Jeff Raspe and Strummer’s estate manager, David Zonshine,
Strummer, who died in 2002 at age 50, would have been turning 68 this year.
“To see so many musicians and artists come forward to honor Joe is really touching,” sad Strummer’s wife, Lucinda Tait, in a statement. “Community was always important to him. Whether it was playing music with friends, organizing all night campfires or hijacking festivals, Joe was always focused on bringing people together. Even though we can’t all be in the same room together, I cannot think of a better way for us all to feel united. Joe would have loved this.”
Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes)