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Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Clash Punk History Calling

South Wales Argus Friday, February 10th 2006

Newportonians with cine-film of their city as it was in the 1970's are being asked to help in the making of a film about rock legend Joe Strummer.
"We are looking for any footage from 30-plus years ago, when Joe Strummer was starting off his career in Newport." researcher Sam Dwyer said.
"Anything with Joe himself in it would be a big plus."
Image Hosted by Joe Strummer, whose real name was Graham Mellor, died in December 2002 of a heart attack at the age of 50, having been with his band, The Clash, one of the architects of the Punk Rock movement.
For a couple of years in the mid-70's the iconic rocker lived in Newport. The story is that he hitched a ride at the Hammersmith flyover & asked where the driver was going. When he said "Newport", Strummer replied, "that will do" & made the town his home.
"All the elements that were later to make up the work of Joe Strummer, one of rock's greatest legends, were put in place in Newport," said Ms Dwyer of London-based Nitrate film.
"He moved into a student house in Pentonville Newport and got a job as a grave digger at St. Woolos cemetery, as well as cutting grass for the council in the Malpas area. He was deeply involved in the music scene centering on Newport Art college, where he started a band called the vultures.
"Joe was featured in a 10 minute clip of film made in 1973 by a student called Gillian Calvert, which has since gone missing."
Nitrate is making a feature film for the cinema, which will eventually be televised and put on DVD. Any film of Newport from that period will be useful, said Ms. Dwyer.
Richard Frame, now director of Solas, the Newport based charity for the single homeless, shared a house with Strummer.
"Our City is vital in the development of the man and his music," he said. "I shot some film of a pantomime in 1973 and it is possible that Joe Strummer is in it."
*Sam Dwyer can be contacted on

Mike Buckingham

Love that last bit, Strummer as Widow Twanky.