Thursday, August 21, 2014

Joe Strummer Quotes

1. People have told me songs I've written have changed their life. That's remarkable. That keeps your faith.

2. I like to just feel how I feel and not worry about it really.

3. We can at least be optimistic in (that) it forces the renegades and the underground to get it together. The worse s…t gets, the more interesting the underground becomes. So I'm always quite hopeful. I believe in human beings. Human beings won't let this happen. We won't all end up robots working for McGiant Corp or whatever. It can't happen.

4. I think you have to grow up and realize that we're facing religious fanatics who would kill everyone in the world who doesn't do what they say. The more time you give them the more bombs they'll get. Bin Laden is going to try and kill more people. It helps the fanatics.

5. Anybody who makes speeches written by someone else is just a robot.

6. Singing into a cold wind is the worst nightmare for any singer. You could hear it in the voice.

7. I'm a human being. I'm not dumping on what I've done. I mean I know we were doing social (stuff), all right? I just don't like boastin' about it, OK? I know what we were doin'. I know damn well what we did. But I ain't gonna start crying about it now, all right?

8. We got all the influences for it (Global a Go-Go) from Willesden High Road. When you go out for milk and cigarettes you go through three countries because all the shops and cafes are playing their own music, like going through hell. 

9. I have a big legacy of The Clash to live up to and I don't intend to uriny on a legend. I intend to build forward into the next century. The music has to be by the musicians, and there's too much changing things by the record company. I got a message for everyone in a record company: We don't care if you lose your job! You ruin music and I'll get all the smoothers out off the way, the people who smooth the sound off. Let the musicians have the music the way they want it, and not the way you think the grandmothers and 3-year olds will gonna buy it. Cause this is not about 3-year olds or grandmothers...This is Rock and Roll!

10. Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not. There is nothing more common then unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world if full of educated derelicts. Persistence and Determination alone are Omnipotent.

11. The hippy movement was a failure.

12. (about punk) I'd define it as self-awareness: an ability to trust your own judgment. An ability to see through veils of bullshit or spins on stories or propaganda. Maybe an ability to think for yourself. 

13. I try and keep an ear out and keep an open mind and enjoy something where I don't know what the hell is going on inside of it. That's what I really get out of it. Because to me it's new. That's what I get out of it. That joyful feeling of you don't know what's going to happen next.

14. If you're allowed to make your mistakes, I think you should. But people don't really like hearing you admit them. Although I'd never wanted to dump on the musicians that were involved in that...Because it was not their fault.

15. The future is unwritten.

16. I kept trying to stress that - "Hang on, we're be-bop guys, we're down in the alley on 57th Street. We're not in there with John Reed and "Ten Days That Shook the World." We'd be in the alley with (Charlie) Parker shooting up junk. That's where we were at really.

17. You've gotta be slightly stupid.

18. (about mainstream radio) I think that the corporation is running it and will always make it appeal to the lowest common denominator. I think we're going to have to forget about the radio and just go back to word of mouth.

19. I was trying to prove that I was the Clash and it wasn't Mick (Jones). I learned that that was kind of dumb. I learned that it wasn't anybody, except maybe a great chemistry between us four, and I really learned it was over the day we sacked Topper, and not the day we sacked Mick. There was quite some time between them. We played a whole tour between those times. But it was the day we sacked Tops.

20. For me the music is a vehicle for my lyrics. It's a chance to get some really good words across. 

21. Bands must be contributing to global warming by their buses, equipment trucks and the diesel used to power the stages. Can you imagine how much CO2 the pressing and the distribution of a CD creates? What shall we do about it?

22. I'll tell you something. When you see you become part of the cycle of generations, you lose your ego in the process, because you ain't nothin' special. You're just another cipher in the generations. When you devote all your interest into another person, you lose your self-obsession, and that's when you understand what it is. You don't know (anything) without that moment. You don't want anything to harm this helpless being. That's a fantastic change. And that's when you understand what's happening. I never understood anything until my first baby looked at me. I didn't understand (anything). Now I understand.

23. Yeah, all those things, responsibility, pressure. It's a bit stressful. I try and come to terms with it by not thinking about it.

24. I'd just like to say to everybody that it's best to check out the independent life: the independent stores and the independent everybodies. We should try not to give our money to any corporations, if we can help it. 

25. It's good to be sent back to the underground. There's always a good side to bad things and the good side to this is that at least everyone has to go back down.

26. The only place I considered home was the boarding school, in Yorkshire, my parents sent me to.

27. I want to grow up with my audience. I don't expect to be getting through to the younger pop crowd. I learned that from Paul Simon.

28. All hippies around now just represent complete apathy.

29. I would say it was about time that you believe in something. And sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll ain't it…A lot of people used to think they were.

30. I began thinking there should be an American phrase book, 'cause I've got an Italian phrase book, and an Arabic a British one. I think it'd be pretty good to have an American phrase book.

31. The toughest thing is facing yourself. Being honest with yourself, that's much tougher than beating someone up. That's what I call tough. 

32. I only saw my father twice a year. If I'd seen him all the time I'd probably have murdered him by now. He was very strict.

33. Everything's f…ed! It's down to individual people to make life enjoyable. I don't have anything more to say than that. I think people should avoid the world them up. People are becoming too uptight, treating their children bad, being negative.

34. With The Simpsons you can go back to work with a keen heart.

35. And so now I'd like to say - people can change anything they want to. And that means everything in the world. People are running about following their little tracks - I am one of them. But we've all got to stop just following our own little mouse trail. People can do anything - this is something that I'm beginning to learn. People are out there doing bad things to each other. That's because they've been dehumanized. It's time to take the humanity back into the center of the ring and follow that for a time. Greed, it ain't going anywhere. They should have that in a big billboard across Times Square. Without people you're nothing. That's my spiel.

36. I've got no doubt the fourth dimension exists. But is it just like the world we're trying to escape from? I need to know if you're allowed to smoke in there...

37. I hate it when I go out and I see parents going, "don't do that", or "stop doing that" when some kid's just hanging off a staircase or something. There's too much of this, "don't do that". The whole thing baffles me.

38. I'm strange, actually, you know? I'm kind of like one of those people that picks up small and interesting bits of wood and doesn't want to let go of them. Or, you know, I'm fascinated with the wrapper on a sardine can. A little cuckoo.

39. What's holding me up is I'm confused about the nature of the music. Because the modern music doesn't reach me. I mean to say the sound of the modern electric production. A lot of sequencers…synths. That's what people are buying. Because that doesn't reach me, it throws me back to like 1948, but I don't want to be there. Back there, I'm talking about blues records…The roots of rock 'n' roll is rhythm and blues and that's like really where I'm at, where I was always at.

40. I just want to go back to rockin', but I'm uncertain as to what to actually do...The truth is, I never stopped thinking about rock 'n' roll for a second that I'm on holiday.

41. A lot of people use a calculator.

42. I just subconsciously went straight to the heart of the matter, which was: forget about your parents and deal with THIS.

43. I have a weird life because I live on songwriting royalties, which are a strange income. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it doesn't.

44. We aren't particularly talented. We try harder!

45. Do not go in there; do not sign with this company, or you'll end up like me - screwed and out on the street. And I am a living legend, you bastards!

46. Everyone has got to realize you can't hold onto the past if you want any future. Each second should lead to the next one. 

47. Authority is supposedly grounded in wisdom, but I could see from a very early age that authority was only a system of control and it didn't have any inherent wisdom. I quickly realized that you either became a power or you were crushed.

48. Whether it's jazz or punk or anything else, you have to fight against the purists who want to narrow the definition. That's what kills music because it stifles it to death.

49. It is fun to be alive. It's a hell of a lot better than being dead.

50. When you blame yourself, you learn from it. If you blame someone else, you don't learn nothing, cause hey, it's not your fault, it's his fault, over there. 

51. Our support of the Sandinistas was the worst thing in the world we could do according to our record label.

52. If I had five million pounds I'd start a radio station because something needs to be done. It would be nice to turn on the radio and hear something that didn't make you feel like smashing up the kitchen and strangling the cat.

53. What I like about playing America is you can be pretty sure you're not going to get hit with a full can of beer when you're singing and I really enjoy that! 

54. The way you get a better world is, you don't put up with substandard anything.

55. When you're out to get the honey you don't go killing all the bees.

56. There's nothing but bad news in the newspapers to make us live in a constant state of paranoia. That's what they want because it keeps people in fear.

57. My motto is "What's the hurry?" I'm trying to get it across to the modern world that we need to sit around and think a little bit more.

What do you think of Joe Strummer's quotes?

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