The Celebration Rock Podcast

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UPROXX Music expert Steven Hyden talks with rock stars and the country’s biggest music writers about what’s happening in rock.

Season 2 Episode 37: Mac Raising A Toast To St. Joe Strummer With Craig Finn

On Dec. 22, 2002, Joe Strummer of The Clash returned home after walking his dogs and died suddenly at the age of 50. The cause of death was a defective heart artery — who would’ve thought that Joe Strummer of all people would have a defective heart? A humanitarian whose commitment to antiracist and antifascist ideologies fueled his passionate music, Strummer remains an inspiration for new generations of musicians. One of those people is Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, who paid tribute to Strummer in the 2008 song “Constructive Summer,” which includes the memorable lyric: “Raise a toast to St. Joe Strummer / I think he might’ve been our only decent teacher.” Finn actually met Strummer in 1999, a story he shares in this week’s episode, along with his thoughts on Strummer’s legacy and what it means so many years after his death.


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