Joe Strummer movie launch attracts big guests

A documentary about Joe Strummer’s 1985 trip to Spain following the breakup of The Clash is attracting some big guests for its UK premiere at London’s Koko on March 25.

The Cadiz Music event includes a screening of I Need a Dodge: Joe Strummer On The Run and a launch party concert featuring an all-star band performing tunes by Strummer and The Clash.

Confirmed to appear are Wayne Kramner from the MC5, Ruts DC, Chris Bailey from The Saints, Roland Gift from Fine Young Cannibals, Norman Watt-Roy from The Blockheads, Martin Chambers from The Pretenders, Jeff Turner from The Cockney Rejects, Rob Love from Alabama 3, and Rachid Taha and Henry Padovani from The Police.

Also set to perform are The Crunch, featuring original Clash drummer Terry Chimes, Micky Geggus from the Cockney Rejects, Dave Tregunna from Sham 69 and Sulo Karlsson from Diamond Dogs.

Noted film director and Clash associate Don Letts will also perform an exclusive DJ set on site.

Director Nick Hall explains the focus of I Need a Dodge: Joe Strummer On The Run.

Hall says: “Soon after I started investigating Joe Strummer’s refuge in Spain in 19845, I heard a recording of an interview on Spanish national radio from 1997. In the interview, Joe talks about a car he had in Madrid some years earlier. One day he left the car in a car park but couldn’t remember which one. And there it stayed.

“In the interview Joe appeals to the Spanish people to help him find his car. I couldn’t help wondering what had happened to Joe’s Dodge and what he was doing in Madrid without the rest of The Clash. I thought I’d dig around.”

Hall says he uncovered more much more than a story about the Clash guitarist in hiding following the band’s demise.

“Joe Strummer touched many peoples’ lives in Spain during this period,” Hall says. “He became friends with the biggest stars in Spanish music and produced an LP for a rock band from Granada.

“Everyone I have interviewed for the film tells an interesting and often funny tale of their time with a rock star at a professional and personal crossroads. I knew it was a story that needed to be told and an investigation that needed to be completed.”

Tickets for the UK premiere are available via Koko with £2 from each to be donated to the Joe Strummer Statue Project. Artist, friend and curator of Strummer’s legacy, Gordon McHarg III, will create a life size bronze statue of the guitarist planned for the Westway.

Hall is running a PledgeMusic campaign for I Need a Dodge: Joe Strummer On The Run, where fans can pre-order the DVD alongside packages that include Koko tickets, merchandise and screen prints.