Nick Hall: I Need A Dodge! Joe Strummer On The Run

Documentary looks back at Clash man’s Spanish sojourn.

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Spain played a pivotal role in a crucial period of Joe Strummer’s career. In 1985 the birthplace of his 101ers-era girlfriend Palm Olive and beloved murdered poet Lorca became not so much a refuge as a place where, as he put it, he came to feel the pain of the wound caused by the fallout of The Clash’s ignominious end.

Filmmaker Hall’s search for the enigmatic Spanish-American motor Strummer left in a Madrid car park on a dash to London for the birth of his daughter proves fruitless but emblematic.

Interviews with Strummer’s first wife Gaby, members of Clash MK 2, 091 and Radio Futura (the latter two Spanish bands he produced and confided in) are revealing. Strummer emerges as a somewhat sensitive but prickly character, arriving incognito but soon enough holding court and calling the shots.

The documentary narrative may be rambling at times and ultimately inconclusive, but the warts-and-all insights into Strummer’s character it allows prove illuminating./o:p

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Gavin Martin

Late NME, Daily Mirror and Classic Rock writer Gavin Martin started writing about music in 1977 when he published his hand-written fanzine Alternative Ulster in Belfast. He moved to London in 1980 to become the NME’s Media Editor and features writer, where he interviewed the Sex Pistols, Joe Strummer, Pete Townshend, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Ian Dury, Killing Joke, Neil Young, REM, Sting, Marvin Gaye, Leonard Cohen, Nina Simone, James Brown, Willie Nelson, Willie Dixon, Madonna and a host of others. He was also published in The Times, Guardian, Independent, Loaded, GQ and Uncut, he had pieces on Michael Jackson, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra featured in The Faber Book Of Pop and Rock ’N’ Roll Is Here To Stay, and was the Daily Mirror’s regular music critic from 2001. He died in 2022.