Today would be legendary Clash frontman Joe Strummer's 61st birthday; however, he passed away at the early age of 50 back in 2002 to a heart attack. Although we no longer have Joe around to give what we're certain would be revelatory interpretations of our current cultural issues, at least we'll hold onto his legacy as wisdom. We could celebrate Strummer's birthday by going through a collection of his greatest quotes, or our favorite songs, but instead we decided to share an amazing relic. According to its recipient, Mark Hagen
, this is a letter of recommendation that Joe Strummer wrote for Bruce Springsteen when he was asked for his thoughts on Springsteen for a TV project in the mid-90s.
If you can't read Strummer's bold, all-caps handwriting:
ATTN: MARK HAGEN
Dear Mark - here's my contribution
BRUCE IS GREAT... IF YOU DONT AGREE WITH THAT YOU'RE A PRETENTIOUS MARTIAN FROM VENUS. BRUCE LOOKS GREAT... LIKE HE'S ABOUT TO CRAWL UNDERNEATH THE CHORDS WITH A SPANNER AND SOCK THE STARTER MOTOR ONE TIME SO THAT A ENGINE STARTS UP - HUMMING AND READY TO TAKE US ON A GOLDEN RIDE WAY OUT SOMEWHERE IN THE YONDER... BRUCE IS GREAT... BECAUSE HE'LL NEVER LAY DOWN AND BE CONQUERED BY HIS PROBLEMS HE'S ALLWAYS READY TO BUST OUT the SHACK AND HIT THE TRACK... HIS MUSIC IS GREAT ON A DARK and RAINY MORNING IN ENGLAND, JUST WHEN YOU NEED SOME SPIRIT AND SOME PROOF THAT THE BIG WIDE WORLD EXISTS, THE D.J. PUTS ON "RACING IN THE STREETS" AND LIFE SEEMS WORTH LIVING AGAIN... LIFE SEEMS TO BE IN CINEMASCOPE AGAIN. BRUCE IS NOT ON AN EGO TRIP... BRUCE IS ACTUALLY INTO THE MUSIC... WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE THIS... A LOT OF RECORDS TODAY ARE MADE BY PEOPLE JUST TO FEED THEIR FAME. BRUCE IS GREAT... THERE AINT NO WHINGING WHINING OR COMPLAINING.. THERE'S ONLY GREAT MUSIC, LYRICS AND AN OCEAN OF TALENT. ME? I LOVE SPRINGSTEEN!!!
(Signed, 'Joe Strummer')