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No Ordinary Joe

Stuart Bailie | 22:24 UK time, Sunday, 21 November 2010

Here's a picture of me and Joe Strummer, backstage at the Ulster Hall, Feb 7, 1984. It was the arrival of The Clash II, minus Mick Jones and Topper Headon, but still bristling with enough righteousness to make it exciting. And as you can see by my expression, I'm happy to be there.

The convention with every Clash gig was that you would be allowed to meet the band afterwards. By 1984 I had done quite a lot of this hanging around caper. For this meeting I was getting a bit bold and had brought along copies of my band's demo, which Joe graciously took away with him, poor fella.

Outside of my immediate family, Joe has been the most influential person, in terms of my thinking and value systems. There's a Strummer lyric to apply to most moral issues. These days, I'm thinking a lot about the lines from the debut Clash single, 'White Riot':

Are you taking over
Or are you taking orders?
Are you going backwards
Or are you going forwards?

Answers on a postcard, please.

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