Strummer's widow unearths star's treasure trove

The widow of rock star Joe Strummer has unearthed a treasure trove of material by the former Clash frontman, she said today.

The widow of rock star Joe Strummer has unearthed a treasure trove of material by the former Clash frontman, she said today.

Lucinda Mellor is planning to publish a book containing unreleased songs and rarities, with his friend the artist Damien Hirst, she told The Independent Magazine.

After his death five years ago at the age of 50 following a heart attack, Ms Mellor went through some suitcases and found that each one contained about 30 plastic bags.

“I suddenly realised that each bag was pertinent to a week on tour or a session – each bag told a story which was amazing,” she said.

She called in help, including from the artist Gordon McHarg, and all the material found – plus some Clash lyrics discovered in mouldy tea chests – have been put on file, photographed, carefully stored and catalogued.

“One day we will do an amazing book,” she said.

But it would not be rushed.

“It’s going to be beautifully done – it’ll be like an art book, with photographs, lyrics, drawings, maybe unreleased songs, rarities. It’ll have CDs in it, rare Joe stuff – we’ll see what we’ve got.”

Strummer was a pioneer of punk rock in the band The Clash, who helped to put politics back into music, and went on to record on his own and with his band The Mescaleros.

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