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Viva Joe Strummer: The Clash and Beyond Review

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by AVForums Mar 1, 2005

    Viva Joe Strummer is a look at the life and music of Joe Strummer, frontman and main songwriter of The Clash. In this role, Joe created some of the most vital and well known punk songs of all time, such as London Calling, White Riot and Bank Robber. This 60 minute documentary, which is interspersed with footage of The Clash on stage, has interviews with Mick Jones and Nick 'Topper' Headon (Both from The Clash), as well as Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and Johnny Green, the road manager for the band. It's worth noting that a percentage of every copy sold will be donated to Strummerville, a charitable foundation for the production of new music, for bands, individuals and organisations that would otherwise be prevented to do so due to lack of funding.The biggest problem this suffers is it's running time in that 60 minutes really isn't enough to cram in as much as they could. What is there shows promise and I for one would have like more footage of The Clash in action, as sadly while we have clips, there isn't a single complete song which is a shame (although that could be due to copyright issues). There's not really any anecdotal story telling, it's very much a chronology of key moments for the band, from the initial forming to the split and the reunion of Strummer and Jones on stage. I think if they could have made it 30 minutes longer and included more music footage (effectively doubling it's running time) then this would have been great, but as it stands, it is only quite good.