This week Granada re-named one of the city squares after the legendary Joe Strummer. (Jojo did ask me “who is Joe Strummer?” but I forgive her for asking such a question or at least I’m trying hard to forgive her. She’s overworked these days.) The Guardian:
Strummer’s connections to Spain went back to pre-Clash days when he shared a London squat with a Spanish girlfriend, Paloma Romero, the future Slits drummer known as Palmolive. The squat was also shared by Romero’s sister Esperanza and Richard Dudanski, drummer in Strummer’s pub rock band the 101ers.
“They would talk a lot about politics, the Franco dictatorship and [the poet and playwright Federico García] Lorca. That is the root of his interest,” Hall said.
Strummer originally headed for Granada, best known for its Alhambra palace complex, because he knew Spaniards there who had spent time at the London squat. He soon became involved with the local group 091 and ended up producing a record for them in Madrid.
When we visited Andalusia a few summers ago, I did have flashbacks to The Clash singing about it and of course, Hemmingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls. Besides the incident when the alleged fascists were thrown into the ravine at Ronda, I wondered what else happened in those hills during the Spanish Civil War. One of these days I need to find a good book about Spain during those years.