Friday 14 June 2013

The Joe Strummer Mural London W11 Unveiling Party Thursday June 13th 2013

Mick Jones and Ray Gange at the unveiling - Photo Copyright Peter Stevens
Last night saw the unveiling of the Joe Strummer mural on the junction of Portobello Road and Blenheim Crescent, right in the heart of The Clash's old Ladbroke Grove stomping ground. I went along to visit the event and there was a great turn-out with some live acoustic performances and a few beers to go along with it. Mick Jones turned up to lend his support and so did Ray Gange from the Clash movie "Rude Boy". It's a long time coming, as New York has had a fantastic Joe Strummer mural for a few years now and it was about time that London paid tribute to Joe too, so credit to Gary Loveridge and Emma Harrison for making it happen. 

Mick Jones of The Clash - photo by Steve Worrall
Gary and Emma unveil the Mural - Photo Copyright Peter Stevens
Here, Gary explains how the mural came about: "I've been a Clash fan for over 35 years. Two years ago I was in New York on the anniversary of Joe Strummer's death (22nd December) and to pay my respects, I headed to the Lower East Side because I heard there was a mural of Joe there. I found it. It was good to see him and stand with him in one of his favourite cities. In November 2012, I was asked to create an exhibition of Joe Strummer and The Clash posters from my collection for the "Arms Aloft" gig at the Tabernacle W11. They wanted me to hang the posters, coincidentally, around a photograph of that same mural in New York. Seeing as the anniversary of Joe's death was coming up, it got me thinking that we should have a mural here, in West London, where Joe used to live. I found myself looking out for a wall. The space I was lucky enough to find is at the side of Lydon's Stitch and Bead Shop. The owner said that he liked art and the wall was mine.

Gary, Emma and Mick Jones - Photo Copyright Peter Stevens
I then had a chance meeting with Emma Harrison and during a conversation about Punk Rock posters I discovered that Emma was a mural artist and I asked her if she could paint a Joe Strummer mural. We sat down and designed our mural. We decided to use an older image of Joe with his trusted Telecaster guitar along with a quote of something I'd heard him say on a late night radio show..."Without People, You're Nothing"."

Ray  Gange and Gary Loveridge with original sketch - Photo Copyright Peter Stevens 
So, great stuff from Gary and Emma, if you're visiting Portobello market be sure to pop along and check out the mural for yourselves and pay tribute to Joe Strummer, it's located on the junction of Blenheim Crescent and Portobello Road, close to Rough Trade. Here's a short video of the unveiling

Many thanks to Gary Loveridge, check out more about his poster archive and exhibitions here. For more info on Emma Harrison please visit her site here. Also, many thanks to Peter Stevens for allowing me to use some of his excellent photos, please visit his photography web-site here.

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