Let’s Rock Again is a documentary about Joe Strummer, directed by his friend Dick Rude.’ Shot in the 18 months before Strummer passed away very unexpectedly in 2002.
The film consists mostly of tour footage; providing daily glimpses of Strummer having conversations with friends, journalists, fans, and his band mates. For a Strummer fan like myself, it was a real honour, to not only watch the film, but also to get an extra glimpse into what he was really like as a person, as well as a musician. It’s very cool that a friend of his made this possible for his fans.
Let’s Rock Again shows us what a humble, gracious, generous person Joe Strummer was to those around him. He seemed fully without ego, yet with a faint knowledge of his importance to others. He spent time with fans talking to them about just about anything, and he does and says things throughout the film, that show us his style of humour was intellectually amusing.
All of my favourite parts of this film are things that I don’t want to write out for you to read, because I feel it will spoil the surprises. If you are a fan of his, you need to see this film for yourself, as it is much more of an inside view into who this man really was, than what has been conveyed in all the other films about him that I’ve seen. Since I don’t want to spoil the surprises, I will be as vague as possible, because I know you’ll want to see this film.
Two of my favourite scenes in the film are of Strummer doing very unexpected things that one would never think a musician of his fame and standing would do. He did radio and street promotions for his shows at a grass roots level, which was a bit astonishing to me. It would have been amazing to be in the right place at the right time to witness this firsthand. Seeing this in the film made me only admire him more.
Two other favourite scenes were of Strummer having candid conversations. His off-the-cuff observations about “being a hack’ and about the people who ‘compile crossword puzzles’ were charming and entertaining. Being able to view these conversations and get a closer view into the way he thought about things felt really special to me as a fan.
The personal moments in the film are broken up with live music footage of he and his band, The Mescaleros. They were very talented, although they never managed to excite me to the level that The Clash had… but that was an enormously tough act to follow. That may be why Strummer took an 11-year break from music, which he mentioned in the film. (I did go see 2 world tours with The Mescaleros, and both times, they were great, and I was glad I went.)
The rest of my favourite parts of the movie were in seeing how much time he was willing to spend with the fans. He really didn’t seem to find it redundant (which anyone in his position should have), to stay after a show as long as it took to make sure that everyone got a minute with him who desired to. Seeing this part of his personality made me feel good, as I was one of those fans who met him on his tour in 2001.
He was gracious enough to take the time to take 2 photos with me. Acts like these, I find a bit embarrassing as a fan, but I’m glad I put the embarrassment aside to save that moment in time on film. Seeing this documentary solidified to me that Joe Strummer didn’t mind. He was glad to do it. I always had the feeling he was a good guy that we all would have liked. Seeing the film was all the proof I ever needed.
Originally appeared on coolgrrrls.com