by Brian Smith
Yup. At least that’s what radio CJAM 99.1 is proclaiming.
The FM station is, in fact, planning to spin Joe Strummer music — the singer from the only band that mattered — for 24 hours straight, beginning the 22nd at midnight, which is eight years to the day that Joe Strummer called it quits.
The reason for the marathon? Well, it's not a CJAM PR campaign as much as a reason to inspire listeners by tackling "Windsor-Detroit poverty" and getting local homeless issues heard locally and globally. The blitz will include reportage from Detroit-Windsor hunger and poverty fringes.
It's an idea that's not dissimilar to those humanitarian Strummer exercised himself as the Clash front man and solo artist. The guy died helping others and spent most of his adult life protesting ugly politics, raging against war, oppression, poverty etc. If you ask us, Strummer's a fitting spiritual Godfather for the station’s anti-poverty kick.
Expect killer bits from area Clash shows too, some Strummer dub and Jamaican and other sides of beauty from Strummer’s much overlooked catalog.
Here’s more from the CJAM.99 press release:
Kicking off at midnight Dec. 22 — the 8th anniversary of Strummer’s death — CJAM will play 24 hours of the former Clash frontman’s music, wrapping it around reports about poverty and homelessness in Windsor Detroit.
In the process, CJAM will get that world to listen to Windsor-Detroit homeless issues at www.cjam.ca.
“Joe Strummer was someone, who at a point in his life, squatted to fight for both his art and social-justice issues,” says Dave Konstantino, host of CJAM’s Revolution Rock, who will lead off the event with a special broadcast at midnight on the 22nd. “Even today, his songs maintain a legacy of resistance. So pairing his songbook with poverty issues on the 8th anniversary of his death puts a relevant soundtrack to the unique poverty issues faced by the Windsor-Detroit area. It’s aural ammunition, getting that world to listen a la Radio Clash.”
On the music side, expect a vast array of unreleased tracks, demos, works in progress, and sundry rare audio footage. To that end, Konstantino will launch the marathon with a focus on Strummer’s solo material. Other key features will include Willy Wilson’s Detroit music show, The Motor City is Burning, which will pick apart area Clash performances and other rarities. Martin Deck – host of CJAM’s Friday night reggae show, Wake This Town – will examine Strummer’s dub past. Ankur Kumar will present Strummer in a biographical form. Then Vernon Smith will air rare prime picks from his personal Clash stash.
In the process, CJAMers believe listeners will stick around for an oversight of poverty in Windsor-Detroit. The station’s debate crew, Rose City Politics, will dig in the politics of poverty with an extended program. In between, CJAM’s legal team, Ipso Facto, will cover poverty issues from a legal point of view. And we will be asking musicians and activists to join us for this day-long broadcast that we believe will have both local and international audiences.