Friday, 20 March 2015

The end of Strummerville.

I’ve just had a bust up with The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music and it’s been quite upsetting.

If you go on their Facebook page you can check out all the arguments, including mine. It’s connected with the page advertising their gala fundraising night at Canary Wharf last night.

I’m not a fan of charity – most things should be done by the State with the money coming from those most able to pay through their taxes.

The problem with charity is that it’s usually those with the least money who contribute most.

However, I supported Strummerville and intended to do more; they provide seed money to organisations that support youngsters getting into music, usually when they are in difficult situations or places. Some of the bands reviewed on my Blog have been financed this way.

It was also to commemorate the astonishing life and times of Joe Strummer of The Clash; a dyed in the wool punkrocker who was carried to his rest on the back of a fire engine after playing his last concert as a benefit for striking firefighters.

How inappropriate is this, then;

Date: 19/03/2015 Time: 6:30 pm - 2:00 am

Address: Cabot Place, London, United Kingdom

Spring Dinner in aid of The Joe Strummer Foundation


We are very pleased to announce a fundraising Gala Spring Dinner at the prestigious Boisdale of Canary Wharf. This is a high-ticket event and we know that some people will be out-priced to attend the event but the objective of this Gala Dinner to raise much needed funds for the Joe Strummer Foundation – we’ll be posting the auction items soon, and you can help us by spreading the word and sharing this post, thank you!


Alongside great performances from MIKE D’ABO singing Handbags and Gladrags and after dinner JOOLS HOLLAND & HIS BOOGIE WOOGIE SHOW with Axel Zwingenberger and Ben Waters the highlight of evening will be The Great Rock’n’Roll Memorabilia Auction and after the auction as a special treat there will be guest star appearances from MICK JONES • SUGGS • CHRISSIE HYNDE

Auction contributions from:

Coldplay, Elton John, Chelsea Football Club, One Direction, Nick Mason of Pink Floyd, Tracey Emin, The Vaccines, Glastonbury, Pam Hogg, Peter Blake, Mumford & Sons, Shepard Fairey, Bentley, Fender Telecaster, Manfred Mann, Richard Young, Death Spray, Bob Gruen, Burberry, Stephen Webster, Belstaff, Josh Cheuse, Kate Simon, Denis O’Regan, Gavin Turk, Jim Lambie and many more to come…

Ticket Types:

*Please note table sizes for this event are 14+ if you are not buying an entire table you will be seated with other guests.

VIP tickets: The best view of the stage & Piper-Heidsieck Rare Millésime 2002 £500

 Premium tickets: Very good view of the stage & Piper-Heidsieck Rare Millésime 2002 £375

 Standard tickets: View of the stage £250 SOLD OUT

If I’d been well enough and rich enough to go, you wouldn’t have been seen me dead there.

Don’t get me wrong – it is a tragedy perpetrated by nice people. Their argument is that to do the good work the charity wants to do costs money. They say this is the best way of raising the money quickly enough.

The background to all this is that about 18 months ago the charity foolishly put on a very expensive new three day festival in the midst of a very fully booked summer season. It lost a packet of money when it should have been raising funds.

The end result is that the name ‘Strummerville’ disappeared to be replaced by ‘The Joe Strummer Foundation for New Music’, with a whole new set of trustees as well.

More worryingly, the foundation was stripped of its charitable status  in January 2014, for failing to file its accounts in time. I don’t think that’s much of a problem; as long as they get them filed soon enough they will be reinstated. It is, however, a sign that not everything is going well.

So the Champagne fuelled party at Canary Wharf is meant to sort out all the charity’s financial woes.

The problem is that in doing so (rather like the £250 tickets) it has sold out.

It sold out the memory of Joe Strummer.

A lovely man and a rebel from the top of his head to the soles of his cowboy boots. All us old dead punks can give countless examples of his generosity to those who needed it and his uncompromising hatred of those who didn’t.

The Event last night?

A load of Balls – another charity ball for the rich and famous to feel smug about.

Just another date on the social calendar of wealthy party goers, aristocratic wastrels, the celebrity circuit and a few right bankers too.

I wasn’t there and they wouldn’t have let me in anyway.

And while I’m at it: What the F#%K is Piper-Heidsieck Rare Millésime 2002 anyway?

Joe Strummer;

“Oh no, you think it’s funny

Turnin’ rebellion into money”

White man in the Hammersmith Palais.

It's not what he or any of us stood for.
So I’m feeling a bit sad for a number of reasons.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

No comments:

Post a Comment