During the 1990s and early 2000s Joe Strummer, former lead singer for the Clash, did a radio show for the BBC World Service using the name of the band’s galvanizing third album, London Calling.
Anyone who’s heard the Clash or Strummer’s later work with the Mescaleros won’t be surprised at his tastes as reflected in these shows, a mix of good old-fashioned rock and roll, punk rock, reggae, world music….. Strummer’s expansive, politically engaged, and generous spirit encompassed artists as varied as Bob Dylan, the Ramones, Cornershop, Thu Zahina, Afel Bocoum, Amaswazi Emvelo and Mahlathini, and Los Corraleros de Majagual.
The first track on the first show (not available here) is, fittingly, Rachid Taha’s cover of “Rock the Casbah.” The first song in these embeds is Trini Lopez’ cover of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land,” which works just as well.
In this post we’ve embedded six episodes of “London Calling” that were broadcast in 1998 and 2000; the show stretched into 2001 as well (you can hear these episodes plus another handful on iTunes).
You just know that any radio program Strummer would have consented to be involved with is going to be a ray of diverse, exultant sunlight, so dig in and improve your day.
Series 1, Episode 1: August 31, 1998
Series 1, Episode 2: September 7, 1998
Series 1, Episode 3: September 14, 1998
Series 1, Episode 4: September 21, 1998
Series 2, Episode 1: January 9, 2000
Series 2, Episode 3: January 23, 2000