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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 September, 2004, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK
'Spirit of Strummer' goes on show
By Chris Heard
BBC News Online entertainment staff

Picture by Julian Yewdall
Strummer at the start of The Clash era, November 1976
Unseen photos of former Clash singer Joe Strummer have gone on display in an exhibition which explores his personal archive of band memorabilia.

Dozens of handwritten lyrics, concert setlists, jottings, drawings and tour mementoes have been brought together in London to celebrate Strummer's legacy.

They had been kept in storage by the artist at his West Country home in the years leading up to his untimely death in 2002 at the age of 50.

Photographs of Strummer during his pre-Clash days as singer of pub-rockers The 101ers are also included in the exhibition at the London Print Studio in Harrow Road, west London.

The premises lie at the heart of a district which is still synonymous with Strummer's formative days as an artist.

It was there he refined his ambitions of stardom in the mid-1970s, as well as honing his skills as a political activist, as a squatter at 101 Walterton Road (giving rise to the 101ers).

Picture by Julian Yewdall
Pictured in 1975, as frontman for The 101ers
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the 101ers' first concert at local pub The Chippenham.

The pictures were taken by Julian Yewdall, a founder member of The 101ers who squatted with Strummer.

He said: "Joe was a reliable guy with a lot of energy and a lot of determination.

"Pretty early on he had that leadership ability; he was very motivated. I remember him with affection."

Gordon McHarg, who curated the exhibition, said: "He was an inspiration and a gentleman."

The exhibition, Joe Strummer Past, Present and Future, has been organised by Walterton & Elgin Community Homes (WECH), the area's community housing association.

As well as celebrating Strummer's community spirit, it aims to raise awareness of the charity Strummerville, which plans to create a base for young musicians in his memory - likely to be in the area of his adopted home town of Bridgwater, Somerset.

Later this month The Clash's landmark album London Calling is being reissued to mark the 25th anniversary of its release.

It includes an extra CD of unreleased demos, popularly known as The Vanilla Tapes, and a DVD of unseen band footage.

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