Redemption Song is an atypical rock star biography of a man who was, by any measure, an atypical rock star. By showing us Joe Strummer née John Mellor, warts and all, Salewicz paints a true portrait of a man who embodied contradiction as much as he embodied the idea of personal freedom.
Detractors often took Strummer’s restlessness and curiosity as signs that his most famous incarnation as a Camden Town garage rat was ultimately a pose. His life story leaves you with the impression that whatever Strummer believed at any given moment, he believed it all the way.
The world is a poorer place without Joe. Believe.