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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Permanent Record

In 1988 Joe Strummer recorded five songs for the soundtrack to the film Permanent Record, a Keanu Reeves film about teenage suicide and its effect on those left behind (something which must have struck a chord with Joe whose own brother had killed himself years earlier). For the soundtrack Joe worked with Latino Rockabilly War, a group of musicians he put together while decamped in L.A. including guitarist Zander Schloss and ex-Red Hot Chillli Pepper drummer Jack Irons. These would be the players on the Earthquake Weather album a year later. The soundtrack had five Strummer songs including solo career highlight Trash City (which I just found out Keanu Reeves played some guitar on). The title track, Theme From Permanent Record, is an instrumental and you might think 'what is the point of a Joe Strummer instrumental?' Joe wasn't a virtuoso guitarist, his voice and lyrics are what most people would pay their money for. Zander Schloss is a guitarist who sometimes needs reeling in a bit too. But this instrumental is worth a few minutes of your time today and shows one of Joe's other talents- to get a bunch of people in a room, to get a feeling going, and to get them playing something heartfelt.

Theme From Permanent Record


The Swede said...

Joe was a talented composer and arranger, more than capable of capturing an atmosphere, the 'Walker' soundtrack being a prime example. I love 'Theme From Permanent Record', but have always considered it more of an unfinished song than a planned instrumental, the structure is all there. It's as if he couldn't quite nail the lyrics, but liked the overall feel, so put it out anyway. Great post.

drew said...

I loved the JD Southern track from this soundtrack, Wishing On Another Lucky Star. Probably the poshest acting performance by Reeves in that film and that is saying something,

drew said...

That should have been Souther of course.

Hazard said...

Sounds great! His stuff all sounds pretty atmospheric to me.