Remembering Joe Strummer: Clash Band Member’s Cause of Death Revisited After 20 Years

Remembering Joe Strummer: Clash Band Member’s Cause of Death Revisited After 20 Years

Joe Strummer’s cause of death came under the spotlight again as fans celebrated the anniversary of The Clash singer’s death.

This year, several musicians remember Strummer by busking in front of his mural in New York City. The event, dubbed “Gates of the West,” began at 6:00 p.m. and will last until December 22 at 8:00 p.m. ET. According to Consequence of Sound, the event will be moved to the Niagara stage in the event of rain or snow during the event.

The cast includes Jesse Malin, Eugene Hutz and the members of The So So Glos. Fans can watch them live for free, but organizers are encouraging them to donate to the Music & Memory charity.

As fans and colleagues celebrate his life, the cause of Joe Strummer’s death is once again on everyone’s lips.

How did Joe Strummer die?

On December 22, 2002, multiple news outlets confirmed that Strummer died at his home in Somerset, England. At that time, the 50-year-old musician is said to have suffered an obvious heart attack.

An announcement on Strummer’s website revealed that the singer passed away peacefully at his home. He was later cremated at West London Crematorium in Kensal Green Cemetery.

However, MTV released more details after a few days. It cited coroner Michael Rose’s finding that the punk icon did not die of drug-related problems. Instead, Strummer died after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.

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He collapsed at his home after walking his dog. When his wife Lucinda found him, she attempted to revive the singer but was unable to regain his pulse.

Before his death, it was announced that his band The Clash would be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. At the time of his death he was also working on another album; it was then published posthumously in October 2023.

Despite his popularity in the music industry, he suffered heartbreak in his personal life. Estranged from his family, he was still in pain after his brother died by suicide in 1970. He and family members had to identify his body after it was found three days after his death.

“[He] was a year older than me. Funnily enough, he was a Nazi,” he once said. “He was a member of the Front National. He was interested in the occult and used to have these skulls and crossbones everywhere. He didn’t like talking to anyone, and I think suicide was the only way out for him. What else could he have done?”

Things had to move forward and music helped him take a leap from the losses he was suffering.

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