Let's Rock Again!
Photos and Video
You would think that a rock star who was the lead singer for one of the most influential bands in the world would have no problem starting a new band, making a record, and selling out concerts. But that's not the case for Joe Strummer, the former lead singer of The Clash, as he and his new band, The Mescaleros, embark on their tour. Longtime Strummer collaborator Dick Rude creates an image of a humble man trying to do what he loves best: create music that connects people. If for some reason you didn't know who Joe Strummer was, you would think that this was just another documentary about a struggling musician trying to make it. And in many ways that's exactly the point. We watch as Strummer does an impromptu radio interview and passes out handwritten flyers on Atlantic City's boardwalk to promote his own show -- and then arranges photo shoots and more radio interviews in cities from New York to Tokyo to San Francisco. Mixed with incredible live and backstage footage are segments that include Strummer, who passed away before the completion of the film, talking about the essential records that he needs to bring on the road with him and his drive to get back to "finding" music instead of taking what is given, as well as footage of his last recording sessions. Rude's observational style creates a portrait of a rock legend whose ego takes a back seat to the raw emotion in his music performances, channeled through his personal beliefs and values.
Director's Statement Collapse
I first met Joe Strummer in 1986 during post-production on Sid and Nancy. Our affinity toward each other was immediate. Over the years we acted in several films together and were present in each other's lives in a familial way. He was my friend, mentor and idol. In 2001, before the release of Global a Go-Go, the second record with his new band Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, we decided it would be fun to make a film together on the road and use it as an alternative means to get his new music out to the people. Filming took place over the course of his US tours that year. In October of 2002, Joe invited me to come to Japan with the band to do some more filming. His performance at that time was the best I had ever seen. One
month later we met in New York to host a music video show for MTV2. The next month he died suddenly of a congenital heart condition. Shortly after that, I taught myself to edit and began to live in my memories. Every day, I would revisit the looks and laughs that we shared together. I decided to stay true to our original objective and keep it about the music,
although it had been suggested that I make something more biographical and posthumous. During the production, Joe was often asked what we were filming for. His response was, "We're making a movie. Don't tell Dickie, but nobody is gonna wanna see this." He was wrong. It has been my blessing to share with the world, an intimate portrait of such a passionate and humble man. Joe was a true hero. His music changed people's lives. His love affected me profoundly. I am proud of the story he has allowed me to tell but I would trade it all in a heartbeat to have him back.
Film Information Collapse
[LETSR] | 2004 | 67 | Documentary Feature
Foreign Title: (Let's Rock Again!)
About the Director(s)Collapse
Dick Rude was born and raised in Los Angeles. His film career began at 15 when he attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. As an actor, he has appeared in several films, including Sid and Nancy (1986), The Wild Life (1984), and Repo Man (1984), on which he was also a contributing writer. Rude left UCLA Film School to cowrite and star in Straight to Hell (1987), which features such notables as Dennis Hopper, Courtney Love, and Elvis Costello. His other writing credits include a pilot for Sofia Coppola, Hi Octane, and an unproduced script commissioned by River Phoenix. He has directed several music videos, as well as music documentaries for the bands Blonde Redhead (Nothing Something), and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' (Off the Map). Rude is currently preparing for his next film, The Asshole, with his friend and executive producer Jim Jarmusch.