Back to Bio

Words From Joe

I was born in Ankara, then I grew up and learned some Woody Guthrie Songs. Then I joined the Clash. My father isn't rich. He's got an M.G. 1000 and a bungalow in South Croydon. He was born in India. His father died when he was eight, so he went to an orphan school. He was smart and worked himself up in the civil service. Now he works in the public records office. He's a white collar worker.

Schools: Boarding school (with girls). Central School of Art. (A lousy set-up). First instrument: Ukelele. (No kidding. I saved some money �1.99 I think. And brought it down Shaftbury Avenue). First band: The Vultures. Busking "Johnny B. Goode" in the London Underground. (I didn't have anywhere to live so I went to live with a girlfriend in South Wales. They played R&B when it wasn't fashionable).

First single: "Keys To Your Heart" (Chiswick) with the 101'ers. As far as sound and excitement go, The 101'ers were much better than Eddie and the Hot Rods. But they were just too old. What I always wanted was to get in with some young yobs who I felt more in tune with. As soon as I saw Mick and Paul walking down Ladbroke Grove with Glen Matlock (in April 1976), I wanted to join the Clash.

First gig with the Clash/First Clash gig: Sheffield, June 1976. (Says Paul: When Joe came along it was like having a Dad in the group. He was like a teacher because he had been in a group before. He's generally patient. He hardly ever gets angry. He's a real laugh.)