A bona fide pioneer doesn’t come around very often.
And Joe Strummer (who was born 60 years ago today) was that and more—the former Clash frontman was already a living legend by the time of his passing 10 years ago, thanks to his unprecedented brand of politically charged howling and genre-bending punk rock. He also lived the prototypical rock star life: trashing hotels, disappearing to France only to reappear at the Paris Marathon (and run it), littering the world with local lore of his exploits in sleepy towns like Columbia, Missouri (legend has it, he finished a solo show then hopped behind the bar to make everyone in the house drinks). In honor, we’d recommend you put some Strummer on your playlist today.
While some claim Sotheby's' upcoming Damien Hirst blowout—which is expected to bring in about $120 million—is merely an excuse to clear out a backlog of unsold work from Hirst's London gallery, the bad boy Brit artist insists it actually marks a major turning point in his colorful career.
Titled *Beautiful Inside My Head Forever* and timed to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the celebrated *Freeze* exhibition which launched his career, Hirst says the sale represents the last of his long-running series of formaldehyde works, spin, and spot paintings, which have become a bit too predictable.
“It's like my friend [late Clash frontman] Joe Strummer once told me about writing songs,” Hirst says. “If you can guess what the rhyme's gonna be in the next line, then it's shit and you've gotta change it.” We couldn't agree more; Hirst's work, turned out by his “factory,” Warhol-style, resembles nothing more then a broken, though very profitable, record at this point. Time for a new gimmick, old boy.