Spanish city names town square after Clash singer
The Spanish city of Granada plans to name a square after the late British punk star Joe Strummer who sang of the town in one of his band The Clash’s classic tunes, an official said Wednesday.
The driving rock anthem “Spanish Bombs” on the band’s 1979 album “London Calling” recalled the Spanish civil war and Granada’s favourite son, the poet Federico Garcia Lorca, executed there by nationalist soldiers in 1936.
Now a city commission for civic honours has accepted a petition — backed by local newspaper Ideal and thousands of fans on Facebook — to honour Strummer for his ties to the city.
It has identified a small square to bear his name a few hundred metres from the Alhambra palace, the city’s Islamic-era landmark which is one of Spain’s biggest tourist draws.
“It is expected that the project will be approved in February by the city council,” which has to grant planning permission, a source in the city hall, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
Strummer lived in southern Spain in the 1980s and produced records for local bands there, said Ideal.
“Good old Joe travelled to Granada seduced by stories of the Civil War, the killing of Lorca and the image of Granada,” it wrote on Wednesday.
“He worked, lived and drank in the capital of the Alhambra,” Ideal added.
Strummer sang in Spanish and English in the song, evoking “bullet holes in the cemetery walls” as the “ragged army” of the Republicans waged their doomed fight against Francisco Franco’s forces.
“‘Spanish Bombs’ brought to stages across the world the name of Lorca and of Granada, sung out loud by thousands of young rebels and activists,” Ideal wrote.
Strummer’s politically-charged lyrics drove The Clash to the forefront of the punk movement in the 1970s along with the Sex Pistols.
He was born John Graham Mellor and died suddenly of heart failure in 2002 at the age of 50.