Joe Strummer The Movie
Unofficial website
Joe’s Equipment
The main guitar that Joe Strummer used all through his career was his pet Fender telecaster from 1966. It came equipped with a white colored pick guard and three color sunburst. Joe had acquired that guitar somewhere around mid-1975 when he was a part of the 101ers. Soon after joining ‘The Clash’, Joe refinished the guitar’s pick guard and body in grey auto primer, followed by painting it in black. By the year 1979, the upper part of his guitar’s body had the word NOISE stenciled properly. This was apart from a rasta flag sticker that was placed at the pick guard’s horn. There was also an ‘Ignore Alien Orders’ sticker right above his guitar’s bridge!

By the time ‘The Clash’s’ album ‘Give ‘Em Enough Rope’ got released, Joe Strummer’s guitar had been fitted with a bridge featuring individual saddles. The Kluson tuners were also replaced with the latest models. In addition, one could see a large ‘?’ symbol spray-painted on his guitar’s back.

Joe’s guitar stayed in this configuration for the rest of his career. Only some more stickers were added to its body. The black paint of the guitar wore off due to excessive use by Strummer. This resulted in shining through of the bare wood and the original sunburnt finish of his guitar, except on the square where Joe used to tape his set lists.

In the year 2012, the contemporary artist Karl Haglund paid a unique tribute to Joe Strummer’s guitar through one of his highly popular and iconic guitar paintings. Fender Custom Shop also paid rich tribute to Joe and his telecaster by creating a Joe Strummer Tribute Telecaster, completed with a flat black finish.

Joe was always left-handed in all affairs of his day-to-day life, but when it came to guitar playing he used to use his right hand. This was because he was taught only the right-handed way by his friend and teacher Tymon Dogg. Joe always felt that him being left-handed and playing a right-hand guitar was in a way a drawback for him and didn’t allow him to evolve completely as a guitarist. Nevertheless, no one felt so and his playing style was very different from others!

Apart from his signature telecaster, Joe also used three different Fender Esquire guitar models. One of them was from the year 1952. It was a white blonde guitar with a slab fretboard from the mid-50s era. The other one was from the early 60s, featuring a rosewood fingerboard and a white pick guard. Fender Esquire was nothing but a one-pick up version of the Fender Telecaster. Before he used any telecaster oriented guitar, especially the 1966 model that stayed with him till his last days, Joe used to play a Hofner and a Gretsch White Falcon.

When it came to amplifiers, he used to play on the likes of Roland Jazz Chorus from his days in the 101ers, Vox AC30 and a wide range of Marshall Guitar Amplifiers. However, his main amplifier always remained the Music Man HD 212,150. Once Joe Strummer talked about his choice of guitar amplifiers stating that he didn’t have a lot of time to go out and look for all those old time Fender Tube Amps. He found The Music Man to be the closest he could get to the sound he always wanted.