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Wednesday, 5 January 2022

Late News Breaking, This Just In


Somewhat shockingly I only have a burn of Rock Art and the X-Ray Style the 1999 debut album by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. This is something that I should clearly rectify and would make it a New Year's Resolution if I did such a thing.

The opening track is named after the former Arsenal and England footballer Tony Adams who at the time was in recovery from a history of alcohol abuse. He went on to found the Sporting Chance clinic amental health charity for current and former professional sports people. I'm not quite sure what that has to do with the song. Maybe Joe was an Arsenal fan?

Yalla Yalla on the other hand according to Joe is an ancient British folk song ... written in the year 1999.
I saw them at the Glasgow Barrowlands on Friday 6th October 1989 promoting this album and paying £6.50 for the privilege.


  1. Joe was Chelsea. Think he just identified with Tomy Adams and the man's struggles. But as you say, the lyrics of the song don't appear to link to the title.

  2. At some point early in 1999, the last full year of running my record shop, I was invited to an evening at Polygram's HQ in London, where they introduced some of the upcoming releases planned for the following few months. In the middle of the presentation, the 'Yalla Yalla' video was debuted on a big screen, playing at a seriously impressive volume. The clip featured shots of Joe in the studio and looking impossibly cool while walking the streets of Lower Manhattan. It was a big thrill for this old Clash fan I can tell you.

    I saw Joe & the Mescaleros on that tour just a few days after you in Norwich, with the legendary Johnny Green also in attendance.

  3. Yalla Yalla is one his best solo songs. Saw him do it at Manchester academy with a small child perched on his shoulders.