Uncut, May 2003

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'Now war is declared and battle come down...'

Springsteen and Costello lead tribute to Joe Strummer at Grammys


Looking like they meant business in a big way, Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello provided the highlight of this year's Grammy Awards, held in New York on February 23, with a blazing version of The Clash's "London Calling," played in tribute to Joe Strummer, who died on December 22, last year.

With huge images of Strummer in all his rebel glory back-projected on a screen flanked by Union Jack graphics, Springsteen and Costello led a kind of superstar garage band that also featured Miami Steve Van Zandt and Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl on guitars, No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal and Attractions drummer Pete Thomas. Springsteen, Costello, Grohl and Miami Steve rocked hard, Bruce looking slightly taken aback at the sheer velocity with which Elvis attacked the song, as the four-man front line delivered a dramatically choreographed performance.

On March 10, meanwhile, at New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel, The Clash were among the inductees in this year's Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony.

Before Strummer's death, it had been rumoured that The Clash would reform for the induction and play together for the first time in almost 20 years, and even in the weeks before the ceremony there was talk of the three surviving band members performing live on the night. In the event, there was no reunion, and drummer Topper Headon was absent from the proceedings. Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Terry Chimes were presented with their award by U2's The Edge and Tom Morello, formerly of Rage Against the Machine and now with Audioslave.

"I sadly miss my older brother, my big brother, Joe, with whom I shared my most life-changing experiences, "Simonon said. "Joe just had so much integrity and inspired us all," Jones added, dedicating the group's award to "all the garage bands who might have never dreamed of this kind of moment".

Other inductees this year to the Hall Of Fame included Elvis Costello And The Attractions (cue hilarious spat between Elvis and errant bass player Bruce Thomas), The Police (playing together in public for the first time in 18 years), The Righteous Brothers and AC/DC.

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Uncut, No. 72, May 2003

Uncut reports on the February 23, 2003 Grammy Awards tribute to Joe Strummer and the March 10 Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.


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Cover and page scan.

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