I Need a Dodge: Joe Strummer on the Run
Given the impact Joe Strummer and The Clash had on everything from music to fashion and politics, it’s no wonder that 13 years after his death, we are still actively picking through every bit of his biography. The one area that has not been explored much, outside of his own memoir, was his mid-1980s self-imposed exile to Spain.
The Clash had just called it quits after their disappointing Cut the Crap record, so Strummer decided to live incognito in Granada, Spain for several months. The documentary I Need a Dodge picks up the narrative with Strummer heading into a bar where he is quickly recognized by fellow rockers from the local bands 091 and Radio Fartuna, and begins on an ill-fated path to produce a record by the former. The car from the movie’s title refers to the Dodge members of the band Radio Fartuna helped procure for him when he was in town. After a night of drinking, Strummer forgot where he parked the car and the filmmakers spend the second half of the film trying to track it down. The bulk of the movie also centers on Strummer’s frustrations dealing with 091’s record label as he attempts to produce a record for the band.
Told through interviews with members of the Spanish bands, Strummer’s long-time partner and mother of his children, as well as numerous other friends, the movie is a fun, curious piece of Strummer lore that will likely be watched and re-watched countless times by Strummer loyalists, but likely holds little appeal for the casual fan. (John B. Moore)