The Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas Is Hosting ‘Joe Strummer’s Birthday Weekend Extravaganza’

black and white 1981 photo of Joe Strummer, performing as lead vocalist for The Clash
© 1981 Steve Rapport/Courtesy of The Vox Agency
Joe Strummer with The Clash in 1981

Joe Strummer, legendary cofounder and vocalist of The Clash, would have turned 71 on Aug. 21, 2023 (he passed away Dec. 22, 2002, at age 50).

Just ahead of that date, The Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas — which describes itself as “the world’s most comprehensive attraction dedicated to the history, culture and absurdity of rock ’n’ roll’s bastard stepchild” — will be honoring Strummer’s legacy and remembering his influence on the punk movement and beyond by holding “Joe Strummer’s Birthday Weekend Extravaganza,” beginning Saturday, Aug. 19.

The 12,000-square-foot Punk Rock Museum houses artifacts and memorabilia from across the world’s punk scene, and their Strummer celebration will feature the reveal of new artifacts, including the musician’s iconic 1966 Fender Telecaster Guitar (pictured below), original handwritten lyrics and personal artifacts on loan from the Joe Strummer Estate.

a picture of Joe Strummer's 1966 Fender Telecaster guitar

© 2023 Lisa Johnson/Courtesy The Vox Agency

Lisa Brownlee, cofounder of The Punk Rock Museum and a lifelong fan of The Clash, acknowledges the profound impact the band has had on her life.

“Listening to my favorite band, The Clash, in the mid ’80s,” she says, “I felt I belonged to something bigger. I knew I was devoting myself to music that was going to make the world a better place. It was at that time I became who I am today, thanks to Joe Strummer.

“Almost 40 years later, I am now the cofounder of The Punk Rock Museum. Our collective is made up of prestigious punk historians committed to preserving the sanctity and rich history of all things punk. It is here that we will have the honor of exhibiting some of the most important pieces of history from the Joe Strummer Estate.”

As part of the night’s festive celebration on Aug. 19, there will be a special evening planned in Strummer’s honor with “All The Young Punks!” This birthday celebration will take place in the museum’s Triple Down bar, with JR Ska Boss and Selecta Scream DJing, along with more surprises in the works. The bar will also feature specialty drinks all weekend.

In addition, the museum has partnered with Dark Horse Records for a limited edition of the 2021 Strummer compilation album Assembly in distinctive pink packaging, which will be available for a short time exclusively at The Punk Rock Museum.

photo of a limited edition of Joe Strummer's 2021 album "Assembly," with a pink cover.

Dark Horse Records/Courtesy The Vox Agency

Other commemorative items available for purchase at the museum include a limited edition poster from veteran screen-printing artist Garageland and a new tattoo flash by revered flash tattoo artist Jared Gaines in the museum’s own onsite tattoo parlor, The Shop.

“Joe always said, ‘the future is unwritten,’ and he was correct,” Brownlee continues. “The past, however, is to be shared and experienced together, and that’s just what we have the pleasure of doing here.”

The Punk Rock Museum is located at 1422 Western Ave. in Las Vegas, between the Strip and Downtown. The museum celebrates punk’s substantial cultural impact over the last half-century, and also features a bar, a wedding/wake chapel (natch, it is in Vegas, after all), a tattoo parlor, punk merch shop and more. For admission details and more info, visit the museum’s website at this link.

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