In the mid-90s, Strummer was interviewed regarding his thoughts on Springsteen and being on a TV project with him. The response came in the form of the fax shared here: “Bruce is great … if you don’t agree with that, you’re a pretentious Martian from Venus!“ The admiration was common; Springsteen was keen to pay tribute when Strummer passed in December 2002, portraying him as “one of the greatest rockers of all time.”
It’s a perspective that Glastonbury organizer Emily Eavis would concur with; in his later years, Strummer was a nobody for the festival and when it came time to convince Springsteen to perform, he still had a vital role to execute. “I did an eight-page document about the festival for Bruce with quotes from Joe included,” says Eavis. “I’ve never done anything like that for anyone before. It’s going to be an amazing couple of hours.”
Below is the full appreciation of Strummer to Springsteen declaring The Boss as the great one:
“ATTN: MARK HAGEN
“Dear Mark – here’s my contribution
“BRUCE IS GREAT… IF YOU DONT AGREE WITH THAT YOU’RE A PRETENTIOUS MARTIAN FROM VENUS. BRUCE LOOKS GREAT… LIKE HE’S ABOUT TO CRAWL UNDERNEATH THE CHORDS WITH A SPANNER & SOCK THE STARTER MOTOR ONE TIME SO THAT A ENGINE STARTS UP – HUMMING & READY TO TAKE US ON A GOLDEN RIDE WAY OUT SOMEWHERE IN THE YONDER… BRUCE IS GREAT… BECAUSE HE’LL NEVER LAY DOWN & BE CONQUERED BY HIS PROBLEMS HE’S ALLWAYS READY TO BUST OUT the SHACK & HIT THE TRACK… HIS MUSIC IS GREAT ON A DARK & RAINY MORNING IN ENGLAND, JUST WHEN YOU NEED SOME SPIRIT & SOME PROOF THAT THE BIG WIDE WORLD EXISTS, THE D.J. PUTS ON “RACING IN THE STREETS” & LIFE SEEMS WORTH LIVING AGAIN… LIFE SEEMS TO BE IN CINEMASCOPE AGAIN. BRUCE IS NOT ON AN EGO TRIP… BRUCE IS ACTUALLY INTO THE MUSIC… WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE THIS… A LOT OF RECORDS TODAY ARE MADE BY PEOPLE JUST TO FEED THEIR FAME. BRUCE IS GREAT… THERE AINT NO WHINGING WHINING OR COMPLAINING.. THERE’S ONLY GREAT MUSIC, LYRICS & AN OCEAN OF TALENT. ME? I LOVE SPRINGSTEEN!!!
“(Signed, ‘Joe Strummer’):