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I Need a Dodge! Joe Strummer on the Run (2014)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Music | 11 October 2014 (USA)
It's 1997 and Joe Strummer is interviewed on Spanish radio. He mentions the Dodge he bought in Madrid 12 years earlier but later lost. He puts out a call to the Spanish people to look for his car.


Nick Hall




Joe Strummer's dodge It's 1997 and Joe Strummer is interviewed on Spanish radio. He mentions the car he bought in Madrid 12 years earlier but later lost. He puts out a call to the Spanish people to help him find it. The film discovers what Joe Strummer was doing in Spain in 1985 with The Clash falling apart and looks at the production of the 091 LP in post-dictatorship Madrid, while the director goes in search of Joe's Dodge.

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dodge | spain | clash | lip synching | See All (4) »


Documentary | Music


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Hey Joe
1 March 2015 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

I caught this low-budget film by accident at my local Arts Centre, where my wife's son's documentary-short on Glasgow's Sanctuary night club was being shown as a starter. Being a Clash fan and counting Joe's Glasgow Barrowlands gig with his later band The Mescaleros as one of the best I've ever seen, I was glad to hang around and catch this quirky little film which takes as its jumping-off point the Clash main-man's adventures in Spain to where he escaped after the critical and commercial failure of the Mick Jones-less "Cut The Crap" album in about 1985. In particular, director, writer Nick Hall tries to track down a Dodge car that Strummer abandoned in a hurry to fly back home to attend the birth of his daughter in London.

The car-make provides a convenient double-meaning for Strummer's escape to obscurity by immersing himself in the punk music scene of Spain, where despite being feted as a hero, he nevertheless easily mixed with the Spanish people he met, musicians and non-musicians alike.

It matters little in the end that the car-search, doomed from the start, leads Nick nowhere, what we get is an interesting snapshot of a major rock star's reaction to pressure when his band is falling apart but in the end celebrates far more Strummer's apparently well-deserved man-of-the-people get-along reputation.

Strummer of course is represented only by archive footage, pictures and also some taped radio interviews, heard on cassette, while we get filmed interviews with the people surrounding him at the time, both in the UK (the mother of his child, two members of Clash Mk 2) and the various Spaniards he met in Andalucia, mostly fellow-musicians. There's one nice humorous touch as everyone prismatically remembers Joe's Dodge being a different colour and I particularly enjoyed the conversations with the Spaniards, initially in awe of one of their idols but later thrilled to be actually working with him as he ends up producing one group's debut album.

The problem with the film however is the director's actual search for the abandoned Dodge which leads to a dead-end both in reality and artistically, culminating in ultimately meaningless interviews with car park and scrapyard owners plus the utilisation of old Spanish TV advertising footage of Dodge cars. It's really not enough to hang a film on and leads to some self-indulgent shots of the director-as-detective. In fact I wasn't much interested in the whereabouts of the car at all, just in the impact of the two cultures at first clashing and then cooperating to make music. Much more interesting and enjoyable are the Spanish rockers various anecdotes and tributes to Strummer. Actually I didn't even know there was a punk rock scene in Spain.

An odd little feature I'd term this, uneven and muddled but with its heart in the right place. Vive-le-Joe!

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Release Date:

11 October 2014 (USA) See more »

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Tindog Films See more »
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