Joe Strummer’s Guitars and Gear

Joe Strummer’s Electric Guitars:

1966 Fender Telecaster

Joe Strummer Telecaster This was Joe’s favorite guitar. He bought it in 1975 second-hand. Just prior to this, Joe was offered £120 to marry Pamela Moolman, a South African citizen, so she could obtain British citizenship. That’s how he got the money!

The guitar was originally sunburst, but in 1976 when the Clash was formed, influenced by Sex Pixtols, Joe wanted his guitar to look more authentic. He took it to the auto body shop, where the guitar’s body and pickguard were refinished in grey auto primer and then painted with black automobile paint.

Joe’s Tele is filled with stickers and various slogans which changed over time. At the first stage the word “NOISE” was painted just over the pickguard and two stickers were added. One seen on the pictures above saying “Ignore Alien Orders”, and other was probably a Rastafarian flag at the bottom of the pickguard. About that same time there was also a small sticker just bellow the guitar controls, that wrote “War” but it was scraped off and disappeared with time.
Later on, the “Trash City” sticker was added just behind the bridge, which was also changed to the one that has individual saddles for each string. Original Kluson tuners were replaced with Fender “F” style tuners and a large question mark was painted on the body’s back.

Since Joe’s death the guitar made appearance at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum after which it was returned to Joe’s family. Here’s a short video about it:

Fender Telecaster/Esquire

Fender Telecaster Blonde Maple Joe used a couple of other Telecaster and Esquire guitars. We couldn’t find any detailed info about these guitars, except that they are mostly models made in the 1960’s, and probably all stock.

The least we can say is that all of his guitars had stickers all over them. It’s hard to tell if these are Telecasters or Esquires with double pickups.
He had a white blonde with a “Slab” neck made sometime between 1958 and 1962, one other guitar had the mirror/aluminium pickguard, and was probably one of the earlier models from the early ’50s. He also used a black one which was most likely Joe’s only maple neck Tele/Esquire.

Gretsch

Gretsch White Falcon This was the guitar Joe used prior to purchasing the 1966 Telecaster. It seems to be the Chet Atkins double cutaway model, but we would like to hear your opinion on this in the comments.

There are also picture of Joe with the Gretsch White Falcon double cutaway, so this is not the only Gretsch Joe used to play.

Joe Strummer’s Guitar Amps:

– Selmer Bassman
Used briefly while playing with the 101ers

– Vox AC30

– Marshall SLPs

– Roland Jazz Chorus JC-120
Seen on the picture

– Fender Twin Reverb
Used until 1979.

– Music Man HD-212 150W
Used ever since 1979. Joe quote about amps: “I don’t have time to search for those old Fender tube amps. The Music Man is the closest thing to that sound I’ve found” and that the “plastic motif on the front is repulsive.”

Joe Strummer’s Guitar Effects:

– Joe most likely didn’t use any kind of pedal effect, but played straight thought the amp.