Oh for the days when rock stars could just disappear under a cloud of mystery.

Going on the run used to be a lot easier before mobile phones, GPS tracking and Perez Hilton.

Manic Street Preachers guitarist Richey Edwards was one such rock star who disappeared indefinitely, while Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, the subject of new docufilm Montage of Heck, was known for not being the easiest person to keep tabs on.

Joe Strummer’s disappearance to Spain in the summer of 1985 was the subject of documentary I Need A Dodge screened at Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival this week.

It wasn’t as famous a vanishing as the time he sloped off to Paris in 1982, but it was interesting how the film maker Nick Hall focused on a much less widely known aspect of The Clash folklore.

It got even more specific when he honed in on a Dodge that Strummer is reported to have rode round Andalucia in at the time. The myth was boosted by the fact that everyone involved in the documentary recalled it as being a different colour.

There have been plenty of documentaries about The Clash and bands like them which focus on the band’s line-up, their music and their sphere of influence.

I Need A Dodge did much less than that, but in exploring a snapshot in the band’s history it helped propel the messiah-like status that Joe Strummer is held in.

It could be considered over-the-top nostalgia-trawling, but given that today’s equivalent would be watching a documentary about Zayn Malik getting his scooter stolen, I’ll stick with Strummer’s mysterious Dodge-based adventures in Espana.



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