Published Oct 04, 2007
Stereolab keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Mary Hansen, 36, was killed when struck by a car while riding her bicycle in London on December 9; she died shortly after was buried in her hometown in Brisbane, Australia. She joined Stereolab in 1992 and recorded seven albums with the band. Stereolab revived interest in Krautrock, French pop, Brazilian rhythms and keyboard music in the mid-'90s, which many fans embraced as a welcome antidote to grungy indie rock. The band was at work on a new album expected this fall; they have not made any statement about the future of the band.
On December 22, Joe Strummer, 50, of the Clash died of a heart attack at his London home. Strummer, born John Mellor, was considered by many to be the soul of the Clash, who were the most enduring of Britain's punk class of '77. Tensions between Strummer and his songwriting partner Mick Jones led to Strummer firing Jones while touring their most successful album, 1982's Combat Rock; the band retired after 1985's Cut the Crap. He acted in and scored films for Alex Cox, Jim Jarmusch and John Cusack, and played guitar with the Pogues on tour in 1986. In 1991 he produced the PoguesÕ Hell's Ditch, and when the band kicked singer Shane MacGowan out of the band, Strummer took the mic and completed the tour. In 1999, he re-emerged with a new band, the Mescaleros. They released two albums and were working on a third when Strummer passed away. A new album of recent demos is expected in May. The Clash will be inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame this March, and were expected to reunite for the night of the ceremony; they had turned down offers of millions of dollars over the years to reform and tour.