Jazz and Lola Mellor (Joe Strummer’s daughters)
by Alex Cutts
Clash frontman Joe Strummer had two daughters with his partner Gaby Salter: Jazz Domino Holly Mellor, born on 18 November 1983, and Lola Maybellene Mellor, born on 12 January 1986.
The two sisters were raised in London and Somerset, and made frequent family trips to San Jose (Almeria province) and Granada city, including for Joe’s 50th - his final birthday party - at the celebrated Bar de Jo in Los Escullos, Almeria in 2002. Now both are grown women and mothers, and continue to support their late father’s legacy.
A year after the death of their father in 2002, Jazz and Lola set up the charity Strummerville in his memory. Operating under the name of The Joe Strummer Foundation since 2014, the charity supports aspiring musicians and promotes emerging artists. Lola remains closely involved in the foundation, sitting on the board of trustees.
In 2012, to mark what would have been Strummer’s 60th birthday, his daughters celebrated the occasion with a one-off music festival organised in a field in Somerset, entitled Strummer of Love. The celebration paid homage to the rocker’s lifelong love of, and dedication to, music, as well as to the annual trip to Somerset with his daughters every June to enjoy Glastonbury festival.
Strummer’s first-born daughter, Jazz, was named after the punk rocker’s favourite genre of music. In October 2007 she founded the Shoreditch Sisters’ Women’s Institute, the east London branch of the W.I. The largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK, the W.I. aims to provide women with “educational opportunities and the chance to build new skills, to take part in a variety of activities and campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities”.
The sisters didn't want to follow the rock’n’roll lifestyle of their parents, and instead decided to lead a more conventional existence. In her 2011 interview on her passion for knitting, Jazz told the Daily Record: “What’s the point in being rebellious when you will never be wilder than your own parents?”
In 2012, Jazz released her first arts and crafts book, Queen of Crafts, inspired by her dad’s creativity and DIY punk ethos. She set up a group, branching out from the W.I., focusing on knitting and quilting, which has hundreds of attendees.
Continuing her creative endeavours, in 2020 Jazz co-founded the Great Gear Trading Co, which sells vintage-inspired wall art.
In June 2012, Jazz gave birth to her first child, daughter Boudicca who would have been Joe’s first grandchild. Jazz shares her insights into motherhood via her Instagram page @jazzdominoholly.
The Clash star’s younger daughter, Lola Maybellene, was not, unsurprisingly, named after the well-known American cosmetics brand, but from the song Maybellene by rock’n’roll singer Chuck Berry, one of Strummer’s favourite artists and biggest musical inspirations.
When Lola was born in 1986, Joe found himself stuck in Madrid as his wife was in labour at a hospital in London. The story inspired the plot of the film I Need A Dodge.
Lola followed in her father’s footsteps and is heavily involved in the music industry. Until 2017 she was the lead singer in a band called Dark Moon, an alternative, transcendent group based in London. As of 2015 Lola has explored the spiritual and holistic side of music through her organisation Psyche Sounds, based in Sussex. Sound ceremonies, meditation and yoga are often combined at her events, which are aimed at exploring wellness and spirituality through the arts and humanity’s relationship with nature.
Note: Lola's second given name; Maybellene is spelled Maybelline in many locations including page 411 of the book ‘Redemption song – The definitive bio of Joe Strummer' by Chris Salewicz published 2006 (reprinted 2007 and 2012). Since Mabybellene is enterered in official documents for the Charities Commision and Companies House we had spelled Maybellene with an 'e', as the song.