Joe Ely spent his formative years from age 12 in Lubbock, Texas. In 1970, with fellow Lubbock musicians Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock, he formed The Flatlanders put out one record in the 70’s but split up shortly after. Ely’s first, self-titled album, was released in 1977. The following year, his band played London, where he met punk rock group The Clash. Impressed with each other’s performances, the two bands would later tour together. Ely sang backing vocals on the Clash single “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”. Joe Strummer planned to record with Ely’s band, but died before that ever happened—one of Ely’s greatest regrets. Throughout his career, Joe Ely has issued a steady stream of albums, and a live album roughly every ten years. In the late 1990s Ely was asked to write songs for the soundtrack of Robert Redford’s movie The Horse Whisperer, which led to re-forming The Flatlanders with Gilmore and Hancock.
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