Rock Aganist Racism Carnival
with Tom Robinson Band, X-Ray-Spex,
Steel Pulse, Patrik Fitzgerald
updated 7 July 2008 - added mike morgans view
updated - added link to Lewisham NF riots and ANL Aug 1977
cdr - complete gig?? - Sound 1.5 - 42min
- low generation cdr - 12 tracks
From Here To Eternity - Sound 5 - 3min - 1 track
- supposedly overdubbed
Rude Boy Promo cassette
- Sound 5 - 6min - 1gen - 2 tracks
supposedly overdubbed more info
Rude Boy DVD - edited - Quality 5 - 6min - mast - 2 tracks
The RAR gig
The RAR gig proved a significant milestone in The Clashs history: the first time in front of a huge audience; estimated at anywhere between 50 to 100,000. It attracted national media attention and had a direct association with organised left wing politics to which the Clash, Joe particularly, were sympathetic.
Much was made of Joe's Brigade Rosse shirt. Famoulsly interviewed after by Terry Lot for Record Mirror Joe had quite a bit to say. The full text from that interview is here.
The event is well documented, A Riot Of Our Own, Last Gang both have extensive chronologies, and also amongst the media at the time as well as the Rude Boy video and DVD footage. Both are identical and contain 2 songs as does the promo cassette from Atlantic Publishing (for further info on this cass. check George Gimarcs 'Post Punk Dairy' page 103). One track made it onto the official live release.
RAR had a significant impact in raising the consciousness of young people against racism and the National Front. Playing at the rally was perfectly logical in view of the bands anti-racist stance since forming two years earlier. A platform for The Clash to present their stance, through songs such as English Civil War (debuted here), about the dangers of the far right.
The previous Aug 77 had seen riots in Lewisham with NF marchers confroneted by ANLanti-protestors. Link here.
The bands performance is a very well received, one of the highlights of Rude Boy is seeing tens of thousands of people pogoing to White Riot. Hazan and Mingay for the Rude Boy film recorded White Riot and Londons Burning.
audio and video and overdubs
Songs that can be found on the Rude Boy promo cassette (Rude Boy outtakes), whilst Londons Burning is on the official release, From Here To Eternity, all in excellent sound quality, though there was some subsequent remixes of studio dubs to enhance the quality. The films producers claim this to be minimal but other sources, such as Green suggest otherwise.
They also claimed film was in short supply so they tended to never record whole gigs, though more may exist somewhere as may further professional audio recordings from the gig and 1978 as a whole.
The only other recording in circulation is a fairly poor audience recording, not low generation but containing most (if not all) of the set.
The sound swirls and blurs constantly and suffers not surprisingly from distance. It conveys some of the atmosphere although chat from near the taper is detracting.
Drums and bass come over well but vocals and guitars are poor and the sound is very poor but listenable just.
Joe voices fears over crushing throughout and at one point asks is anyone under your feet, go on have a look, someone tells me theres some dead people. Let the medical supplies through.
Tommy Gun has developed since Barbarellas in January and is very similar to the Something Else TV programme version with Toppers machine gun drum pattern ending now in place.
White Man has also developed with the recorded words all now in place; turning rebellion into money replacing the millions of yen down Japan way.
The rare Last Gang In Town is introduced by everybody thinks their in it.
Police & Thieves is edited mid point losing a small section but the debuts of English Civil War & Guns On The Roof are both unfortunately heavily edited with only the opening 50 seconds of the former surviving and the last 90 seconds of the latter.
Guns on the Roof seques into Capital Radio and the recording then ends with the well documented White Riot and Joes comment if you wanna hear White Riot youve got to sing it yourself!
It maybe that more songs were played than appear here (no Janie Jones for example).
1978? at a Rock Against Racism/Anti-Nazi festival in Victoria Park(?) I saw the Clash live for the first time. The sound was appalling and Mick Jones was wearing pink trousers. We were miles away from the stage but there was still something very wow about Strummer. So much anger. So much energy.
courtesy of mike morgan & www.smokebox.net
he call up: so long joe strummer
English Civil War
In the summer of 1978, I saw the Clash perform at a vast "Rock Against Racism" rally in Victoria Park, East London.
This was the outdoor concert footage that was used in the film Rude Boy. The march to the park was particularly memorable since it took the resistors through the streets of Hackney and the East End, a neighborhood notorious for British National Front fascist street activity, their favorite pastime being the clobbering of non-white immigrants, especially women.
As we wound our way through the community, the fascists, grossly outnumbered, glowered and leered at the protestors. One outstanding moment involved a spindly, pale, acned ubermensch wearing the colors of the BNF and a "Hitler Was Right" t-shirt.
It was too much for the rowdy demonstrators to pass up. Singling this poor bastard out, the crowd began to chant, "There's the master race, Beware!" The idiot racist turned crimson as tens of thousands of marchers loudly earmarked him as the symbol of all that was wrong. Mortified, he slunk home, probably to listen to his Stranglers record.
Later on at the concert, Joe Strummer hooped and hollered the lyrics to "Safe European Home" as the band twanged and bashed its way through that anthem.
As true today as it was back then, safety is only assured when we take matters into our own hands and don't allow those with bloodthirsty agendas to steer the ship. Joe knew it then, and he knew it up to the day of his untimely passing.
Perhaps the most telling scene in the film Rude Boy portrays Joe in a pub trying to explain to the confused lumpen roadie why the "get back to Russia" argument is fallacious. "The same fat cats drive the big cars there as the ones who do here," taught Joe.
Safe home, wherever you are Mr. Strummer...Stay Free!
-- mike morgan