Start of the Pearl Harbour Tour -
apparently a warm up gig in Vancover.

Supported by Bo Diddley and the Dishrags (local all-girl punk band).

there is no known sound recording of this gig.

cdr - Radio Vancover interview with 4 band members - Time 15mins
great interview with band as they embark on their first tour

David Spanner used to manage a band called The Rabid, later The Subhumans. Dave was talking about the few days before the Clash 1st show of the 1979 tour. They were at the Commodore playing, getting ready for the tour, before the Vancouver show, and he drove with Joe Strummer to the Quadra Club, a local punk club at the time. The Rabid were playing.

In articles I have read about the Pearl Harbor Tour, including the Q Magazine spread, they say that the Clash played at the Agora Ballroom in Vancouver. But in fact, the venue the Clash played was called the Commodore Ballroom. It's located on Granville Street in downtown Vancouver and was built in the early 1930's. See advert above for the show from a Vancouver paper.
Someone at the gig distinctly remembers seeing a guy at that show who was standing off to the left of the Commodore stage holding up a portable mono tape recorder recording the show.

The Clash, Vancouver, 1978

The Clash played Vancouver for the first time in 1978 at the Commodore Ballroom. The place was packed with punks revved up at the prospect of slam-dancing on the spring-loaded dance floor. A local act, the Dishrags, got things going with a punishing, sneer-filled set, then Bo Diddley took the stage with his odd rectangular-shaped guitar and let rip with his epic riff “Hey, Bo Diddley.”

The punks were polite for a few songs, but clearly failed to grasp why Clash lead singer Joe Strummer would invite this old guy along for the tour. The beer and joints were starting to kick in, along with the catcalls, so Bo cut his set short. When the Clash took the stage, pandemonium hit.

The punks paid tribute to their heroes by slamming into each other, jumping onstage, throwing drinks and beer bottles at the band, and spitting at them. The Clash withstood the controlled riot for four songs, ducking and dodging the fusillade, then Strummer interrupted the music to mock them: “If anybody had any balls they’d be throwing wine bottles!”

At the end of the shortened set, Strummer, clearly peeved at the lack of respect shown one of the greats of rock and roll, pulled Bo Diddley out onstage for the encore to jam with them on “I Fought the Law.”

Excerpted from The Book of Lists: The Original Compendium of Curious Information by David Wallechinsky, Amy Wallace, Ira Basen & Jane Farrow. Copyright © 2005 Ira Basen and Jane Farrow. Reprinted by permission of Knopf Canada.


Gig Reviews

A Riot of Our Own pg127

Best Magazine [French]
...page1 ...page2 ...page3 ...page4 ...page5 ...page6
Rough English Translation

Refused Visas

Q Magazine UK May 2001
Comments from the band and others on the Pearl Harbour Tour february 1979

Melody Maker
Tour Review

A3 Billboard Ad for the Tour

Melody Maker front page only
The Riot Squad
Allan Jones follows the Clash across America

Gary Bushells Tour Notes

Dolly Parton Impersonators

Sylvia Simmonds Tour Notes

Village Voice
Tour Notes

Strummer's Pearl Harbour Diary

Trouser Press
End of Tour Interview

Los Angeles Times January 20, 1979
Clash Crests on New Punk Wave

Time Magazine
5 March 1979

Jenny Lens (clash photographer)
Photos and Exhibition

Any further info / reviews appreciated

Jan 31 Commodore Ballroom, Vancover, Canada
Feb 7 Berkely Community Centre California
Feb 8 Geary Temple (Fillmore), San Francisco CA
Feb 9 Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica CA
Feb 13 Agora, Cleveland OH
Feb 15 Ontario Theatre, Washington DC
Feb 16 Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge MA
Feb 17 Palladium, New York NY
Feb 20 The Rex Danforth Theatre, Toronto, Canada
We were going to drive to Toronto from New York, but we were snowed in and except for the back-line vehicle, the rest of us flew direct to Cananda. Scratchy