Pearl Harbour Tour supported by Bo Diddley & The Dils

cdr - upgrade wanted - Sound 1.5 - 57min - unknown gen? - 17 tracks


The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, see photo, a concrete barn by the ocean according to Johnny Green, had sold out all 3000 tickets (seating removed in the main area). The Clash famously snubbed Epic executives after the gig to the despair of Caroline Coon, the then manager.

Help for the cause did come from the influential Robert Hilburn reviewing the gig in the LA Times; “For sheer energy The Clash’s local debut… was one of the most exhilarating rock shows in years” but then went on to qualify this by “but rock’s not built on energy alone and The Clash’s failure to touch on a wider range of emotions, leaves it short at this point of across the board impact”

He described how fans near the front of the stage went wild and accurately noted “Joe Strummer, the band’s strongest visual lure on stage, spits out the lyrics with such alarming intensity that a life insurance salesman would think twice about writing him a policy. After he collapsed after one song it didn’t look solely theatrical”.

The band did not think the gig went well and
Sylvia Simmonds Tour Notes for Sounds thought them good not great as at the San Francisco benefit.

The only recording in circulation is sadly a poor one.

It has slight speed problems, running a fraction slow. You can make out the vocals and just about what is said, as well as the lead guitar and drums, much else is distorted. Most of the sound is at the bottom end as well. Its from a well copied version.

Hank Williams features regularly in Joe’s sarky song intro’s on this tour, “well case you were wondering what that was, a little song Hank Williams wrote for us before he took too many drugs and kicked the bucket”. Continuing in a non-pc vein Joe intros Tommy Gun with “this is Topper Headon with a spastic wrist!”.

Tommy Gun uniquely whether by design or accident has a short musical and lyrical break not heard either live or recorded previously, just before the “9 o’clock news” section. Mick’s guitar work sounds great throughout but Joe sounds hoarse, labouring the intensity somewhat, maybe nervous in front of such a large audience and first gig in LA area.

There is an edit after Safe European Home when the sounds drops a touch poorer. English Civil War and Guns On The Roof are great performances as is Police & Thieves but the sound is very poor after an edit which loses a section of the song.

Complete Control stops near the end, for fighting or instrument problems is not clear and then restarts from mid song. Capital Radio is not as extended with ad libs here but Joe explains one of the reasons for the slow intro “listen to the gentle music, may it soothe the savage breast in you!

Because you’re going to have to hear it, because we recorded it off your local radio, its what they play 24 hours a day….1-2-3-4”. There is an edit at the end of Radio which probably loses one or more of Janie Jones, Garageland and Julie. The recording restarts with London’s Burning and ends abruptly with the last chord of White Riot.

Anyone have an upgrade nearer the master?

"The 79 shows, Santa Monica Civic, Palladium and Kezar in the city (sf) were spit drenched, poseur, stage hopping affairs.....Vicious crowds. (Although the Santa Monica Civic has a place in my heart, as it was close to our home and we saw countless shows there including a wild Joe Strummer with Xander Schloss on lead concert in the late 80’s that was something special)

The punk thing was just happening in 79 and la was more orange county punk (black flag, circle jerks, germs etc etc) than san francisco. (Dead Kennedy’s etc). Which was more “authentic” punk than LA

The two cities hate each other, (still do) culturally, sport teams, you name it.. It must have been mind blowing for the clash to step into what is basically another world, California. A lot of anger from The Clash, it must have been hard to play with people spitting on you and jumping on the stage just to show off.

Still the energy, humor and wit of joe are what i remember best. For better or worse, all venues had no seating anywhere near the floor, so it was general crush down front. No mercy was shown to the weak."


I'm so Bored with USA
Drug Stabbing Time
Jail Guitar Doors
Tommy Gun
Hate and War
Clash City Rockers
White Man In Ham Palais
Safe European Home
Stay Free
English Civil War
Guns On the Roof
Police and Thieves
Complete Control
Complete Control
Capital Radio
London's Burning
White Riot

Gig Reviews

A Riot of Our Own pg138

LA Weekly review Don Snowden

LA Times review Robert Hilburn

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

A3 ad (from poster) placed on page 105 of Billboard 3 March 1979

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