The Clash Take the Fifth Tour
Supported by Bo Diddley & The Undertones

updated 7 July 2008 - added punters view (SmokeM)
updated 30 Dec 2008 - added flyer/ticket stub
updated 30 Dec 2008 - added review of Chicago FM Rebroadcast

Courtesy of Professor Skank

FM Rebroadcast Chicago Area Only (Jan 18 2003)
Sound 4 - 63mins - FM Rebroacast - some static - common copy now - 19 tracks - a duller/slightly muffled version exists

This is Live Clash CD
cdr - Sound 4 - 64min -unknown gen -19 tracks

Home of the Blues cdr

I’m so Bored with the USA cdr
Sound 4 - 63min - low gen? - 19 tracks

WXRT Chicago FM (This is Live Clash...) cdr
WXRT-FM cdr - Sound 4 - 62min - low gen? - 19 tracks

Visit the Clash on Stage website for a comprehensive catalogue of unofficially released CD's and Vinyl.

arguably the best of the tour

The second night of the tour and a marked contrast on the first at St. Paul. Here a combination of a receptive very lively audience, and resolved inter-band conflict result in a superb charged and intense performance, arguably the best of the tour.

Where as at St Paul the audience were muted, Joe and Mick were falling out and Joe bit Paul in frustration, here in Chicago 2 days later Joe warmly introduces Mick as “This here’s my partner” and the shared purpose of the band is evident throughout.

A purpose that is evident in a fanstastic Clash gig, Joe recently saying that there were some highly memorable nights where everything came together and the band caught fire. This was one of those nights. Captured by the local FM radio broadcast, the concert exists in stereo pro sound.

The famous Aragon Ballroom is still open today. Built in 1926 it looks like the courtyard of a Spanish castle . Ray Lowry described the scene (see link): ‘The Aragon is the result of mating the Ponderosa ranch with the Albert Hall, setting it down in Blackpool in Scots week and calling in the Mongol hordes. And the Mongol hordes love The Clash. By time The Clash had finished their set the audience had melted down into a heap of steaming insides and twitching nerve ends slithering around the floor of the theatre.’

Paul Morley for the NME NME Ray Lowry 5th Tour Notes 1 wrote that Chicago was a Clash city and went where Clash wanted to take them. The band patted each other on back at end, and the Clash thought the Chicago audience was great. There was a downside when Paul ricked his back and hurt his hip requiring medical attention.

Newer FM Rebroadcast Jan 2003

This supercedes all others just thought the older copies came from the previous FM broadcast back in the day. Very clear, not the quality of a soundboard but hugely enjoyable. There is some static at the begnning on Jimmy Jazz.

The radio announcer identifies the station and broadcast following Jail Guitar Doors where two tracks are cut from the broadcast.

There is a duller more muffled version. If downloaded it will be 128k whereas the better version above is 270 VBR.

The Older Releases

Several recordings circulate on this one and one has been booted, This is Live Clash: Chicago 1979. All emanate from a radio broadcast at the time or a re-broadcast in 1995 on WXRT.

Several cdrs exist as well as the boot CD [source 1]. The Boot CD has a poorer sound to source 3 and 4 below.

One cdr [not listed here] falsely goes under the name of Live Clash Chicago, the boot CD title, but its a poor copy.

Another two go under the name House of the Blues [1 not listed its awful], the name Joe identifies before the first number, but these last two are from different radio sources. Of the two going by the name of the Home of the Blues, one can be dismissed as it suffers interference and distortion though good. The one listed above is only average.

Source 3 has a much better sound, and sounds like a clearer version of the This is Live Clash: Chicago. This, the second Home of the Blues/I’m so Bored with Chicago (II)is much much better.

Source 4, called WXRT Chicago circulating is identified as Live Clash Chicago, however it is not as this one carries the broadcast information for the radio station identifying the station and the rebroadcast that was to follow. An extra track at the beginning.

The WXRT 1995 re-broadcast has the best sound; more dynamic and detailed than any of the others, however it had 2 second track gaps and there is some slight noise. The sound and stereo mix is excellent on all the instrumentation particularly though on Mick’s guitar which is right up in the mix.

Thankfully Mick’s use of some guitar effects which spoils the enjoyment somewhat of many of the Take The 5th shows is a problem here only on London Calling where the songs intro especially loses its edge and impact. Mick was really wired for this show and his playing is a delight with lots of invention and ‘punk rock electric guitar’.

Joe’s rhythm guitar is lost in the mix somewhat until Police & Thieves onward when it is clear as a bell in the left channel, the two guitars sounding superb. The only criticism of the mix is the vocals, which are not as in your face as you would expect from a pro-recording. Overall though it’s a hugely enjoyable sound (crank up the volume) arguably capturing the power of the performance better than the New York FM broadcast. Certainly the performance here is more intense and together.

Following the short introduction to the rebroadcast, Mick starts the set with “This is the home of the blues, right” and an excellent Jimmy Jazz, blues Clash style. As Jimmy Jazz ends there’s a short gap, the orange stage lights blaze on and Mick’s guitar blasts out the intro of I’m So Bored With The USA. The audience go wild and there’s no break before an intense Complete Control.

London Calling is still fairly ragged, spoilt somewhat by Mick’s guitar effects and still containing the “time to be tough, midnight shutdown” lyrics although “phoney Beatlemania” gets its debut. The London Calling lyric and musical differences evident on this tour surely mean it was recorded or over dubbed after the tour contrary to accounts of the band playing the acetates in the tour bus flown over by Bill Price later in the tour?

Clampdown follows, a song also still in live development but here sounding magnificent especially at the start with Mick screaming “hey, hey, hey, hey”. The song gets into a great groove and then stops without a proper ending, yet to be worked up. Mick introduced a similarly magnificent White Man with “this is for Rock Against Racism in Chicago”.

All the performances are intense and powerful with Mick and Joe evidently really fired up. An edit after Jail Guitar Doors loses Guns of Brixton (Morley confirms Paul singing at this gig) and English Civil War (eye witness account). Mick’s playing on Police & Thieves is superb and inventive, only a lack of an inspired rant (you know what I mean!) from Joe stops it matching the magnificence of the Cleveland Pearl Harbour performance. Stay Free here though arguably is the best live performance with Mick doing some Clash translation for US ears;” this the appendix right, Butlin’s means the nick, the nick means the penitentiary”. Clash City Rockers is another highlight amongst a set full of them.

An edit after Safe European Home on WXRT loses Joe’s introduction and Mick’s guitar intro to Capital Radio which is on Home of The Blues/Bored With Chicago; “ I was listening to the radio in Hawaii, just lying on the beach, not a thought in my head, not a care in the world, the radio never plays no song..”. It’s another great performance with Joe singing “passive audience reaction that’s the way we gotta be today, don’t play your records, no chance, won’t play your record, no dance, no hit record, no chance, never mind, never mind..” It’s an inspired charge then through Janie Jones and Garageland to the encore.

With lights out drum and bass punch out repeatedly the rhythm to Armagideon Time before Mick’s guitar comes in playing his reggae chops and then Joe with his candelabra now adding more improvisation to this song as it develops and gets extended during this tour. The lull in intensity is short lived as Career Opportunities is blasted out followed by a wild White Riot, which comes to an end only for Topper to keep the drums beating, and then the guitar blasts out another chorus.

Superb performance and sound, an absolute must have bootleg. Essential.

"All of a sudden they let us in and we ran for the chairs. There was a 10 foot pit area, then tons of chairs. I was on a chair dead center about 25 feet away. Barry somebody (big DJ) was spinning tunes I remember. They brought him from London [Barry “Scratchy” Myers]..Bo Diddley opened the show and I remember seeing the Clash up on the balcony getting into it.

Then the Undertones took the stage. Then The Clash. Right when they got on stage I'll never forget a giant backdrop came down (different nation's flags sewn together) and it brought them even closer.

Started a slow jam and I remember Joe Strummer kinda slowly moving (later on I realized it was Jimmy Jazz). Also remember Mick Jones starting with something like"This is Chicago, home of the Blues, right?"

Then the tune wound down, all of a sudden these big yellow lights hit and they went into "USA" and it was intense! They were all over the place. I was a big Who fan before them and at that time I had only seen pictures of The Clash. Didn't know what to expect. I remember Joe having the coolest stage presence. Just right there. Real herky-jerky. Paul was real cool looking. And Jonesy was all over the place. He was having an incredible night. Ending songs with wicked leaps.

I've seen tons of shows and it was the best ever. At one point I remember Joe climbing all over this net that was on the speakers. It was just wicked...Also remember on "Jail Guitar Doors" that I was disappointed that Mick didn't say "Fuck em" after the Stones verse...I remember Pressure Drop [the prisoner or maybe police & thieves?] clearly 'cause it was an incredible cover and I remember Joe during "ECW" just shaking and looking over his head when he was supposed to sing "marching right up the stairs.“

When the show let out, we were all standing in the street, still in semi-shock as to what a great gig it was. I happened to look up at the Aragon . . if you look at the picture of the venue, there’s these little windows up high. Leaning out were Joe and Mick, looking at the crowd and Chicago with huge grins on their faces, like a couple of kids at Christmas. Joe turns and looks at me across the street, we exchange grins and waves and thumbs up and off he goes. Man, I miss that guy. Thanks for the memory. Paul from Chicago

I first saw THe ClASh 26 years ago at The Aragon Ballroom 1979 I was 12 years old. My Mom helped me sneek in without a ticket got me past the door by saying I just wanted to buy a t-shirt..........once in I was gone up the stairs never to be seen until the end of the show while my parents waited for 2 hours in the car........... then again in 1982 same venue I was a sophomore in high school. The greatest band ever!! SmokeM




Jimmy Jazz.
I'm so bored with the USA
Complete Control
London Calling
Pressure Drop?**
White Man in Hammersmith
Koka Kola
I fought the Law
Jail Guitar Doors
Guns of Brixton?**
English Civil War?**
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
Clash City Rockers
Safe European Home
Capital Radio
Janie Jones
Armagideon Time
Career Opportunities
White Riot

** thought to be played

Found a flyer and ticket stub , thought you might like em. I was there. They played Pressure Drop, NOT the Prisoner or P&T. But they didn't play the prisoner. Not a chance.

Gig Reviews

A Riot of our Own pg192

Sounds gig review

Paul Morley NME gig review

The Clash Turn Pro (Sort of )
Sounds Tour Report
(St Paul & Chicago mainly)
Peter Silverton, Sounds,
29 September 1979
TUESDAY LUNCHTIME: Cleveland Airport. With a couple of hours to kill before my one-stop-only flight to Minneapolis and the first date on the Clash’s second American Tour...

The Last Gang in The West Leaves Town
NME 13 & 20 Oct Paul Morley
Paul Morley of the NME travels on the tour bus from Detroit on the 17th through to New York on the 21st interviewing and following the band.
DETAILS: The Scene. The Clash on tour of America. There's a glamorous image, with a confident, crusading edge to it. The Clash: a lot of hope and responsibility there. America: it still means a lot. Clash's current six week coast to coast tip to toe tour of the United States Of America is their first major assault

Clash USA 79 - Ray Lowry
The shape I'm In
NME - 6 Oct 1979
Ray Lowry Clash Take the 5th Tour Notes Pt1

Clash USA 79 - Ray Lowry
Brother Creepers Over America or Suedes over the States
NME - 13 Oct 1979
Ray Lowry Clash Take the 5th Tour Notes Pt2

Clash USA 79 - Ray Lowry
Have you heard the news, theres good rocking ronight
NME - 20 Oct 1979
Ray Lowry Clash Take the 5th Tour Notes Pt3

Clash Extension
Unknown / Tour News
15 August 79
The Clash who started a lengthy American Tour last week are due to tour Britain in November to tie in with the release of their new album. Tha band's American Tour, which included the Monterey Festival last week

Jenny Lens
Clash Photographer 1979-1981
I shot the Clash from February 1979 to June 1980. I didn’t bring my camera to the Sausalito Swap Meet, February 3, and ran into them and Johnny Green. I said hello, but too shy to tell them who I was or inquire about photo passes. Their debut California gigs were discussed in San Francisco at the Ramada Inn press conference

The Clash Play Revolution Rock
Chris Salewicz, Trouser Press, March 1980
IT'S FOUR days before Christmas. A dark, early evening damp with snow and rain. Immediately south of the Thames, in the inappropriately genteel Victorians... end of Tour chaos in LA.

Melody Maker front cover only
29 December 1979
Strummer on the Rebound

Sep 8 Monterey CA, USA...Tribal Stomp festival
Sep 12 Civic Centre, Saint Paul MN, USA
Sep 14 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago IL, USA
Sep 17 Masonic Temple, Detroit MI, USA
Sep 18 Cleveland, USA
A Riot of Our Own dates this gig pg194. However local fans believe Cleveland show never happened, the book reference notwithstanding.  "I was 18 at the time and very tuned in to the music scene in the area.  I missed the Agora show because I wasn't 18 at the time.  In September I was and there is no way I would have missed that.  I lived in Akron, OH, a one hour drive.  I have checked all local newspapers and muic papers and there is no announcement of that show nor any review. Ray Sferra"
Sep 19 Orpheum Theater, Boston MA, USA
FYI, Clash played the Orpheum Boston twice during the Take the 5th tour.I believe it was Sept. 19 & 20, and the NY shows were later. I was at all four but I can't remember the date breakdown Good site. Paul Sherman??
Sep 20 Palladium, New York NY, USA
Sep 21 Palladium, New York NY, USA
...famous photo of Paul from the London Calling sleeve taken on this night
Sep 22 Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia PA, USA
Sep 25 St Denis Theatre, Montreal, Canada
Sep 26 O’Keefe Centre, Toronto, Canada
Sep 28 Clark University, Worcester MA, USA
I missed them for both the 1st two Boston shows (Harvard Sq. Theatre and the Orpheum) but then I heard thru the grapevine that they were playing at Clark University on 9/28/79.  So we drove down and got in line.  Original scheduled to be in the field house, the promoters (I think it was a student organization) sold almost no advance tickets, and moved it to a smaller auditorium the day of the show.  Then 100s of punks from Boston showed up and bought tickets, and they kept selling tickets.  Terribly overcrowded, fire department came and made a few hundred leave the hall, but as soon as they left, Strummer says "There's a buncha fans out there that paid to see us, and they're stuck outside, but if everybody stays cool, and don't push, we can let them inside."  The Heart breakers opened. That show changed my life.  Cliche but true.  Anyway, I still have the ticket stub.  Rick
Sep 29 Ritchie Colisseum, College Park MD, USA
Oct 2 The Agora, Atlanta GA, USA
Oct 4 Armadillo Club, Austin TX, USA
referenced in Johnny Greens Book, A Riot of Our Own p206 and also by Ray Lowry on page 73 of Mojo (UK Music Mag) No.9 Aug 94 where he says the heat was scorching... see also [Joe Elys acordian player]

Joe; Back to London in 1979 for another tour. The Clash come to the show (Ely's) at the Venue Theater and invited the (Ely's) band to come to studio where they are recording London Calling. Became friends and (the Clash) showed the Lubbock boys around the London scene. The Clash come to America later in 1979. The two bands play several shows together including Houston, Dallas, Laredo, LA and the Monterey Pop Festival. Joe invites them to come to Lubbock to do a show together. They stay for several days mesmerized by the dusty home of Buddy Holly and the strange cowboy culture. In return the Clash invite Joe the following year to come to London for their London Calling Tour.

Oct 5 Cullen Auditorium, Houston TX, USA
dates from [Joe Elys acordian player]. also referenced in Johnny Greens Book, A Riot of Our Own p206
Oct 6 Palladium, Dallas, USA
this is often dated as the 6th and it may have been, but in order to fit the sequence of events in Greens book, A Riot of Our Own it would have to be before that, maybe the 4th.
Oct 7
Rocks Club [The Rox], Lubbock TX, USA
referenced in Johnny Greens Book, A Riot of Our Own, p207, where the band went to play a unofficial gig for Joe Ely (support) in his own town of Lubbock. Green says the band took a couple of days off after flying to LA. dates from [Joe Elys acordian player].
Oct 8? Laredo Texas
Oct 10 San Diego, California, USA
referenced in Johnny Greens Book, A Riot of Our Own p 208
Oct 11 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles CA, USA
Oct 13 Kezar Pavilion, San Francisco CA, USA
Oct 15 Seattle
referenced in Johnny Greens Book, A Riot of Our Own p211
... ticket ... photo from gig

"I just stumbled on this site while doing a google ‘egoist’ search. Great site. I wish I could find my taped interview with Joe. That was a story in itself. I must’ve woke up Cosmo at every stop from Cleveland to Denver where he finally put me through to Joe to do a pre-concert interview. You should try and get that from the Oregon Daily Emerald…or I could look in my files. If I recall Joe was getting ready for the Denver show…he was testy and abrupt…and loosened up later. My interview style was not to go by set questions…but to have question points and just talk. I remember asking about recording at Olympic Studios, which was being talked about…and joked that this was supposed to be The Rolling Stones favorite room. No laughter from Joe on that. And it was pouring down rain, with thunder in Denver and it made Joe in bad mood. I casually told him to put that mood into the show. But this was cool. Wish I was a better writer back then.
The photos are by Mark Pynes, now the photo editor of the Harrisburg, Pa. newspaper. Wish I could find the interview tape…I think my ex-wife stole it. Cheers, Cort Fernald"

Oct 16 Pacific National Exhibition Vancover, Canada
referenced in Johnny Greens Book, A Riot of Our Own p213 as the last night of the tour.