Clash Take the Fifth Tour
Supported by The Undertones & Sam And Dave

updated 5 Jan 2010 - added punters comments
updated 13 Feb 2012 - added more punters comments
updated 3 August 2014 - added video
updated Dec 2014 - added notes and detail to video

Video notes from camerman

A brief Super 8 colour film and sound from both the Detroit 79 and 80 show has appeared online.

What has surfaced
Decent video with very good audio

  1. Jimm Jazz edited 1:40
  2. I'm so Bored with the USA edited 1:00
  3. Safe European Home edited 2:30
  4. I Fought the Law edited intro 1:40
  5. Jail Guitar Doors 40secs

The person who shot the video said in advance

1) Opening Sept 17, 1979 with White Riot, Joe says something about in the intro, "We'll see now who the poseur is!"
2) about 1/2 of Clampdown
3) back half (nice quiet guitar part) of Jimmy Jazz, Joe very emotive
4) back half from bridge of I Faught the Law, and here Joe gives a shout to "Guitar hero Wayne Kramer! The father of us all Chuck Berry! James Brown."
5) Bored with the USA footage from Sept 17/79 gig - I shot this from Mick's side of the stage and this ist verse/chorus/most of 2nd verse is INDENDIARY - Strummer takes off his Tele and rubs his ass with it while singing "Yankee detective is always on the tv..."

The only other recording is an interview from
WWWW Detroit FM Radio.

WWWW Detroit FM Radio Interview

Joe, Mick, ‘Scratchy’ Barry Myers & Kosmo play some music (Passengers, Prince Buster) with DJ Mark McEwan in the afternoon before the Detroit gig. There’s a short interview where Kosmo & Mick in particular, pursue “The Quest” to turn off America to AOR Foreigner/Kansas “flared rock” as they call it and an appeal to listeners “ phone in if you like anything on the radio, its down to you!” They talk about the planned gig in Buddy Holly’s home town of Lubbock Texas to play with The Crickets at a dance in the cotton fields with. Duration 27.57 mins.

Back in '79 - I was extremely excited when the Clash had a date in Detroit...

From what I remember, the Clash were dealing with some equipment problems (amps coming and going) and I think it stole some of their thunder.

They would get on a roll and then some of the sound would go out. Joe actually kicked an amp over near the end. Despite the bands frustrations, I thought it was a good show and a treat to see them in person...

David Johanson was a tough act to follow because he did a bunch of Motown covers and reminded me of Mick Jagger.
I'm pretty sure The Undertones started.


I attended the Clash concerts in Detroit in September, 1979 and March, 1980 (as well as a forgettable show in 1982).  nestor's recollections of the Motor city Roller Rink show was spot on.  i've been to many concerts over the years before and after this show, and I still believe that this was the best concert I've ever seen.

  The contrast in the two shows (from masonic to MCRR) was an amazing transformation. However, the transformation was not so much in the band, but in the audience's reaction to the band.  One commentator was correct, in the masonic Auditorium show it seemed the audience was there mostly to see David Johansen, who had only recently left the New york Dolls, and had a small but dedicated following in Detroit.  It's also true that the Clash had equipment problems and became very frustrated, kicking the amps, spitting, etc.

    The MCRR show was a complete contrast.  the band came on late (after the sound check which one of your readers spoke of). But somehow it was perfect.  it was just late enough where the anticipation was growing to a fever pitch, but no so late that the crowd was frustrated.  The second they came on the electricity was intense.  Perhaps it was the release of London Calling, or just the fact that this was a crowd of hard core fans who came to see The Clash and the Clash only (although the back up bands performed admirably).

I remember that they opened with Clash city Rockers.  As your other commentators mentioned, there were no seats in the Roller rink, and I had fought my way all the way towards the front (probably the equivalent of the 10th row or so).  After that first number i remember Joe Strummer was filled with sweat.  There was no question that the band was preforming with all they had, and the crowd loved them.  I've never seen, before or since, this complete connection between a  band and it's fans, they just fed off of each other.  It was just one of those nights that I will remember for as long as i live.

Thank you, David Epstein - mdepstein[a]

The Clash followed the Undertones and David Johansen (formerly of The NY Dolls). Unfortunately, I arrived late to the majestic Masonic Auditorium after having difficulty finding suitable parking -- and missed the Undertones (with much regret).

David Johansen strutted his stuff, and there seemed to be many unusually dressed/coiffed audience members who had come to see him -- as I recall, he had a good reception from the audience...

When the curtains came up for the Clash, I was impressed with the huge canvas backdrop showing flags from around the world sewn together as a sort of quilt.

The Clash played with angry energy, mainly songs from their release "The Clash" (e.g., I'm So Bored with the USA). But there did not seem to be any chemistry with the audience.

On several occasions, Joe Strummer tried to stir up some excitement with his song introductions, but instead, the audience appeared to demonstrate a similar rudeness that the Sex Pistols experienced on their American Tour.

I was too far from the stage, but I am guessing there was spit being hurled from the front rows, and it looked like a cup of ice was thrown in Joe's direction. A

s I recall, Joe made some comment about the bad manners and treatment, and when another cup was lobbed towards the band after a song, the Clash decided that was enough and stormed off -- without any encore.

I can recall feeling that the show was a great bill, but was cut short by the antics of hooligans...I severely wished I could have heard more of the Clash...

I also felt (though realized after their Motor City Roller Rink show; comments below) that the stage was too large, the venue not very intimate, and the lineup of acts really not suited for a Clash show...the next show in the Detroit area would be VERY different.

Zielinski Kevin <kevinz4444{a]>

  1. Jimm Jazz edited 1:40
  2. I'm so Bored with the USA edited 1:00
  3. Safe European Home edited 2:30
  4. I Fought the Law edited intro 1:40
  5. Jail Guitar Doors 40secs

Appears to be missing White Riot from notes opposite?

A Riot of our Own pg193

Rash Clash Mash In Motor City Bash
Dave DiMartino, Creem,
December 1979JOE STRUMMER and I are sitting in a bar, talking about his band. I ask him about ‘I Fought the Law’ and its relatively unexpected success on American radio... (reference to Monterey as well)

Disgusted Clash just Disgusting
Jim McFarlin
Review/Pop - Detroit News
Just what is The Clash supposed to be so angry about anyway? "Man we're disgusted" says the bands riveting guitarist lead singer Joe Strummer, "Disgusted with everything..."

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.