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

updated 7 July 2008 - link to photos by Cathrine Vanaria
updated 25 Dec 2008 - The Clash Play Revolution Rock

speed corrected cdr of the gig
good - Sound 3.5 - 74min - low gen? - 24 tracks

also WBCN Radio Boston Interview Phone-in Show
following the gig

The Clash Play Revolution Rock
Chris Salewicz, Trouser Press, March 1980
The band give their take on the WBCN Boston Radio


No recordings circulate of the next 2 concerts after Chicago. However we probably have not missed too much: Paul Morley wrote that Detroit was not a Clash city yet, Joe sensed the negativity from stage and grew progressively angry. When asked in Detroit for a message for USA he said curtly “Eat less!” And at Cleveland Joe had a croaky throat. An interview recording does exist from WWWWDetroit FM Radio recorded before the Detroit gig

The Orpheum Theater, Boston would prove a favourite venue for The Clash and their debut performance here was exceptional, aided by a highly enthusiastic and lively audience who called them back for 2 encores. Take The Fifth became exactly that at this gig with Mickey Gallagher making his debut. A very good audience recording circulates together with an entertaining phone in show that the band did after the concert on WBCN Boston

The Orpheum Theatre was opened in 1852 and is still a popular music venue today. It has very good acoustics and seats 2,800.

Photos by Cathrine Vanaria

7 are from Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge MA, USA (16 Feb 1979)
1 is actually from Boston Orpheum (Sept 19th 1979)
3 from the Boston Orpheum - one of which wrongly attributed to Harvard (March 9 1980)


bad speed problems - decent sound

This one came with decent sound but with some horrendous tape speed problems. Corrected, the recording certainly improves somewhat. It is one of the best recordings from this tour and certainly one of the best performances.

The sound improves considerably from the start of London Calling probably as a result of the taper lifting the hand held mike above the heads of the audience; you can hear the mike thud down at the end of each encore. From here on there is a good range of sound and considerable clarity. Some stereo separation also adds to the listening enjoyment.

Only criticism is the sound is a touch harsh concentrated in the mid range. The drums, guitars, bass are all clearly audible, the vocals perhaps down a touch. Guitars come through the mix strongly including Joe’s. There is little evidence of Mick’s guitar effects here too thankfully. Shouts and claps from the lively audience add not distract here to the enjoyment. The atmosphere of the gig is captured well.

The Clash again respond to a very lively and enthusiastic audience by delivering a fired up very strong performance, perhaps not quite as intense as Chicago.

The intro music is The Standells 60’s garage classic Dirty Water which name checks Boston but this though sounds like a cover version as the lyrics have been changed to name check the Thames and London.

The Clash then blast into City of the Dead, an unusual set opener not likely to please the audience. Johnny Green’s book has him adding it to the set list as a joke at Vancouver,(last night of the tour), much to the consternation of the band! However it may well be that this was the night and Johnny’s memory not for the first time is at fault. Before the audience can react its Bored With The USA and then Joe responds to the applause and shouting with “just like to say this is a very nice turnout for us, don’t think we don’t appreciate it” a brilliant Complete Control follows with great soloing from Mick.

Joe then addresses the audience in response to the violence of the bouncers “short announcement, who is the promoter? Where’s Don Law? (He’s a fuckin pig someone shouts} you guys at the end of this aisle, I hereby say people are allowed to stand where they like that pays their money”. This gets the audience going even more and cheer and shouts of encouragement ring out. Joe later said that the bouncers were punching people all over the hall and one girl was beaten up and thrown down the stairs.

The sound quality now improves for the best London Calling to date, harder and tighter than previously without the annoying guitar effects at the start of the song. “Time to be tough…” line still included at the expense of the recorded “ain’t got no swing except for the ring of the truncheon thing”.

White Man is excellent again with the band getting in a loose groove. Joe then tries again (rather charmingly) to get the audience out of its seats and up at the stage with “If you’d just give me a minute to explain, what I meant was I was talking about earlier about Don Law, he’s the promoter and he’s paying these gentlemen in the red T-shirts, you see in England when a band strikes up as it were, they kind of stand up in the aisle and get as near as they can, but if you’re quite happy where you are (No! No! Shouts the crowd. Koka Kola then blasts out segueing brilliantly into I Fought The Law.

The next highlight is the earliest circulating recording of Paul singing Guns Of Brixton here has a different arrangement to later tours. All the performances are strong with Joe clearly fired up. A further announcement from Joe heralds the arrival of Blockhead Mickey Gallagher although he doesn’t even get a name check! “if you hear a new sound in the next few numbers don’t go and get your money back, this greasy guy over here..”

Mickey had arrived unrehearsed that afternoon so that the first time he sees them playing live he played with them. Morley says he was tucked away at the side of the stage barely heard or seen and certainly his debut song Clampdown reaches its mid point before his organ can first be heard.

Gallagher was brought in to add that “wild mercury sound” of electric organ that Dylan loved for his ground breaking 65/66 performances. Strummer of course was and is a big fan of Dylan’s, a feeling reciprocated when Dylan came to see The Clash live and was soon playing with a US punk band on US TV.

Following an intense Police and Thieves Joe says “ Long John Silver (Green) has whispered in my ear that the geezers in the red tracksuits have gone, so those who wanna break a law.. Mick “ Be daring, go down the front a bit, dance a bit!” Some clearly do and Joe says “Oh criminals!” At last getting the sort of intense reaction from the audience to match the intensity of The Clash’s performance they launch into a wild Capital Radio.

The audience roar their approval then it’s the first live recording of Wrong 'Em Boyo introduced by Joe “I want you to listen to this and tell me what you think of it, this one is going down big in England (referring to the ska revival)” Mickey Gallagher does a solo and this is another highlight of a very strong performance.

It’s a roar then through Janie Jones and Garageland to the first encore. Armagideon Time is getting tighter then just as the audience have got their breath back its Career Opportunities and White Riot blasting through the PA.

The highly enthusiastic crowd are rewarded with a second encore of a speeded up Jimmy Jazz with goes straight into What’s My Name.
A very enjoyable performance good sound but oh! to have been there, and the great Sam & Dave too.

WBCN Boston FM Radio Phone-In Show.
19 September 79

Entertaining Clash Radio Phone In after the Boston gig so the proceedings are lively.

Joe, Mick, Topper, ‘Scratchy’ Barry Myers take phone calls and play various records. Begins with encouragement to a caller from the Direct Action Coalition to take over the Seabrook Nuclear Facility; the March 28th 79 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island would inspire The Clash particularly Joe.

A Londoner working in Boston saw tonight’s concert and thought it better than the 2 he had seen in London, Mick disagreed. Questions about Mickey Gallagher who will continue to play on the tour “for as long as we can afford him”.

A woman calling herself the ‘Queen of Swords’, stoned out of her mind, asked why the limousine did’nt come and pick her up, Mick replies no limos at Clash concerts we came in the transit bus. She then asks for help over something “emitting into the cosmos”, Topper says “don’t take the brown acid!”.

A caller asks them whether they knew that Sam & Dave were “given the finger” by many in the crowd [sections of US Clash audiences always failed to appreciate a number of The Clash chosen black support acts, some even shouting racist abuse]. An angry Joe says they were aware of it and “that’s the reason we try to get to play with people like that, because everyone goes around posing in their tight trousers thinking they’re it but those guys is where the music comes from.”

To emphasis this the music chosen by The Clash is largely from their support acts; Sam & Dave, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Desmond Dekker and The Mighty Diamonds (Scratchy “ This is for all the people in red [bouncers] at tonight’s concert ‘Whose gonna bodyguard, mr bodyguard!’.

Marcus Gray decribes this show as foul and obnoxious which is not the case unless you are Bill Grundy. The source of the swearing is a slurring Topper and starts when one caller asks “how much longer do we have to listen to you assholes!” and another caller who says they are almost as good as Elvis Costello! The show ends with the assembled throng singing along to the Dave Clark Five’s ‘Glad All Over’ and Village People’s ‘Y.M.C.A”. Hardly Keith Moon/ Led Zeppelin post gig mayhem. An entertaining recording. Duration 39.31 mins

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City of the Dead
I'm So Bored with the USA
Complete Control
London Calling
White Man In Hamm Palais
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
Safe European Home
Jail Guitar Doors
The Guns Of Brixton
English Civil War
Clash City Rockers
Stay Free
Clampdown
Police and Thieves
Capital Radio
Wrong 'Em Boyo
Janie Jones
Garageland
Armagideon Time
Career Opportunities
White Riot
Jimmy Jazz
Whats My Name

A Riot of our Own pg192

Killer Children Fanzine Review

The Clash Play Revolution Rock
Chris Salewicz, Trouser Press, March 1980
The band give their take on the WBCN Boston Radio

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

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 www.Pontbone.com/journal.htm [Joe Elys acordian player]

Joe Ely.com; 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 www.Pontbone.com/journal.htm [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 www.Pontbone.com/journal.htm [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.