Clash Take the 5th Tour
Supported by Sam & Dave and Undertones

updated 2 April 2007
updated 28 Dec 2008 - added venue photos and info
updated 28 Dec 2008 - added Marks photos from the gig
updated Dec 2014 with punters comments on the smashing of Pauls bass guitar
updated 29 March 2016 -added NY times reviews

cdr - unknown gen - distorted - sound 2.5 - 69min - 21 tracks
distorted in part but ok'ish

First night at the Palladium

The first of their double nighter at the New York Palladium is usually overlooked in favour of the very well known second night. This is a shame as the performance here is just as strong, if not better than the next night.

According to Johnny Green’s book Joe almost didn’t get in to do the gig as he was stopped by security with no stage passes! The glitterati were there again as on their Pearl Harbour Palladium debut but there was a greater buzz to these concerts in keeping with the Clash’s growing US profile. Thus as well as De Niro and Debbie Harry again, they had Bianca Jagger dancing at the side of the stage.

The rich and famous were allowed backstage after the gig, a situation the band insisted is changed to the fans on the second night. ABC TV recorded a 20/20 show documentary, which Paul Morley details in his
NME piece. Ray Lowry (see link) reported the 1st night crowd loved it, applauding and shouting for 10 minutes after White Riot.

Many thanks to Mark from Medford, New York who has supplied us with photos from the Thursday night show. 


This was the first of the two concerts at the seated and sold out Palladium on New York’s 14th Street.

The 3,800 seater Palladium on New York’s 14th Street was an old converted theatre, as ornate as London’s Lyceum but sleazier with drug pushers plying their trade outside. Thanks to Sukwoon Noh (it was his first Clash gig) for providing the following recollections of the Palladium;

You can see the ol Palladium inscription in the left photo above the montage on the facia.

"In the 70's and 80's the Palladium was THE place in NYC. That's where all the great new wave bands played. I saw the Jam, Joe Jackson, Ramones, David Johansen and few others. It was essentially a movie theater converted into a concert hall.

Main floor and the second level called the loge. It has since been demolished and in place stands a high-rise. The street level is now an electronic store called 'PC Richards' and the upper levels belong to NY University's dormitory. Only 1 block away from the Irving Plaza [where Joe played with Meskies in 99 & 2001]"

This a low generation, quality audience recording but seriously spoilt by bass drum and guitar distortion/amplification problems. A shame as this could have been a great recording. But if you can cope with this distortion and turn bass controls down its an enjoyable listen. Vocals are least affected, then guitars which are not upfront in the mix, losing some of the power of the performance.

As the reggae track spun by Clash DJ ‘Scratchy’ Myers fades Safe European Home blasts out at near deafening volume to the assembled congregation of famous faces and sussed New Yorkers. “With my hand on my heart!” Joe shouts over the intro to I’m So Bored With The USA.

The performances are intense and Joe’s clearly up for it although his voice sounds a little hoarse. Joe addresses the crowd before an excellent London Calling trying to get more reaction from a not audibly excited audience “ first of all there’s more of you up there, than down here, this is a new song London Calling to the faraway towns”.

The sound problems badly affect Koka Kola;”Now ladies & gentlemen in the gleaming corridors of the 51st floor distortion …”. Joe unusually sings the third verse of Jail Guitar Doors with different words. Joe introduces an excellent English Civil War with” This is about our 5th show, Mick’s been dragging out an acoustic guitar for this one, but we couldn’t get one in New York, one that works, this is the one they booed us for in New York for not being more like Ted Nugent!”

Mickey Gallagher begins his contribution earlier in the set now with Stay Free; “you lot can’t see him over there, Mr Mickey Gallagher of the Blockheads”. Clampdown like all the new songs is sounding better and better, getting knocked into shape by the live performances.

There is an edit before Police & Thieves where after the sound dips due to a deterioration of sound in the right channel. Before Wrong Em Boyo Joe says “ok now this is something all the hipsters in London, really think their hip on this, so I want to know what you think”. Mick sings the guttersnipe section of Garageland maybe because Joe’s gone in the crowd or climbing the PA stack. It’s the usual encore with the crowd left shouting for more.

... I was at the Palladium show (their first in NY?), 4th row on the aisle, thank you! I was 14. I can still see them exploding off the stage during the opening chords of Safe European Home.... Dave

From: Robert Damon <rdamon[at]>

Hi, I was at that show. I was fifteen, and what I remember mos was that the Clash wouldn't come out until the audience properly applauded for Sam and Dave. They kept sending Cosmo out to tell the audience "Let's hear it for Sam and Dave!"

The audience was luke warm to booing, I think because of all the buzz about the first night, but they finally understood that the Clash weren't coming out until Sam and Dave received a proper ovation, so they gave them one.
Robert Damon


Dave Marin <dwmarin(at]>

The September 21st date makes for a great legend. After all it was the night of the WNEW-FM simulcast of the concert and, based on the London Calling album credits, the night of the Paul Simonon bass guitar smash at the end of White Riot - captured in an iconic photo taken by Pennie Smith. Only problem is that he smashed his guitar the night before - I witnessed it on the 20th, also at The Palladium, with my own eyes.

The guitar he smashed had the word PRESSURE stenciled on it (photos of the smashed bass are easily found here and other sites online) and uploader "Mydeathlok" YouTube video shot 9/21 taken from an ABC "20/20" documentary on new wave/punk rock (the date of this video is confirmed on this website via Paul Morley's NME review) CLEARLY shows Paul playing a bass WITHOUT the word "pressure" (because he smashed that one the night before). (It's harder to make out on a 2nd video uploaded by "drug stabbing time", also on YouTube, but I don't see the word pressure on Paul's guitar in that video either).

Joe's shirt determines the actual date of the photo...

On the 21st Joe is wearing a solid BLUE shirt as both videos referenced above (as well as photos on this website) proves. EVERY PHOTO FOUND ONLINE (I.e. Getty Images, this site) TAKEN ON SEPTEMBER 20th shows Joe wearing a pink/purple shirt with abstract white lines AND IMPORTANTLY, a BLACK BREAST POCKET. This same black pocket shirt is visible in Pennie Smith's own photographic contact sheet of the before and after moments surrounding the bass SMASH, which was included in the booklet that came with the 25th anniversary "legacy edition" reissue of London Calling.

Also, besides the photos and video that prove the date was September 20th, there is AUDIO (found on the guitars 101 bootlegs website) from 9/20 where you can actually hear the thumps of the guitar smash. And if you listen to the entire 9/20 show it is evident that that show was not nearly as good as the 9/21 "WNEW" show, and it was Paul's frustration with the performance and poor audience reaction, that caused him to smash his guitar. Finally, the WNEW DJ's (richard neer and Pam merly) make NO MENTION of seeing the smash in their post concert commentary on the 21st.

Maybe one day the album credits will be corrected.


Safe European Home
I’m So Bored with the USA
Complete Control
London Calling
White Man In Ham Palais
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
Jail Guitar Doors
The Guns Of Brixton
English Civil War
Clash City Rockers
Stay Free
Police and Thieves
Capital Radio
Wrong ‘Em Boyo
Janie Jones
Armagideon Time
Career Opportunities
White Riot

New York Times review
Robert Palmer

A Riot of Our Own pg194

Photos from the 20th
Many thanks to Mark from Medford, New York who has supplied us with photos from the Thursday night show.

Ira Robbins - Creem Magazine
The Clash
One thing for certain about a Clash concert—there's no chance or it being slick or standard. In New York during their second American tour, the fearsome foursome—survivors of enough self induced setbacks to stop an army-proved they have reached a level where it's not how good they are at any particular gig, it's how hard they work to make it good...

Clash in NYC- Waiting for Ivan
Melody Maker 6 Oct 1979
Mary Harron
ACCORDING to reports, it / was a hot. dead, airless summer in New York City. With nothing much happening on the local music scene, excitement centred on the English visitors. The Gang of Four were ecstatically received, scoring over the Buzzcocks, while Eddie and the Hot Rods -found a kinder welcome than they do at home...

Clash Bites Apple
Van Gosse, Melody Maker,
29 September 1979
FIRST time here, in February, the Clash were merely grand. The energy was awesome but the music was more volume than anything else; in the end it was just oatervating...

The Clash/Undertones/
Sam & Dave: The Palladium, NYC
Andy Schwartz, New York Rocker,
November 1979
THIS REVIEW is being turned in weeks late, and I know why. After all these years and all these bands, all the disappointing second albums and bum gigs and sad declines – after all that, it's still like a dagger in the heart to be let down by a band you once loved.

Ebet Roberts 4 photos from gigs

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.