The Clash Take the Fifth Tour
Supported by B-Girls, The Undertones

updated 10 July 2008 - added posters + punters view
updated 5 Sept 2008 - added punters view


non commercial cdr ' No Leafs or Thieves'
- 1st gen - Sound 3 - 73min - 22 tracks

video - Canadian TV; City Limits - after gig interview with Pennie Smith about torn out seating

* the clip is preceded by Tommy Gun which is mistakingly identified as the O'Keefe Centre. Tommy Gun was dropped from the Take the Fifth Tour Set List and furthermore the flags in background of the Tommy Gun video are from the earlier, Pearl Harbour Tour. Probably pulled from Canadian TV archives as the City Limits programme went out a few years later it was subsequently misidentified with the Pennie Smith O'Keefe footage. see The Clash - Rex Danforth - 20 Feb 1979


Arguably the best performance of the tour

Arguably the best performance of the tour; The Clash blast frenetically through the set 77 style, little or no breaks between songs. The Clash’s charged performance was a response to the audience who went berserk, smashing seats, gobbing, pogoing, invading the stage at the end in a reflection of 1977. Both Canada gigs similarly resulted in stage invasions, in marked contrast to the majority of US audiences who were restrained in their response, baffled by the new material.

Here at O’Keefe, Joe was in a foul mood, telling the audience mid set as much, ironically boosting the energy of his performance. Joe vents about hating this identikit punk reaction, a little unfair having actively encouraged other audiences to give back the same levels of energy the band were working hard to generate on stage. Lowry’s Canadian tour notes (see link) quote 30 seats as being ripped up by fans and that Joe made a “touching request to stop” spitting, although there’s no evidence of that here, so presumably that was Montreal.

The O’Keefe Centre

The O’Keefe Centre is the prestigious venue in Toronto; its feted modern architecture has hosted all the top names in the performing arts since it’s opening in 1960 (see pics). Indeed the web site of the 3,600 seater venue, now known as the Hummingbird Centre, gives a short potted history, identifying this particular Clash concert as one of its main highlights still, some 2 decades on, marking it out as a landmark event in Toronto music. The Toronto Globe and Mail reported the audience this night as a crowd of “exuberantly surly drunks”.

An excellent first generation audience recording

An excellent first generation audience recording known as ‘No Leafs or Thieves’ circulates and Clash fans owe a debt of thanks to its amateur taper for the quality of the recording. It is an audience recording but it suffers few of the problems normal to such recordings; vocals are unusually clear, bass is good too. Best of all are the drums, which are crystal clear; it’s a great recording for appreciating the talents of Topper’s drum work, which is powerful and inventive throughout.

The guitar’s come through OK too, including unusually Joe’s, but Mick’s lead work is back somewhat in the mix; a mixed blessing as all though it loses some of the guitar power of the songs, it reduces the effects of his loaded guitar work on this tour.

Overall it does have some echo/distance and a lack of pro sound quality. There is also little stereo separation but it remains one of the best Clash bootlegs certainly for performance but also for sound.

Other poorer tapes of a higher generation circulate with inferior sound and copying problems. The non-commercial cdr ‘No Leafs, No Thieves’ is certainly the one to check out.

The recording starts with DJ ‘Scratchy ‘ Myers fading out The Temptations classic ‘Papa was a rolling stone’, before a fired up Joe runs to the mike,”1-2-3-4 test test microphones”, followed by a banshee wail and its into a great Safe European Home.

I'm So Bored with the USA follows, with the bass line rumbling along brilliantly, the band tight and together, the only negative is the lead guitar is too far back in the mix. An excellent London Calling has some different lyrics in addition to the “midnight shutdown” ones; “in the grip of a play(?), the money is worthless and not getting paid”. Without a pause its straight into Jail Guitar Doors, with Topper’s drumming outstanding. Mick shouts “true story” before singing the Wayne Kramer MC5 verse.

Brand New Cadillac gets its probably live and certainly bootleg debut, a further example of The Clash making a cover sound like an original. The shouts for White Riot grow in frequency as Joe introduces White Man In Hammersmith Palais his first real address to the audience; “First of all did anyone come to see us in Toronto in February, (plenty of affirmative shouts), I was born in the Hammersmith Palais”

Capital Radio now early in the set has Joe talking over Mick’s gentle guitar intro; “like to turn on the radio, so no one listening to as this guy says capitalist radio, this is your hardest rock station, against the nation”. Its mayhem as The Clash, blast into a tight, fast, brilliant version with Joe announcing as the song drops down to just drum and bass “I am the only DJ & there are records I will not play and that is any record with a beat, and I ain’t talking about such Little Feat, any record dangerous to some, any record that won’t get on…”

Before English Civil War a clearly annoyed Joe says “its too easy to get into that kind of thing” but its not clear what exactly is getting to him, presumedly the spitting and aggro. Mick’s acoustic guitar work on this particular song is best heard on this recording, as it’s up front in the mix and really clear. Its played faster than in New York. Much faster still is Koka Kola, lasting a mere 90 seconds before segueing into I Fought The Law.

“Mr Mickey Gallagher from the Blockheads” is introduced before Clampdown, Joe sounding audibly angry, the end ‘jam’ loses the song’s momentum, a song still in need of a better worked out ending. Without a break its straight into Wrong 'Em Boyo, a definite highlight. There’s an edit before Guns Of Brixton [presumedly a tape turnover] and with Mickey in the set, his organ can now be heard to good effect.

Again Mick uses the old hollow bodied guitar as in New York on Stay Free and again as a result it can hardly be heard. Mick unusually makes some lyric changes on this one.

“I’ll tell you something for nothing, I feel pissed off… why? I don’t know, lets try exorcism, Mr Jones please hit me with The Clash City Rocker, lets move the townnnn”, Joe’s anger fuelling a terrific performance with Mick sharing the vocals.

Over feedback and the stage lights off the audience join Joe in screaming ,oooh aaagh, before Toppers drums crash out the intro to Police & Thieves. Its another fine performance but suffers a lack of power from Mick’s guitar due to a combination of his effects and the recordings mix. Joe rants incoherently over the ending though like old times.

Complete Control introduced by “this is an old song we put out in England, it was a miss” suffers again from the lead guitar shortcomings but is still very powerful and Mickey’s organ can be heard wailing superfluously in the background. Janie Jones thunders along straight into Garageland with Mick trading lines with Joe. The Toronto crowd scream for more.

Armagideon Time is getting tighter and more inventive with each live outing. The stage spotlights blind the audience as Career Opportunities raises the tempo back to full tilt Clash.

Finally the crowd get what they’ve been shorting for as Toppers drum solo intro announces White Riot. Voices are soon heard singing along with Joe as the audience invade the stage. Mick’s guitar soon stops, there are more and more voices, Joe continues to sing “are you going backwards and are you taking orders”, then drums and bass stops, then just organ as Joes voice tails off. A voice shouts “a riot!” various voices and shouts, “fucking promoter is shit, CPI sucks”, “wow, that was the best ending, can’t see the guy, fucking buried”, “pretty crazy for the O’Keefe Centre”.

The recording ends with the taper discussing buying a vcr and seeing Martha & The Muffins and then Gary Glitter comes on to clear the auditorium.

A great recording and a great gig.

"I saw that concert in Toronto [1979] -memorable night - however, I do not remember Bo Diddley being there - there were three bands - first up was "The B-Girls" - awful local band, if Bo Diddley was there he was up next -seem to remember The Undertones, but that may have been their next tour (I saw The Clash so many times, is hard to remember every band).. Definitely, definitely, The B-Girls were first band up,they were eventually booed off the stage."

"Best supporting band I ever saw with them was on Rock the Casbah tour when Black Uhuru opened for them at Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in Toronto. Terry Chimes had just replaced Topper Headon on drums."

I just found your site last week so I looked up the Clash gig I was fortunate enough to see - Toronto September 29 1979.....

I was the guy in front who was yelling at Joe to sing Capitalist Radio. I was standing on the seats in front leaning on Joe's monitor all night with what felt like 10 people on my back. I remember getting sprayed by Joe's sweat a couple times. He was wearing a sheriff's badge and a row of fake bullets on his shirt pocket. (During White Riot when we stormed the stage my friend Dave walked up to Joe and said " Joe I'm takin your bullets" and popped them off his shirt for a souvenir). Mick was wearing a red shirt and black pants with a safety pin on the left sleeve. Can't remember what Paul and Tops were wearing.

Anyway when Mick started playing the intro to Capitol Radio Two I started yelling "capitalist radio". Joe leaned down and said "Wot?" And I just yelled "Play capitalist radio". I recall he said "this guy wants us to play Capitalist Radio so we will" but the tape may prove me wrong on that.

I also seem to recall at one point Joe mentioned a radio station, could have been the OK station that sponsored the show CFNY or the awful classic rock station Q-107. He said he listened to it and it sounded like farting noises. Maybe that is on the tape too.

There is a picture from the gig on the London Calling LP just under the lyrics to Revolution Rock. My friend Maya is sitting on the stage as she did all night with her back to the camera, Joe has one brothel creeper up on the near monitor and with a little concentration you can see my very white arm supporting me on the other monitor. If the picture was a little bigger you could see the look of pain on my face as I support the crush of people standing on the seats behind me.

Joe didn't seem pissed off to me but I was so pumped to see the show I guess I didn't notice. I particularly remember Brand New Cadillac, Clampdown, Guns of Brixton and London Calling as new tunes. It was a fucking awesome show, probably the best concert I've ever seen.

Only two opening bands;B-Girls and Undertones, Feargal took off his shirt to impress us.

Love the site. Neill Vanhinsberg Vancouver BC

The Clash, Toronto, fall 1979

I was working in Ottawa at the time, for a major telephone monopoly, and had to get permission to miss a day and a half of work so that I could drive down to Toronto for this concert. The venue had been moved at the last minute, improbably enough to the O'Keefe Centre, which normally hosted the opera, and touring versions of big Broadway musicals.

First warmup act was the B-Girls, three charming young women who could neither sing nor play their instruments, doing a classic girl-group schtick with new wave overtones. We sat in our seats and peered around the people dancing in the aisles. Second warmup act was the Undertones, five kids about my age, about whom I knew nothing except the title of one of their songs, "Jimmy Jimmy". We moved ahead one section for them and stood. It was difficult to pogo to their music, and equipment problems plagued their set. After a while the lead singer threw down his microphone and stormed off.

When the Clash came on there was a rush for the front. We clambered up to the first section and staked out territory. It was the only time I saw a concert standing on the armrests, trying to keep the young woman pogoing on the seat in front of me from dashing her brains out on the floor. Behind me an Elvis Costello look-alike paced back and forth, ignoring the band, running his hands nervously through his hair. I could barely see the band through a bouncing curtain of bodies. The Clash dashed through their set, material from the first two albums, ending with "White Riot", at which point everyone swarmed the stage, all the equipment was tossed around, and the band disappeared abruptly as the house lights came on like a bomb.

I wrote about the concert in a prose piece with the idiotic title of "Sten Guns In Knightsbridge" (taken from a lyric on "1977", the B-side of "White Riot") which was published in the Imprint a few months later. The B-Girls never managed more than one single, "Fun at the Beach"; I could still sing you the entire thing. The Clash reached their peak with their next album, "London Calling" (which was not punk at all, except in spirit), then went through an embarrassing slide with "Sandinista" and "Combat Rock". I was to see them once again, at the CNE Grandstand on free tickets, and it was an awful show. Lead singer Joe Strummer appeared in a few ultracool movies by Alex Cox and Jim Jarmusch before evaporating; guitarist Mick Jones formed Big Audio Dynamite and is still making forgettable music.

The band that would leave the most lasting impression on me was, improbably enough, the Undertones. Their first album played a major role in a certain lost weekend of mine in 1980. They put out four in total, moving towards melodic pop, before calling it quits. One of the band members still makes vital and compelling music with the band That Petrol Emotion. Rykodisc has repackaged their work on CD; I bought their greatest hits package at Christmas in 1994 and discovered that, eighteen years after it was recorded, "Teenage Kicks" has lost none of its magic. I wish I could remember their playing it.

The O'Keefe Centre sustained $5000 in damage during the Clash concert, and a change in policy barred rock bands forever. No great loss. The place is a barn. Changing its name to the Hummingbird Centre did nothing for the acoustics.

Just a minor correction to Neil Vanhinsberg’s comment on the September 1979 Clash show in Toronto. Neil writes:

"I also seem to recall at one point Joe mentioned a radio station, could have been the OK station that sponsored the show CFNY or the awful classic rock station Q-107. He said he listened to it and it sounded like farting noises. Maybe that is on the tape too."

That actually happened at the Clash’s previous Toronto appearance, in February 1979, at the Rex Theatre. That show was promoted by Q-107, and they were the target of Joe’s ire. (I actually even mentioned the comment in a review of the February show I wrote for issue no. 2 of the Surfin’ Bird fanzine. Good luck ever finding a copy of that!)

The reason I’m sure about this is that I was at the February show in Toronto, but not the September show. I was living in the US by then, and saw them on the September tour at the Palladium in NYC, with the Undertones and Sam and Dave on the bill.

Cheers. Tycho MansonToronto, Canada

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

Gig Reviews

A Riot of Our Own pg200

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.