Clash Take the 5th Tour
The Clash with Joe Ely & The Skunks

On Stage at the Armadillo


No known recording exists.


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 Lowry says the heat was scorching...

JoeEly.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.

Joe Ely's acordian player runs a web site which lists the bands dates.

The Clash at the Alamo

Reprinted in the Austin Chronicle Dec 2002

All the Young Punks

In June 1979, the same week John Wayne died, the late Jeff Whittington started off his weekly column in The Daily Texan with a list of groups that would be competing in Raul's Battle of the Bands. Top prize was $300 and an opening slot for the Clash at Armadillo World Headquarters.

Unfortunately, Jeff erroneously included the name of my band, the Skunks. The following week he wrote a retraction: The Skunks will not be playing in the upcoming Raul's Battle of the Bands.

According to bass person Jesse Sublett, "Billy Blackmon said, 'No,' Jon Dee Graham said, 'We are disqualifying ourselves,' and I say, 'Why would we want to open for the Clash? Don't you think the Clash would think a New Wave Battle of the Bands is a quaint idea?'" I was cocky then. The Skunks were one of the top draws in Austin in those days.

We'd rocked CBGB and other hip meccas in NYC. And truthfully, I wasn't a big Clash fan. After hearing Give 'Em Enough Rope and the Cost of Living EP, I saw the light. Contrasted with the Sex Pistols' fuck-everything ethos, the Clash actually had heart and soul and roots.

They rocked just as hard (maybe), and they were a left-wing buzz saw during the Strummer and Ely (kneeling) backstage at the Dillo photo by Ken Hoge Reagan/Thatcher era. Who remembers who won that battle of the bands? Ironically, the Armadillo gave the Skunks the opening slot anyway.

Backstage at the Armadillo

They liked us, and on shows like these, they depended on the Skunks to help fill the house; although with Joe Ely in the middle slot, it probably wasn't necessary. That night our set went over like gangbusters. Ely got the house swinging with his soaring Lubbock band, then the Clash blowtorched the place.

They were a whirlwind, a force of nature, the loudest band I'd ever seen at the 'Dillo. The night was already unforgettable, but afterward the Skunks had a gig at the Continental Club. Concert overflow and rumors packed the joint quickly.

In the middle of our first set, Mick Jones, Topper Headon, and Joe Ely wanted to jam. We fixed them up with guitars and launched into Ely's "Fingernails. " The crowd roared. Afterward, I led them in "Route 66," "You Keep a Knockin'," plus some Kinks and Stones covers. Mick Jones was fabulous at slashing out three chord anthems, while Topper Headon bashed hard.

Ely played with his usual ferocity. Jon Dee and I kicked our usual overdrive upward several notches. Anyone who was there could tell you, it was the kind of night that rekindles your faith in the power of rock & roll.

The music was hot enough to blow the hat off a die-hard cosmic cowboy. In fact, one guy in the audience that night was Roger One Knight, an old Austin hand, a stalwart friend of Willie who never went anywhere without his cowboy hat and was skeptical of all this "New Wave/punk stuff.

" The day after the Continental jam, Roger got a cool haircut and started leaving that Stetson at home

-- Jesse Sublett

Jones and Strummer (front center) at "Buddy Holly High."
photo by Joe Ely

Reprinted in the Austin Chronicle Dec 2002

Four Horsemen

By the time Joe Ely and his frontline of Jesse Taylor, Smoky Joe Miller, Ponty Bone, and Lloyd Maines got through dousing sonic gasoline all over the Armadillo stage, it only took one musical match from the Clash to burn down the house. In almost 10 years of going to shows at the former roller rink, this might have been the finest ever.

Austin was so hungry for true punk, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that this might be the show of 1979. It was even better. Combining the ferocious combustion of drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon -- the secret hero of the band -- and bassist Paul Simonon with the fervent antics of singers Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, the Clash was the most exciting group in the world at that moment. Songs like "White Riot" and "I'm So Bored With the U.S.A." came across as religious screeds, turning the band's concerts into holy rock & roller tent revival gatherings.

The most impressive surprise about the night was how strongly the band played. So much of punk is based on nonmusical assaults that watching this quartet work its muscular magic was nothing short of mind-bending. Then, just about the time it seemed like there was absolutely no way for the quartet to top itself, they pulled out brand-new songs like "London Calling," "Wrong 'Em Boyo," and "Clampdown" with a dazzling swagger to suggest we hadn't seen nothing yet.

The concert really felt like one of those wonderful Fourth of July fireworks shows where each night-sky blast is more breathtaking than the last. In a tip of the hat to Texas, the Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought the Law" finished everyone off with a neutron bomb intensity that left most of the audience gasping for breath and those who could still walk heading for the Continental Club. --

Bill Bentley

unknown

Gig Reviews

Lubbock Calling:
Joe Ely Remembers the Clash

Jesse Sublett
Austin Chronicle

Four Horsemen
Austin Chronicle

A Riot of Our Own p205

Mojo No.9 Aug 94 page 73

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

also check on the web

www.pontybone.com


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.