Clash Take the Fifth Tour
Supported by Joe Ely Band

updated 12 Feb 2012 - added photos

cdr -from 2nd gen – sound 2.5 – 67min – 2gen – 22 tracks

The Clash in Texas

On October 4th The Clash enter Texas and pick up the Joe Ely Band who will be support for the Texas dates and Los Angeles. Ponty Bone, accordion player for Joe Ely lists the dates and has photos from the low key Lubbock show on his website Joe Ely remembers his dates with the Clash at .

Joe in particular was inspired by being in Texas and in Dallas certainly, The Clash deliver one of the best performances of the Tour.

The best recording in circulation is a good audience recording spoilt by over amplification/distortion, the taper presumably beaten by the legendary Clash sound levels.

The more the decibels rise, the greater the distortion. Despite this all the instrumentation comes through and vocals are quite clear. There is reasonable range and clarity from what appears to be a low generation copy.

With bass controls turned down the recording is enjoyable to listen to, and the performance very strong. There is plenty of crowd atmosphere which adds not detracts from the enjoyment.

A clearly charged up Joe launches into Safe European Home and into a new set list for the tour. London Calling is a highlight amongst all strong performances with Joe now adding the screams and cries heard on the album version. On Jail Guitar Doors Joe sings an impromptu verse about Hank Williams.

Wrong ‘Em Boyo and Mickey Gallagher appear early in the set and get the following introduction “this man here in the lame jacket is Mr Mickey Gallagher from the Blockheads, look at the shape of his head if you want proof! Ok this is something designed to confuse you, like you can say to each other is this love or confusion” The latter comment showing Joe’s unease if not for himself but for the audience of The Clash’s embracing of new musical and cultural influences as would soon be evidenced on London Calling.

Guns of Brixton has a shorter arrangement and drops Topper’s intro played in Atlanta. The consistently excellent Whiteman is introduced out of the London A-Z. “We’d like to continue in a groove down Hammersmith Broadway, turn left up the Shepherds Bush Road and draw alongside Hammersmith Palais”.

“Now we’d like to flex the big muscle one time, we’re gonna Clampdown, let’s flex the big muscle". Joe then adds mid song “Voices in my head they say Joe Strummer high time you made a run over the top...” Next its guitar swop time as Mick straps on the acoustic and Joe intro’s it as “Time to get the genuine instruments, this is called dining at the atomic holocaust”

“We get tired of people coming to see us and expect us to do things in certain ways, we get tired of this so we’d like to have a break from our commercial sponsor” as Koka Kola crashes in segueing into the audience favourite, I Fought The Law. The audience is loud and enthusiastic, Texans clearly having no problem relating to The Clash.

There’s an edit before Police & Thieves which is being extended now as on the Pearl Harbour Tour with Joe launching into a different improvised rant over the ending on each performance. “You’ve got to sing now you Texans, Sing you Texans sing, Scream you Texans scream”

Mick’s guitar effects are still in evidence cutting some of the balls out of the songs as they do here but its still a great performance. Joe’s rant encompasses the Kingston Ten, Hill Street Blues and “working on a Maggie’s [Thatcher] Farm, 20 dollars on Tuesday, it’s a long time to pay day, what I borrow last week I gotta pay back this week, so you see now I can’t find no way out… We were just listening to the music one fine day when along comes a ….Police car”

Its then a great frenetic first album charge to the encore with Career Opportunities, Janie Jones and Garageland.

Armagideon Time begins the encore in assured form before a shouted 1-2-3-4 launches straight into Capital Radio and Armageddon descends on the audience.

It’s Capital Radio’s first encore appearance losing its musical and spoken intro as previously on the tour but making up for it through its power and change of pace after Armagideon Time. Joe comes up with another new lyrical section “ Please can I get on the radio, I say forget it, you got a supply of 12 year olds, you got a supply of the world’s best cocaine & you gotta roll of dollar bills that big, you’re gonna need them all if you wanna get a record on the radio!”

“We’ve really got something special for you tonight” is Joe’s introduction of Joe Ely who sings vocals on his tune “I keep my fingernails long so they click when I play the piano”.

A suitably wild White Riot closes a fine performance and enjoyable recording.

the Joe Ely band the follwing night [7th] at their hometown
Rox Club. picture courtesy of


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

Gig Reviews

Lubbock Calling:
Joe Ely Remembers the Clash

A Riot of Our Own p205

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

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.