Clash Take the Fifth Tour
Supported by The Cramps & Dead Kennedys & Rebels

updated 7 March 2007
updated 5 Sept 2008
updated 5 Jan 2101 - added posters

Joe on Stage Kezar Pavillions 13 Oct 79
picture copyright

cdr 1 – upgrade – 2nd gen – sound 3 – 76min – 2gen – 24 tracks

cdr 2 – master – sound 4 – 76min – 2gen – 24 tracks

"PUNK ROCK HEART - Joe Strummer 1952-2003
By Annie Toone

The first time I met Joe was late '78 in San Francisco. I was 20 years old. The Clash were in town to play an actual paying gig at Kezar Stadium when they heard we'd set up a Rock Against Racism chapter in SF.

Joe immediately offered to do a free concert for RAR at the Temple Beautiful for all us real punx who couldn't afford the other one. Word of mouth spread like wildfire and the Temple was heaving by the time The Clash arrived. They rocked so hard. I still have my RAR USA t-shirt. Joe often said, "not above me or below me, always with me". He meant it. He NEVER changed."

The last recording from the Tour

The last recording in circulation from the successful Take The Fifth tour, which produced vintage Clash performances on the dates when the audiences responded in kind. The last gig of the tour was 3 days later at the PNE in East Vancouver where there was a mini riot midset and an extraordinary performance according to an eyewitness. This gig at Kezar produced a no less exhilarating performance and has gained legendary status in and around San Francisco.

Bill Graham the promoter who had a stranglehold on live music in San Francisco insulted the band backstage saying “Punk rock ain’t music it’s shit” with the result that a now increasingly wired Johnny Green attacked him. Not a wise move in view of the reputation of his security guys!

This gig provides us with the best sound version of the Clash live rarity, Be Bop A Lula. This Gene Vincent classic (and Neil Kinnock favourite) had been sung by Joe when in the 101’ers and its only other known performance was in Los Angeles 2 days earlier.

The Kezar Pavilion was erected in 1924 in Golden Gate Park, near famous Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco. It still hosts to this day basketball matches and concerts. It would have been favoured by The Clash as there is no fixed seating.

A member of the audience wrote;

The line of fans outside the pavilion was thick with colored and spiked hair, ripped t-shirts, safety pins through noses, dog collars, and leather, leather, leather. People yelled and jeered as they walked or drove by, and the crowd in line responded back in kind. Punk was just getting big in San Francisco, and the atmosphere was quite hostile to punks, who were regarded as "faggots" or worse.

We arrived early to get a good spot inside the show, which had been booked as "festival seating" (i.e., once inside, it was a free-for-all). We got within a person of the stage, and once the first band came on, it was Bedlam: arms flying, punches thrown, and people bouncing up and down frantically. The breaks in between bands were interminable, especially for those of us up front who were drunk, hot, dehydrated, and soaked through with sweat. In a misguided attempt to restore calm, a local radio geek was sent out to babble to the surly, unreceptive crowd who booed and cursed him, flipped him off, and threw shoes and other debris at him.

He goes onto say he got crushed when the Dead Kennedy’s came on and flattened literally by Jello Biafra when he jumped off the stage.

The best recording in circulation is from a 2nd generation source (poorer, higher generation recordings do circulate missing Police & Thieves) it has good clarity but a restricted range giving a mainly top end of sound. Guitars come through best and drums, organ and vocals are decent for an audience recording which suffers from the usual distance problems not helped by the cavernous sound of the venue.

Bass though is a problem giving an unfocussed, distorted and annoying thumping sound but which is easily remedied by turning your bass controls down. There is distortion/over modulation and hiss, which are worse in some parts than others.

Audience noise is not intrusive and there is no significant stereo separation. It is an enjoyable recording where Mick’s playing can be heard well still afflicted by the effects but packing considerable punch.

Mick with Pearl Harbour - Kezar Pavillions 13 Oct 79
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“Sorry to keep you waiting, this is NOT a Lou Reed show”, is Joe’s greeting to the already drained and tired audience before Safe European Home kicks off a highly energetic and powerful show. Joe is (as usual!) fired up offering add libs to the song and Bored With The USA continues the assault. “As you probably all heard we had a little problem and now we’re gonna exorcise it with a slice of London Calling” Joe gets mixed up with the lyrics repeating the unreleased lyrics “Its time to be tough, the midnight shutdown, who’s had enough”, Mick’s solo comes through well.

Joe’s sings his now customary verse on Jail Guitar Doors with lyrics made up for the night, but on this occasion it’s not clear what he’s on about! An edit loses Mickey’s introduction to the audience but restarts at Joe’s dramatic intro of Wrong Em Boyo; “Deep in the jungle of rhythm and blues, lurks a ghost, undiscovered by the future, forgotten by the past, on my left Mr Stagger Lee and on my right Mr Billy Liar, so you make sure this is a fair contest, no dirty tricks, no kicks below the kook (?) line and no punch up the poop chute and lets rock it!..”

White man, (“I’d just like you to use your imagination a little bit, you can transform this hall into the Hammersmith Palais”) is a very enjoyable performance despite Mick’s guitar effects making it sound like bag pipes on the solo. Next Mick screams out “1-2-3-4 like a man possessed, as a great Clampdown shreds the Kezar Pavilion with Joe keeping up the momentum on the ending section by shouting impromptu lyrics and screams. There are 3 separate tape dropouts on this song.

Joe announces that bizarrely the PA is on loan from the crooner Paul Anka. Julie’s Working for the Drug Squad makes a welcome return with Mickey’s tinkling on the ivories heard to good effect. An edit restarts with the opening chords of a terrific Clash City Rockers before Joe’s screams and “Woah’s!” announce another highlight of these later Take The Fifth shows, Police & Thieves. Mick delivers a lengthy fine solo followed by Mickey’s organ fills solo, the pace and volume falls then explodes again as Mick screams “coming in”. A great moment typifying the excitement of The Clash live.

Next “It’s me Mick, it’s about the nick in Brixton, called Stay Free”, with his end of song guitar codas right up in the mix. For most of the tour Mick had used an old hollow bodied electric guitar on this song with a result that it is hardly heard, so maybe this guitar had now been ditched. Mick’s solo on Complete Control comes through well here too.

Career Opportunities gets a unique and preamble “Just like to talk about some job opportunities a little bit…it’s a bottle containing angel dust, here’s the top, Ok give them their booze back, now Johnny Green come out here and it back, give it back Johnny” .As Johnny comes on stage Topper & Paul play a military drum roll intro from Johnny Comes Marching Home. Johnny then shouts into the mic “and I ain’t Freddie Mercury either!” What was that all about?!

It’s a great blast through the first album set closers to the encores. As an inventive Armagideon Time ends Mick plays the gentle intro to Capital Radio accompanied with light drum fills from Topper. The music pauses with feedback swirling around the Pavilion then a manic Mick screams “1-2-3-4” and Capital Radio shreds the audience. Tonight the song does not get the extended ad-libbed middle section and runs straight into White Riot.

The highly enthusiastic crowd won’t let the band go calling for a second encore, Joe comes back on and says “You gotta go home” there’s an edit and then its straight into a blistering Brand New Cadillac with Joe Ely adding some vocals or rather screams! Joe Ely continues to help Joe out on a heavy guitar drenched Be Bop A Lula. Great to hear The Clash tackling this rock’n’roll classic and a great performance ends on a high.

"The 79 shows, Santa Monica civic, Palladium and Kezar in the city (sf) were spit drenched, poseur, stage hopping affairs.....Vicious crowds. (Although the Santa Monica Civic has a place in my heart, as it was close to our home and we saw countless shows there including a wild Joe Strummer with Xander Schloss on lead concert in the late 80’s that was something special)

The punk thing was just happening in 79 and la was more orange county punk (black flag, circle jerks, germs etc etc) than san francisco. (Dead Kennedy’s etc). Which was more “authentic” punk than LA

The two cities hate each other, (still do) culturally, sport teams, you name it.. It must have been mind blowing for the clash to step into what is basically another world, California. A lot of anger from The Clash, it must have been hard to play with people spitting on you and jumping on the stage just to show off.

Still the energy, humor and wit of joe are what i remember best. For better or worse, all venues had no seating anywhere near the floor, so it was general crush down front. No mercy was shown to the weak."

Nearing the end of their highly successful Take the Fifth tour, The Clash and Dead Kennedys played the Kezar to a spit-drenched, sweat-soaked, high-flying crowd milling about in 'festival seating' [code word: chaos] accommodations. The atmosphere outside the auditorium was hostile, pitting punks in ripped t-shirts, leather accoutrements and spiked hair against horn-honking hoi polloi, and the atmosphere backstage hit a new low, or high, too, depending upon on one's viewpoint. Promoter and perfectionist Bill Graham insulted the British socio-political punk phenoms, saying "... Punk rock ain't music, it's shit..." prompting an attack by their already wired road manager, Johnny Green. Not a smart move, given the well-paid security backstage.

hi a quick note about your notes to the kezar pavilion-dead kennedys-cramps gig that the clash played. annie toone, who remembers the gig as the one before the temple beautiful unauthorized benefit show for rar (it was for new youth actually, of which rar was a part, i think).

anyway, she's confused the dates. the clash played the temple beautiful on february 8, 1979. the gig that they booked with bill graham presents was the night before at the berkeley community theater.

the kezar gig in october 1979 was noteworthy for two things: the clash played a bunch of songs from london calling, which hadn't been released yet. so along with the usual bad sound in kezar (it was best used by a summer basketball league), few if any of us had heard half the songs before.

the other thing was that the dead kennedys stole the show; they were absolutely superb that night - jello biafara (singer) was running for sf mayor at the time, and the band was playing almost every night. so they were airtight.

biafara jumped into the audience, and his clothes were torn off. he finished the set wearing just the elastic band on his underwear.
it was stifling in the place, and the clash didn't come on for another two hours i think (rumor was the simonon was missing for a while). by then the audience was tired and hot and wanted to go home. and the clash wasn't at ease with their material, yet.
anyway, mainly i wanted to correct annie toone's memory. she's got her facts right except for the dates.

sorry to bother you with this, i'm writing a book for publishing house continuum (33 1/3 books). it's part of a series about single albums. so i'm doing 50,000 words on london calling which is why i'm even thinking about this stuff.
great web site, thanks, tommy amano-tompkions


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
Julie s In the Drug Squad
Clash City Rockers
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
Complete Control
Career Opportunities
Janie Jones
Armagideon Time
Capital Radio
White Riot
Brand New Cadillac
Be Bop a Lula

Gig Reviews

Lubbock Calling:
Joe Ely Remembers the Clash

A Riot of Our Own p210

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.

The Clash - Kezar Pavillions 13 Oct 79
last two photos with
Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys)
picture copyright

FIRE DAMAGED (t-shirt for sale below):
(Advert) ... This item was part of Bill Graham's personal collection and shows some damage from the May 7, 1985 firebombing of his San Francisco office. The attack stemmed from Graham's open and honest criticism of President Reagan's visit to Bitburg Cemetery published in the San Francisco Chronicle.