updated 22 May 2006
cdr - tape 1 - Sound 4 - time 106min - d-mast - tracks 26 42.41
cdr tape 2 Sound 4 less distant time 118 min - d-mast tracks 26
audio - Backstage radio interview with Mick/Kosmo 4.16min
audio - Rumoured there was a "Bonds Karaoke" disc floating around a long time ago which mixed out some vox from one of the shows. WANTED IF EXISTS
video - Bonds TV News Reports short live clips and interviews from Channel 4 & 7 (on Clash on TV Vol.1) 6mins
Video - Clash on Broadway Reels - all the original reels have been found and are now with Sony. UPDATE1 The footage the footage that was found is very expensive to transfer. Don hasn't yet ID'd the film boxes (03/2015). UPDATE2 On the Facebook page dedicated to the summer 1981 Nyc residence, from one Kevin Bud Jones that was hired by Don Letts to help shout ing The Clash on Broadway docufilm:"We shot one complete show with multiple cameras and a 24 track mobile recorder. We also shot most of every show with one camera and in house 8 track recording. The band wore the same gear every night and Topper was such a consistent drummer - and the band well rehearsed - that we were able to build edits from different nights with no trouble at all." (03/2015)
audio - Radio & TV News Reports a collection of news pieces reporting on the ticket crises at it happenned over the first few days- 25 mins - updated Jan 2009
Italy to New York
When The Clash landed at JFK airport in New York on the night of the 25th May 1981 they had no idea that their residency at a Broadway nightclub would create such a furore and nationwide media coverage that it became a pivotal event in their assault on America, helping to propel them into the major league Stateside. As Kosmo Vinyl has succinctly put it, People who didnt have straight trousers and short hair suddenly knew who we were. It got out it was big!. The Bonds concerts became one of the most enduring aspects of the Clash legend.
As the band made their way through JFK airport though, the prospect of the band playing 8 concerts (including an under 18 matinee) in the city had generated only limited media interest; only 12 reporters turned up despite Bonds laying on a bus for the event. Photos were duly taken of the band (with their ghetto blasters) and before they and their entourage set off for the Gramercy Hotel, the Clash prophetically promised New York something special.
It would be wrong to think that there was no excitement amongst the press at the bands visit (the New York Times had run a background piece a week before but it in no way compared to the excitement amongst the New York public. When tickets went on sale in early May, fans jammed the ticket office phones from the early hours.
Queues waited outside for 7 hours only to be told there were no tickets and to come back the next day! Bob Gruens book includes a photo of fans camping out overnight at Bonds in order to get tickets. For each of the 8 planned concerts 3,500 tickets were immediately sold.
Wall of Posters - Bonds ©1981 Bob Gruen -
Mountain to Mohammed
On Bernies return in February 81 the plan had been to tour European cities, then the USA and then the UK in autumn, Epic though refused to finance a US tour. Bernie came up with the idea of playing residencies in New York, Paris and London. Instead of the usual band travelling to the fans, it would be reversed or as Joe put it Its the mountain coming to Muhammad
The Clashs knowledge and growing interest in the emerging new black rap music was way ahead of the vast majority of their white fans. Their choice of support acts was typically daring; at Bernies insistence they had to be culturally interesting and progressive.
The seven-night stand at Bonds International Casino at Times Square (now the Virgin Megastore, if you're curious) figured a varied support. In one of those acts of passionately awkward idealism which characterized the Clash's career, they booked opening acts against punk type: rappers Grandmaster Flash and the Treacherous Three, The Sugerhill Gang, Funkapolitan, Lee Perry, Texan bard Joe Ely, and a forgotten horn-section-and-skinny-tie band called the Nitecaps. And, plucked fresh off the stage of CBGB's, Miller Miller Miller & Sloane and a KRAUT who had formed 3 weeks earlier with only 3 demo songs and who never played live. Plus bands that showed The Clash’s continuing identification and admiration for punk; The Dead Kennedys, The Fall, The Slits, and The Bloods (not to mention The Brattles!)
New York Radio Station WNEW sponsored the Clash at BONDS Casino in Times Square.
Addendum: A strike in Britain had left 5 British bands in the UK and only 3 managed to make it with the Clash. Only the Slits, Funkapolitan and The Equators, who were slated for the matinee shows, made it. Left behind were the remains of Selector, The B-People , The Bell Stars, Aswad and most of all Theatre of Hate whom Mick had produced their debut album.
American bands slated included The Bush Tetras, ESG a womans funk band from New York. They had requested Kurtis Blow but Mick said he 'was tro expensive'!
Futura 2000, real name Lenny, a graffiti artist from Brooklyn was among the Bonds crowd (also including Gerb, Kiley Jenkins, Josh Cheuse) that befriended the Clash and introduced them to Fab Five Freddie and the local hip-hop world. Futura collaborated with the Clash first by spraying graffiti behind them (notably on the Tom Snyder show) and then by performing a rap on tour later in 81, which they later recorded together.
The Clash deserve greater recognition as the first white band to intertwine the new Black culture of hip hop, break dancing and graffiti into the group and their live shows. The Clashs musical distillery was a catalyst for change. White rock fans at Bonds got their first taste of what was happening in the Bronx and Harlem.
Magnificent Dance, much to the bands pleasure was getting repeated plays on black station WBLS. Pearl Harbour, now with Paul was DJ for the Bonds shows and got plenty of stick for playing a diverse range of music that reflected the bands (if not the audiences) tastes.
Maybe not surprisingly many of those watching Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five on this opening night at Bonds found this new culture clash too much to accept. TV news reports from this opening night show missiles being thrown at the stage and fans booing and shouting abuse. The Clash were embarrassed and angry at the reaction of their fans, and on the second night Mick dedicated Magnificent Seven to Grandmaster Flash without them this song may not have existed.
Thanks to Laura for the following info on the Sirens...
From: "Laura DJ" <dejesuslauraann-at-gmail.com>
i noticed you have the sirens on the tour date list from 81 as playing with treacherous three, that's not true, I was one of the Sirens, the guitarist, and we played after Grand Master Flash, and before the Clash.
It was my idea to support the Clash. My manager charlie martin who built the sound system at CB's and Bonds was getting directions from the owners/managers who were in jail (studio 54 fame) and i had read an article in the nme or soho news or one of the music papers of the day and joe strummer said in the article they like all girl bands opening up for their shows. So i ran over to charlie showed him the article and suggested he get on the phone and reach out to his contacts and get the clash. The rest is history. He did it and we opened their first show at bonds. Grand Master Flash opened for us!
Fans who were there...
There are though differing opinions on why the fans booed, reflected by two contributors to Satchs Forum who were in the audience:
I had tickets for all 8 of the original Bonds Performances. I was right up front opening night when the club was overpacked by double. Quite a few people passed out and had to lifted and surfed to the stage area to be removed. Bouncers were passing out jugs of water to the front.
It was then that the rappers went into a tirade of "The Clash asked us to be here. They wanted us to perform". Though I love GF&TF5 they couldn't be any worse live. To be squeezed into a sardine can, and hear a pounding bass drum and nothing else was more than anyone should bear.
I LOVE Grandmaster Flash, and they were AWFUL. As a matter of fact they were beyond awful. It wasn't racism, it was a matter of an over packed house and a group that wasn't making music, it was barely noise. What would you call listening to a kick drum for 10 - 15 minutes? I saw them a few years later on Long Island where the levels were decent and you could understand what they rapped. It was great.
Leaving, I literally couldn't stand up straight; there were fire marshals at every door. Since I had tickets for the original 8 nights bought at Bonds, my ticket was not valid the following evening. But, I saw 8 shows, and they were all fantastic.
Grandmaster Flash did open for the boys at Bonds. I was there and thought it was really closed-minded and small the way the crowd reacted. They wouldn't even give basic courtesy. Grandmaster Flash was right; the Clash did ask him to play, and frankly the reaction of a white crowd to an inner city act like that had to smack of racism.
Press concert reviews
The temperature inside was very hot, some people were fainting, the official count was 3600 but The Clashs crew estimated it at more like 4,500. Although crowded the concert went off without any problems.
Stephen Holden writing in the New York Times 30th May 'Clash Melee Points Up Danger of Overselling' wrote of the concert; The Clashs power comes from their ability to turn song after song into a political and spiritual rallying cry with a tremendous rhythmic propulsion and emotional immediacy. Rather tempered by Their exclusively political stance is as limited as their melodic range, which is not much better than Three Blind Mice In concert 9/10ths of their lyrics are unintelligible.
A further press review from an Unknown source: The sound was abysmal, with only Topper Headons whiplash drumming surviving the trebly collision of guitars and vocals waffling around the hall. A highlight was correctly identified as Radio Clash going straight into Complete Control.
The Bonds Residency is well covered by the existing Clash biographies by Gray, Gilbert and Needs and no doubt will feature in Chris Salewiczs authorised Joe Strummer biography.
Chris wrote in Mojo in 94 that the Bonds residency was the apex of The Clash, who in Manhattan in the summer of 81 simply seemed like the most perfect rocknroll group in the world and those 2 weeks the perfect rocknroll time the audiences went crazy for The Clash in a way Id never seen a more reserved British audience behave, even truly crackers crowds like those at the Glasgow Apollo
This group was a powerhouse, tight tough and immeasurably confidant. You were struck by their virtuosity, their power and the variety of the material. You had no doubt that The Clash was the best rocknroll group there had ever been
Like other post gig interviews at Florence and Paris, Mick is very candid, and confident enough to spell out the politics of the Clash more openly.
Backstage at Bonds ©1981 Bob Gruen -
Mick complains about the sound at Bonds and there's a quick resume of the Fire Marshalls attendance at the gig where Mick like many is caought in the confusion "I think we have a bit of a problem about the number of people supposed to be here, mmm [pause] I dunno [confused]"
The interviewer blind to the events about to unfurl moves on to the political aspect of the gig and representatives of the Democratic Revolutionary Front of neighbouring El Salvador who were allowed to make a short statement whilst the band played on whilst leaflets were dropped.
The interviewer expands on this support asking Mick about Central Amerca and the need to bring to people's consciences a message which the media don't want or are unwilling to.
At which point Kosmo, says sorry and interupts the interview to speak to Mick, says he has spoken to Paul and Joe and speaks about the problems though it is difficult to hear what he is says. He suggests one show tomorrow and see what happens then they'll look elsewhere to play. He says "deal" and Mick replies "yeh deal". Kosmo adds they can go on and do an couple of extra shows.
He tells Mick that Bernie is outside the front door [freaking] out and Bernie had said to Kosmo 'This is the last time I speak to you as a Clash employee' but Kosmo tells Mick what he said in reply; "It doesn't matter cos I rarely got payed". Mick laughs and turns to the interviewer, faced with the escalating opening night problems, in a matter of fact polite way suggests "end of interview then".
TV cameras from 2 channels covered the concert for the news channels on the opening night and good quality video dubs circulate on Clash On TV Vol.1. Channel News 4 has live clips of Armagideon Time, Bankrobber and Im So Bored With The USA.
Seperately there is footage that includes the press conference and nearly all of London Calling uncut with the band in the dressing room, running up the stairs and on stage, though this may be a mix of the opening press conference and Don Letts footage from the 9th June.
Clash on TV [also booted identically as TV Calling]Clash on TV begins with a classic Joe interview clip - Everywhere, everything is no good, everybodys walking around going this is no good, everything is gone wrong cuts to a live clip of Brand New Cadillac, then back to Joe So theres no time to stand around with some nice pair of velvet trousers on going on about what youre gonna do to your women tonight! Paul is also interviewed about their support of political issues.
Channel 7 live has short clips of London Calling and Magnificent Seven, and includes an interview clip with Kosmo. It also shows missiles being thrown at Grandmaster Flash.
These reports though broadcast on the 29th have live footage definitely from the 28th May, last night as it states on screen and then goes onto say If you want to see them tonight you must have ticketron tickets and talks about the situation prior to the City Building Department closing Bonds indefinitely on the Saturday 30th morning which resulted in the mini-riot when the matinee crowd were turned away.
Footage form the 9th [aka Don Letts CoB footage]
Clash on Broadway [Westway DVD Bonus] The Clash on Broadway found on Westway DVD extras is certainly the best. It contains London Calling, which seems to be dubbed again from the 9th but from the radio broadcast version with Micks vocals in the mix? Most of London Calling features.
Interspersed with Dons New York footage CoB then includes most of Guns of Brixton which is part dubbed. Quite of lot of Safe European Home which is dubbed with the original studio version. Only when we get to nearly full versions of Charlie Don't Surf and Radio Clash is the original sound.
There is footage of the press conference and nearly all of London Calling but this circulates seperately.
This starts with press conference, backstage, 16 Tons play on, London Calling nearly full [probably the same length as Westway? but the sound plays on to a montage of NYC/Clash pictures]. The sound is remixed from [Trick or Treat bootleg] radio broadcast from the 9th June as Westway.
MTV Rockumentary is same as Westway/Clash on TV/Essential DVD but with only very edited clips of the press conference and London Calling. Nothing new except a couple of comments form Mick and Paul.
Photos taken from the 9th further corroborate the date of the TV footage classic rock concert photos. Pauls in a turquoise vest and black leathers, Mick in white trousers and red shirt and Joe in all red.
Clash on Broadway never released
The press conference was held on the 27th in Bonds foyer and shots from it including Micks sell out explanation are shown in Clash On Broadway on the Westway To The World and Essential Clash DVDs. Sadly Toppers sacking appears to be the reason this film was never released; in May 82 it was reported in the press that the film was almost complete and would shortly be released. But shortly after he was sacked, Topper took out an injunction preventing the release of the film and it went into storage and was later destroyed. What is left of the film though does capture the excitement, the chaos and the cultural changes of the Bonds residency very well.
Clash on Broadway film UPDATE
Update: March 2007. Researchers for the Julian Temple Strummer film, The Future is Unwrtten unearthed the full set of reels shot by Don Letts. Of which over 90% was recoverable. They had been kept in a garage lock in South London for over 25 years.
They turned up purely by accident. The whole load of film reels that had been originally shot on 60 millimeter for a film called Clash on Broadway. The film, shot in New York in 1981, was principally going to be a clash movie. However it never actually got finished. The only version of the film that existed was a cutting copy as described above in the various releases, it wasn't great quality.
The film researchers heard about a man who lived in South London, and he had a whole lot of film reels and he wasn't quite sure what they were. They visited him at his house and he told the story about he how he acquired these film reels, not neccessarily by straight forward means, he just had them. And for oer 25 years he sat on them. He kept them in his cellar, he did move house several times but always took them with him. There are 50 film reels from clash on Broadway. It includes amazing footage like The Clash visiting Martin Scorsese on the set of king of comedy. A real find.
We at BMC just hope that all of it and we believe there may be about 20 hours worth, finds its way into some bonus DVD.
message posted recently on Clash City
"I was told by the film makers that all the reels had turned up but they didn't know what state they were in. They had been sat there in a lock in South East London for 25 years. When I got told they said they had possession of them and they were nervous as to whether they were preserved or not. A week later I got an email saying most of the reels where ok. About 5-10% may be lost.
"Well, I collected 40 film reels and am planning to go and look at them next week. Some are pretty badly damaged and I don't know yet if they are repairable. It's certainly not all the rushes either but it looks like most of them are there. The Clash aren't aware yet that we have these - it seems premature to be telling them if the footage is in too bad a state to use, but it all looks hopeful. I'll keep you posted."
"Not much is damaged. The garage film footage of CO Broadway is mostly fine, the only damaged stuff is not live footage. I watched everything but only had a limited amount transferred to tape as it was so expensive. There was quite a lot of Bonds stuff in the Clash on Broadway rushes that I found. "
"Regarding the Clash on Broadway release, who knows - the rushes will probably be handed back to Sony as they are the joint rights holder along with the Clash so who knows? But it's going to need a lot of restoration before that - it's a big job."
"I worked for the Clash during the Summer of 1981 Bond's shows. They filmed everything for the intended "Clash on Broadway" film...you couldn't take a leak without a camera in your face.
As I understand it the project was trashed when the band split up (I think it was when Topper left) shortly after the tour, and they were never able to work out the legal details while everyone was feuding. Noam"
Willing to help the cause the band agreed to let them man a stall at the venue, but were reportedly unwilling to take the stage to make speeches. However on this first night at Bonds, during Washington Bullets, a member of the Democratic Revolutionary Front was allowed to make a short statement whilst the band played on (see later Gig review).
A brief shot of them can be found on Westways Clash on Broadway outside with flags.
Leaflets were reportedly dropped from the ceiling. The Clashs political stance was stressed still further by the song segueing into Im So Bored With The USA.
Alan Lewis in Sounds challenged Joe on the contradictions in their support of such a cause but Joe responded I have no confusion about this. I know what Im here to do and Im doing it
Following their appearance at the Palladium in 1980 The Clash had refused to play in New York unless they could play in a venue they thought suitable, i.e. an unseated dance hall. In February, Bernie and Kosmo had come to New York to seek out a suitable venue and agreed on Bonds which seemed ideal; it could hold 4000 with minimal discomfort (fire exits would prove the problem) but it was comparatively intimate and had character (art deco interior).
It was a former mens department store with a lino floor and beams and a makeshift stage. Local promoters could not understand why The Clash did not play a couple of nights at Madison Square Garden (16,000 capacity) like everyone else. Indeed Chris Salewicz was asked to write a piece for Soho News to find the story behind the story!
The doors opened at 8pm, we went up a carpeted spiral staircase surrounded by barbed wire and Mooseheads. We went into a large lobby and bar, with Clash concession stands. Through a large bank of double doors we located the dance floor, strobing lights - stunning glow in the dark things, half inflated silver spacemen hanging through trap doors in the ceiling. The dance floor itself was huge with recessed balconies at 2 sides to handle the large number of techies apparently required to keep all the lights flashing and the mikes feeding back. The facilities at Bonds were dance or drop! There was absolutely no seating anywhere.
In the photo below Bonds is the low building on the right.
One major audience source for all 17 gigs
Remarkably recordings circulate from all 17 of the Bonds concerts. Most of these were recorded by the same taper and are of a similar quality; decent audience recordings that suffer from distance from the taper to the stage and the less than perfect acoustics of the venue. The quality of these tapes benefit considerably from them being transferred to DAT tape from the master analogue recordings. Professional recordings were also made for FM radio on the 9th June and by Epic on the 13th June (From Here To Eternity).
Encores from the 29th and 28th switched
The recording from the first night is a typical Bonds audience recording. Several different tapes have been credited to the 28th May but thanks to the TV reports live clips and press reviews it is possible to confirm the correct recording from the night.
1st tape, (DAT Master) incorrect encores
There are two seemingly different tapes from this night that are from different sources. The most commonly credited to the 28th May tape has the wrong encores added on.
A live clip of Armagideon Time on the News 4 TV report (itself confirmed as the 28th May) has Joe adlibbing the calculation, the computation.
These encores (from One More Time onwards) are found on the 29th tape (and the 28th tape encores are form the 29th).
Joe announces Armagideon Time as "Willie Williams' Armagideon Time". There is a lot of noise on the correct 28th encores and someone shouts "White Riot" leading into Armagideon Time (there is no shout on the the 2nd source). This tape also begins precisely at the beginning of a For a Few Dollars More intro.
Correct 2nd tape (alternate source)
The second tape begins with Barry Scartchy Myers (DJ) playing a few songs and then Morricone intro (For a Few Dollars More). The encores from the 1st tape are probably from the 29th May as the show ends again with Im So Bored With The USA, the final song on only the first Bonds concerts. Strangely the generally credited 29th May tape has the encores from the 28th but in lesser quality!
Better and more complete 2nd tape (DAT master)
The better 2nd tape is a good quality audience recording with all the instrumentation clear (although bass is low and blurred) except for the encores which have some noise problems. In terms of enjoyability is significantly affected by distance problems, i.e., a lack of in your face immediacy.
There are very different opinions on the quality of the Bonds performances. The widely held view, perhaps influenced by the residencys now legendary status, is that these concerts represent the peak of The Clashs live career. But a converse view is that the Bonds shows lacked fire, with the band playing on autopilot. Certainly the repetitive demands of playing 17 shows in 17 days at the same venue must have strained the bands ability to produce inspired performances to the limit.
Mick adds another variation on his intro to a fine Wrong 'Em Boyo and Bankrobber too exhibits subtle changes since the dates in Italy the week before. A powerful Somebody Got Murdered leads into the high-octane finale to the main set of Career Opportunities and Clampdown. Whilst Micks playing is excellent and Joe adlibs (limitations of the recording make them unclear) the performance does not approach the exceptional Clampdowns in Milano and Firenze. On tape 1 an edit cuts off the ending of Clampdown (and then restarts with the wrong encores!)
The first encore begins with a long but unexceptional One More Time that again does not quite deliver. The energy levels though peak again through Brand New Cadillac and then straight into Janie Jones.
The second encore begins with an introduction by Joe Next song were gonna try to sing is Willie Williams Armagideon Time. Joes evident good humour tonight (he begins the song adlibbing about Crunchie peanut butter) results in his performances tonight lacking the cutting edge that a mean and angry Strummer delivers! Later in the song, Joes adlib inspiration dries up as he shouts Fuck me, fuckin hell, then adds the calculation, the computation.
The final two songs are the most notable performances tonight and represent one of the most overtly political statements The Clash ever made on stage. Toppers drum beat intros Washington Bullets with Mick playing some gentle guitar licks with the melody. Mid song Joe shouts repeatedly El Salvador and then as the music continues a Member of the Democratic Revolutionary Front of El Salvador comes on stage to say A message from Central America, we bring revolutionary greetings because The Clash is the only rock group that supports a revolution in central America [cheers from audience]. We believe that nothing will stop our revolution, not even thousands and thousands of bullets from Washington.
Thank you. Joe cant help but joke Omah Sharif as the guy leaves the stage! The band continue to play as Joe intones Im so B
..D with the U.S.A then the song segues into a great I'm So Bored with the USA with an extended repeated final chorus.
I've been a Clash fan for a very long time. I had tickets for all 8 of the original Bonds Performances. I was right up front opening night when the club was overpacked by double. Quite a few people passed out and had to lifted and surfed to the stage area to be removed. Bouncers were passing out jugs of water to the front.
I LOVE Grandmaster Flash but they were AWFUL. As a matter of fact they were beyond awful. It wasn't racism, it was a matter of an overpacked house and a group that wasn't making music, it was barely noise. What would you call listening to a kick drum for 10 - 15 minutes?
Leaving, I literally couldn't stand up straight, there were fire marshalls at every door. SinceI had tickets for the original 8 nights bought at Bonds, my ticket was not valid the following evening. But, I saw 8 shows, and they were all fantastic. I saw them every tour since then, and they remain one of the greatest acts in R&R.
One night I was dying of thirst and Mick kept sipping from a large soda cup. So I kept looking at him and motioning for a drink (security would pass water to the crowd). Mick points to his cup and shakes his head no, but finally he gave in and it was RUM and a tiny drop of coke for flavor. I took a sip, passed it on and within a few seconds people were fighting over the cup.
Disclaimer: I was the NYC preppy punk, I was in Times Square all night queued up to buy Bonds tickets for the Clash in Spring of 1981. Yes of course I got seats, and no the riot wasn't because of the fire marshall's opposition. It was just to buy tickets.
The fire marshalls made Bonds double the number of shows because they had oversold their capacity. I saw the Ramones at CBGB in 1977 and I popped pills and acid at the Mud Club with my girlfreind Tina dressed in faux leopard skin. Except I went to college and golly gee, the teenage lobotomy did get his Ph.D. afterall.
I'm even in a punk revival band now twenty years later, and though my hair is long now, and I'm packing 185 lbs, I was only 145 painfully scrawney lbs then when I wore my hair short and spikey. Why do you care? Because the Clash discography wouldn't be the same without comments from one of those who was there when it happened.
The Joe Strummer movie has had me searching for Clash websites. I found yours, and it's great. Thanks for making it!
Towards the end of the run, there was a rumor going around that Mick Jagger was supposed to be coming to one of the shows.
One night we were called up to the "booth", which was really more of a private party room off to the left of the stage, and up a flight of stairs. The muckety-mucks were gathered. They informed us that Jagger was coming that night, and to be on our toes, keep an eye out for him, and direct him up to the booth.
Well, the show started, and the opening acts were done. I was posted as security Stage-Left. Ever since the Pit had been taken down, I had been being used at different locations depending on what was going on. Stage Left was where a lot of "guests" would channel in and out of, and this was a busy guest night. I was not in a good mood, and the Guests were all a royal pain in the ass. The opening bands had brought a bunch of people with them, and I had had enough of babysitting these leeches.
The Clash took the stage, and the crowd pushed forward so there were now "Guests" behind me trying to sneak from side-stage, to back-stage, and the constant flow of people in the audience who thought saying something cute would get them past me to the side-stage area.
I guess about 1/2 an hour into the set, some putz wearing a hat and jacket marches right up to the rope, and tries to push past. I put my hand on his chest, backed him up, and politely said that the "public was not allowed in this area". He ducked his head down and tried to push past again. I backed him up again, and said, "I am not kidding pal, this area is off limits." To my disbelief, the asshole goes for it a 3rd time...this time, I slid my hand up his chest, wrapped my fingers around his neck, and lifted him straight up off of the ground. I wasn't really chocking him, but rather using my hand against his jaw for leverage...it can be very intimidating to have someone pick you up by the neck. I am standing there, with this guy off the ground, he reaches for his hat and collar, pulls them both back to show his face, and croaks "please, you don't understand!"
I felt a little wave of nausea pass through me as it registered in my exhausted, drug addled mind that I was holding Mick Jagger off the ground by his neck. I immediately set him down, and did all of the appropriate appologizing and groveling. He was great about it...he said "No, no, don't worry about it, I know you were just doing your job...." and then he added the word "well" as he rubbed his neck. I showed him to the booth, and never heard anytghing about it from anyone, so apprently he did not tell anyone of the incident.
Hey, Love the site. I was lucky enough to see the Clash half a dozen times in 1981 and 1982--three nights at Bond's including opening night and the last matinee when we all got up on stage (my brother reminded me the other night of seeing me on stage singing "Jimmy Jazz" into Mick's mike and deciding he too had to rush the stage), Asbury Park in 1982, one of the nights with The Who @ Shea and a night in August 1982 at Red Rocks, a natural amphitheater in the Rocky Mountains outside of Bolder, Colorado.
The Bond's shows were remarkable, but the Red Rocks show was great too. The band opened with "White Riot" Mick, Joe and Paul beginning with their backs to the audience and wheeling around at the mikes just in time to nail the opening vocals.
Also, Allen Ginsburg came out to do his "Ghetto Defendant" rap (he was chairing a symposium at the Naropa Institute in Bolder on the 25th anniversary of the publication of On the Road which I was in town to attend). Amazing all around. Thanks for compiling this. Jason Chervokas
Bob Yawger says
Personally, even though I was only 16 years old, I was smart enough to realize I could not drink or hit the pipe because it was going to be a long night of fighting for my place infront of the statge and I would not be able to afford a trip to the bathroom. Once the doors opened, it was a mad rush to the front of the stage.
After many hours, the warm up bands came on and they were hounded off the stage. People were taking coins out of there pockets and throwing them at the band. It was viscous but of course, I never did throw anything.
Towards the end of the warmup bands, it started getting hot, and everybody was soaked. The Clash came on late, around midnight I beleive. And the show rocked!
I have been to well over a hundred shows in my life, I have played many sports and done some really cool things in my life, travelling the world and climbing the highest mountains. But to this day, I tell people my greates time ever was The Clash at Bonds Casino on May 28, 1981.
All my favorite songs. London Calling and Safe European Home to start things off. It was a giant wrestling match in front of the stage and I did very well. They banged out Radio Clash and the best for me was when Paul did Guns of Brixton. He was right in front of me. I could see every detail of his tatoos. Anyway, it was really hot, and a lot of people were passing out.
I was soaked through my clothes and close to passing out. On the way out the fire department were counting the number of people leaving the building. I ran across the street to the Burger King and pounded down two large root beers like they were nothing. I would see many great concerts after this one, but I never reached the level I was at at this show.
New York Times Review
...play on music: “6 Seconds To Watch” by Ennio Morricone, from For A Few Dollars More...Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five are among the opening acts...after the first gig of the original seven-show run, the NYC fire marshall orders the club closed for safety reasons; eventually, the shows are rescheduled to accomodate all ticket-holders...
A strike in Britain had left 5 British bands in the UK and only 3 managed to make it with the Clash. Only the Slits, Funkapolitan and The Equators, who were slated for the matinee shows, made it. Left behind were the remains of Selector, The B-People , The Bell Stars, Aswad and most of all Theatre of Hate whom Mick had produced their debut album.
There were two opening acts each night: one British or Jamaican and one American. Hopefully the correct artists are listed by the correct dates. Support Acts included Grandmaster Flash and the Treacherous Three, The Sirens, The Sugerhill Gang, Funkapolitan, Lee Perry, Texan bard Joe Ely, and a forgotten horn-section-and-skinny-tie band called the Nitecaps. And, plucked fresh off the stage of CBGB's, Miller Miller Miller & Sloane and a KRAUT who had formed 3 weeks earlier with only 3 demo songs and who never played live. Plus bands that showed The Clash’s continuing identification and admiration for punk; The Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, The Fall, The Slits, and The Bloods (not to mention The Brattles!). ESG a womans funk band from New York. The Rockets and the Equators were scheduled for the first matinee show which got cancelled.
I remember it being the NY Times magazine cover with Frank Sinatra in front of it. Those were exciting times.