Three weeks & 17 gigs that shook up New York and America.
last updated 22 May 2006
Straight to Hell CD etc - FM source Sound 5 - time 100 min master? tracks 24
FM Broadcast CD1 FM source (unknown radio) diff. Mix Sound 4 time 72 min tracks 18
FM Broadcast CD2 FM source (unknown radio) diff. Mix Sound 5 time 72 min tracks 18
FM Broadcast CD3 FM source diff. Mix (WNEW) Sound 5 time 72 min tracks 18
Audience cdr - clear - - aud. master - Sound 4 - time 97min - d-mast - tracks 24
From Here To Eternity - 4 tracks,
Clash On Broadway 1 track
1. Essential Clash DVD
2. Westway to the World BONUS footage DVD
3. video - 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. 5.38min
4. 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.
Great as The Clash were in the studio it was on stage that they were truly phenomenal; their incendiary live shows have been etched permanently on the memories of those lucky enough to have witnessed them. It is a great regret therefore that so few of their concerts were recorded professionally (especially in 76-79) and those that were as Joe often said did not capture them at their best.
We can be very grateful therefore that excellent hifi stereo professional recordings were made of the complete 9th June Bonds concert and in various often mis-dated forms these are the most widely circulating of all Clash bootlegs. Four tracks from this concert appear on From Here To Eternity and live video footage from this night appears in what remains of Clash On Broadway.
The Bonds residency is often cited as the peak of The Clashs performing career and there is plenty of evidence here to back up those who hold this view. The Clash were such a remarkable live phenomenon that even though the 9th June concert was not one of the best performances of the 17 with Joe sounding at times tired and hoarse, these recordings are never less than hugely exciting and enjoyable.
The strains of playing night after night at Bonds were starting to appear on the 8th and Joe actually voices this during an adlib in One More Time. Strummer though would not settle for second best least of all from himself and this recording is fascinating as it captures Joe wrestling with himself to overcome his clearly pissed off state, something he actually voices in an adlib during the Magnificent Seven.
Micks performance though is excellent (unlike his stoned contribution the night before) as is Pauls and Toppers and the truly excellent sound quality compensates for any drop in intensity on some of these performances and this remains one of the most enjoyable and essential of Clash bootlegs.
Of the 24 songs played 11 were from Sandinista and this is the best sound quality source to hear the often radically different live arrangements of these songs.
See 28th May review for details
There were at least three audio recordings made of this concert; the CBS/EPIC mobile studio recording, the FM radiobroadcast recording and the audience recording. It is surely inconceivable that CBS/Epic would have allowed their recording to be broadcast on FM radio. In addition Don Letts filmed the concert, and it appears in whats left of his film Clash on Broadway.
FM radio recording
This gig was broadcast on FM radio on several occasions including one time on Halloween, hence the title and mis-dating of the Trick or Treat CD.
The complete unedited concert presumably from the unedited FM (backdoor) source, circulates under several titles including 'Bondage at Bonds’, 'Straight to Hell' and ‘Chaos In New York’.
The sound quality is identical on all three, the only differences are the merging of Ivan Meets G.I. Joe with Lightning Strikes and Bondage at Bonds has an edit in One More Time, which loses a large chunk of the song. Chaos in New York has as a final track Willy Williams' Armagideon Time.
Sound quality is excellent hifi stereo quality as good as any professional live recording. However, as it is probably the unedited FM source it has not though been fully mixed; Micks backing vocals are buried away and barely audible with lead vocals very high in the mix.
As this CD has such stunning sound quality there have been some discussions about whether it is sourced from the CBS/Epic mobile studio recording. Thanks to TeddyB for shedding some light on this:
They didn't do a full remix or remaster of any shows in preparation for FHTE. Tapes were struck of whatever multi-track shows were available (nothing that all of you don't know about) and the group made a (not so) short list of possibilities and rough mixes were made of those. There were Bonds tapes from two nights (including a killer Bankrobber from the other night, not the one broadcast). Neither rough mix from Bonds sounded like this, so my guess is it's probably a clean source of the radio broadcast.
The edited down to one CD versions known as Trick or Treat and Bonds 1981 have a different mix and were broadcast in this form on FM radio; Trick or Treat has a few radio announcer voice overs. Trick or Treat somewhat annoyingly has Capital Radio (from the NYC Palladium 21st September 79 FM broadcast) tacked on the end.
is it maybe worth a note to say that although the bonds 1981 cdr is the best copy of the fm mix, it has a cut in cadillac and a skip/screw up at the very end of washington bullets, so it maybe worth seeking out "trick or treat".
The terrific sound mix here could have been done by Mick! His backing vocals are brought up clearly as are his now battery of effects and his guitar now dominates the sound. Joes (and his lead vocals) suffer a little as a result and are a touch too far back in the mix. Although the complete unedited version has the more refined sound, this edited version mix captures the real excitement of the live Clash experience much better. With the gaps between songs cut out to get more songs on one CD each song slams into the next. This is a hugely enjoyable CD and absolutely essential.
Watch out for quite severe sound distortion, like repeated loud clickings on a few tracks centred around Somebody Got Murdered on some copies. This seems to be worse of a problem on some CD players and on others barely noticeable.
As to which version is the best is probably a matter of personal taste. Its great they both exist; each has different strengths and weaknesses. Both are highly enjoyable; lead vocals are really in your face and crystal clear on the unedited version and the unedited mix is thrillingly explosive and powerful but loses some of the complexities and detail in the sound.
A number of these professionally produced bootlegs have excellent artwork, liner notes and printing.
Bondage at Bonds is not to be confused by the new LP of the same name, which may be from the 29th?)
Pier Pressure CD
Pier Pressure boot CD only includes the first ten from the gig and is obviously mastered from a similar source but has a flatter, marginally distorted sound.
This CD is from two incomplete gigs and some previously unreleased/never heard material. The first ten are live from Bonds. The next 5 tracks are all unheard songs including the now released One Emotion. Followed by Magnificent 7 from the Tom Snyder show.
The Bonds stuff has been released also on the incomplete Trick or Treat or better still on the complete and superb Straight to Hell, which has the best sound of any Clash boot.
Finally the Tokyo concert for the last 4 tracks. Its a nice CD if for nothing other than the unreleased stuff. The sounds vary, Tokyo great, Demos OK, NYC good.
Full Audience Source from DAT master
The full audience source confirms the date of these releases and has a clear sound but suffers from the usual distance problems of the Bonds audience recordings. This source has some of the Morricone intro music at the start and there is tape turnover following Complete Control.
As the complete FM source is unedited this inferior audience source is largely redundant.
From Here to Eternity
From Here To Eternity includes Train in Vain, Guns of Brixton and Complete Control from this concert, it misdates it as the 13th. The Clash on Broadway Box Set includes Lightning Strikes with the correct date. We now know CBS/Epic recorded both the 9th and the 8th Matinee shows, which explains some of the confusion. The performance of Bankrobber on FHTE II is the only recording circulating from the 8th June CBS recording.
The FHTE tracks unsurprisingly have the very best sound of all, having been professionally mixed and mastered.
The remaining film from Don Letts ill-fated Clash on Broadway project is included as an extra on the Westway To The World DVD. Thanks to an elongated aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh from Joe as he moves across the stage with mic stand during Radio Clash (17 minutes into the film) this footage can be correctly dated as the 9th June as this particular Strummerism was not repeated on any other of the 17 shows!
The excellent live footage includes excerpts from London Calling, Safe European Home, Guns of Brixton, Charlie Dont Surf and Radio Clash. Unfortunately the sound quality is poor mono; it is little better than the audience recording from this night and the Give Em Enough Rope studio recording is dubbed onto the live footage of Safe European Home.
Why was the CBS mobile live recording from the concert not used? Presumably at the time Don and the compilers of the DVD were confused about the date of the footage or there was confusion resulting from the fact that CBS recorded two of the Bonds shows, a fact that was clearly not appreciated when the FHTE tracks were misdated. Does anyone know?
By the time the Essential DVD was being compiled this confusion seems to have been resolved and the remaining film of London Calling now has a superb stereo hifi soundtrack. What a shame this synching of the film to the CBS mobile live recording could not have been done to the other live footage from the night.
The Essential DVD does use to brilliant effect the Clash on Broadway footage together with the CBS live recording of the Morricone intro and TV news clips to capture the excitement of the Bonds shows, the band preparing in the dressing room, going down the stairs to the stage and then a dramatic pause just before they explode into London Calling.
What a fantastic legacy the Clash On Broadway film could have been; terrific live footage coupled with a superb quality pro-hifi soundtrack. If only that rent had been paid on that storage unit, if only Toppers sacking had not resulted in him blocking its release, if only, if only! What little does remain though of course only adds to the growing myth and legend of The Clash.
The audience recording has part of the Morricone intro but there are no greetings from Joe before the pro-recordings start with Micks guitar feedback hanging in the air and then the band blast into an excellent London Calling. Joes vocals are high in the mix on the complete pro source but his voice sounds hoarse and tired, its not as intense as classic Strummer. Mick had been worried how his voice would hold up but Joe was of course a remarkable performer and though tired and clearly not in the best of moods, he battles with himself throughout this concert to try to deliver his best.
The sound quality is terrific, Joes guitar is in the left channel and Micks in the right and the mix on the edited source in particular really captures the excitement of The Clash live, its more chaotic, more explosive.
Safe European Home is terrific too, intense and powerful. Pauls bass lines propel the song along and Micks guitar dominates the sound, as it surely should. Yeah OK, this is The Leader and Micks intro to the first of the 11 Sandinista songs in the set is crystal clear. Indeed this relatively slight song musically is lifted here by the level of detail and clarity in the hifi-sound and is very enjoyable indeed.
The excellent performance of Train In Vain is next and its no surprise that it was chosen for FHTE. As usual by now it drops down near the end to just drum and bass and then builds back up impressively with some great playing from Mick who ends the song with a shouted All aboard!
White Man in Hammersmith Palais is sadly not on the edited version so Micks backing vocals are largely lost. It is a fine performance though and Joes vocals are really in your face and crystal clear. Theres no great inspired adlibs at the end of the song like some nights but he does go into got the rock steady covered in England going
and then he plays the rhythm on his guitar by way of illustration. This Is Radio Clash is superb and is probably the best source for the live arrangement of this song; its certainly the best sounding. Joes guitar drives the rock/funk rhythm, with Mick playing some great lead guitar and Paul and Toppers rhythm section are really tight and together.
Corner Soul is the best sounding source for this song live but its not the best performance; although its still very enjoyable. Its not quite classic Strummer and is a shorter performance than previously. The excellent performance of Guns of Brixton heard on FHTE is next. Micks playing is excellent here, and Paul plays his limited (but very effective here) guitar chops and Joes bass maintains the rhythm (Paul and Mick always swapped guitars for this song). It is not an extended unlike most previous Bonds shows and Micks backwards guitar builds to the fine ending.
There is still little communication with the audience reflecting Joes mood. Yeah, we got a new toy behind the kit here is Joes less than enthusiastic comment on Micks effects boxes. Then Toppers repeated drum pattern and Micks effects herald the start of The Call Up. Mick says This is for Mr Tibbs on Cable TV Channel D at 9oclock tonight. Joe fumbles over some of the lyrics but its terrific to hear this underrated song in its live arrangement in such great sound quality. Although a more than adequate performance it does not match say the Milan 81 and other more inspired performances.
The performance of Bankrobber from the June 13th matinee show was short-listed for FHTE (hence its inclusion on FHTE II outtakes tape) but this one is terrific too; the band playing night after night at Bonds are supertight and together. Joe sounds more into it here but the hoarseness in his voice is apparent. Mick plays some terrific guitar licks and Toppers drumming is a delight.
Wed like to go back to the vaults and dig something out is Joes intro to the superb Complete Control heard in fully mixed form on FHTE. Micks great teased out intro begins the terrific new revised live arrangement they had been playing to great effect at Bonds. A highlight of the Bonds shows the band are really enjoying playing their classic song again after a break. Joe works hard to fire himself letting out a great primal woaaaaah! Its Micks showcase though ably assisted by Toppers powerhouse drumming.
Lightning Strikes is longer than the 13th June matinee performance included on the Clash on Broadway box set. Joe is still fired up and delivers a great vocal; an excellent performance. Invariably the weakest point of the Bonds gigs Ivan Meets GI Joe, is next but the performance is very good tonight and the excellence of the sound make this the best source to hear Toppers only lead vocal on a Clash song.
The chopper like guitar sound, some terrific feedback and some great atmospheric effects conjures up the Vietnam that had so captured the bands interest and imagination. Youre listening to Radio Saigon, announces Joe as Mick picks out the melody then Paul and Topper come in with Joes rhythm. Its one of the best performances of Charlie Dont Surf and is surely more powerful than the studio version. Typical of the Bonds performances though the band are incredibly tight but not quite at their supercharged very best.
A marked change of pace next as Mick picks out some delicate guitar at the start of Broadway. Joe gets some lyrics jumbled and his voice shows signs of strain but its still fantastic to hear in this quality and this is the only recording where you can hear the live arrangement of this song in pro-sound hifi quality. Midsong the delicate playing changes as Joe sings, driving one of those cars and his guitar clatters in noisily in the left channel.
Joe shouts Somebody and Mick soon obliges with a terrific lead intro to Somebody Got Murdered before Joes guitar scratches in (this time to great effect), the power and the intensity amplified by the hifi sound. So much more powerful and intense than on Sandinista this is one of the best performances of the song and Micks plays some great-improvised guitar over the extended ending. Superb.
Junior Murvin shouts Joe as Mick tunes up,Yeah this is Police and Thieves Mick is on top form tonight and his guitar playing is a particular delight here. Joes vocals are right in your face, crystal clear and intense and committed. He adlibs Police & Thieves on Times Square ...and Lexington Avenue, coming out of the precinct loaded down and Russ Meyer is going for a hot dog! Again not the greatest performance, theres no classic Strummer rant and the ending of the song could be better but its still hugely enjoyable.
Then its straight into the usual barnstorming main set closer, Clampdown and in hifi stereo it sounds appropriately like aural apocalypse in hifi stereo exploding out of the speakers! It drops down mid song to drum and bass and then builds and builds magnificently with Toppers drumming a delight and Mick firing off great shards of terrific guitar! Joe adlibs in classic Strummer style
.now with colour television, a little bit of baseball and Im going back to Europe so Ill see you later but it wont be no greater, yeah therell be some shit arse group up here, churning out the bullshit, nobody gets anywhere, nobody gets anywhere! and as the song ends a defiant Working really hard now, nobodys gonna stop us
The band leave the stage and the unedited source has the audience clap and whistle for more and then return for just one encore, which they had been doing on recent nights. An excellent One More Time begins with Toppers drum intro on the hi hat and bass drum then Pauls bass note comes in and Micks thundering power chord crashes in magnificently. Again this is the best sound quality source (if not the best performance) to hear the wonderful way this song was played live.
In a lengthy rant Joe has a moan about Bonds and his band mates and then returns to the subject matter of the song! So we stand at Bonds night after fuckin night, one more time in the ? its just the end of sigh, One More time at Bonds, One More Time with the blues, One More Time with a pissed up band, One More Time with the blues, out right outright dynamite brandy bottles, out right outright dynamite vodka too. If you go down the Bowery take a few quarter bits theres loads of people laying around the streets that are just about falling to bits!.
Then its straight into Brand New Cadillac and although Micks guitar work on this had been better on other nights its still thrillingly fast rocknroll. Street Parade calls Joe and Topper quickly obliges and the band kick into this rarely performed song, which had only had one previous outing at Bonds. Its a great performance tight and together unlike some of the earlier somewhat ramshackle performances of it on the European tour. It is certainly the best sounding source for the live arrangement and one of the best performances too. Topper then takes it straight into Janie Jones with Micks now usual teased out intro. Its an intense blast of 77 and Joes fired up and over the ending he seems concerned about one member of the audiences reaction watch your head, alright then have it your own way, I dont mind but I do really, the point is I do!
Joe then shouts an instruction of Topper
Washington Bullets which proves to be anti-climactic end to the concert. Its a good performance although Micks guitar playing over the ending sounds lazy and ineffective. Joe again fumbles some of the lyrics and then Joe heralds the return of the guy from the Democratic Revolutionary Front of El Salvador with a mid song El Salvador
Senor! As the band play on the guy shouts Sandinistas yeah, El Salvador yeah, Sandinistas, no bullets from Washington are going to stop El Salvador..Reagans gonna send you to El Salvador but youre not going to let them! Then Joe comes back in on the final verse, and the song ends.
There is lots of cheering but the band have left the stage, the PA starts up, the cheers turn to boos then both the unedited hifi source and the audience recording cut off. The concert thus uniquely fizzles out without the final intense punk classic like Bored With The USA or Londons Burning that always ended the other Bonds shows with an explosive finale.
Songs in italics are not on the edited CDs Trick or Treat etc
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
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 Mick’s “sell out” explanation are shown in Clash On Broadway on the Westway To The World and Essential Clash DVD’s. Sadly Topper’s 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.
...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.