updated 19 Feb 02
cdr - from 2nd gen - Sound 4 - time 105 min - 2nd gen - tracks 28
Up and At Em LP (Compilation from all nights)
video - mpeg1 - Antennae 2 with Freddy Hauser -
Rehearsing and recording at Ear Studios
The Clash energised and unified by the success and Stateside impact of the Bonds residency hung about New York briefly then returned to London. America had again had a major impact on the band although with diverging outcomes for each Clash member. Being immersed in the emerging hip hop and rap culture in New York had not surprisingly pushed Micks enthusiasm for these new musical forms onto a whole higher level, so much so that the others called him Wack Attack. It was not though an especially affectionate nickname as Joes enthusiasm for hip hop and dub were cooling; his interests conversely in the roots of American music had grown. Paul too was more interested in pursuing his classic rockabilly interests. For Topper New York sadly meant the temptation of easy access to drugs and his heroin problem continued to worsen.
In August 81 Mick brought his New York generated influences to play when producing his groundbreaking mixes for the 12 release of Radio Clash. When in early September they came to rehearse, write new songs and record their follow up to Sandinista the bands diverging musical tastes exacerbated growing disunity within the band. Record production was an associated problem; Mick of course was increasingly into the techniques of the modern studio whilst Joe was saying the best records in his collection were produced live in a basic studio. Moreover after the expense and accusations of indulgence recording Sandinista, Joe, Paul and Bernie wanted to record the follow up cheaply and quickly in the UK.
A compromise was agreed to use the Stones mobile recording studio set up in Ear Studios rehearsal room located in the Peoples Hall, Freston Road, in the shadow of the Westway. Freston Road had similarities with Vanilla and Pat Gilberts book details the intriguing background.
On 29th August Guy Stevens overdosed on pills and on the 17th September The Clash recorded their Midnight To Stevens tribute.
New songs came quickly and the band took a break in September and October from recording to tour Europe or rather after the success of Bonds to play 3 further residencies in Paris, Vienna and London (plus the Radio Clash mini tour of UK). Bernies idea of playing residencies appealed to the band as they involved less travelling, had a bigger impact and gave them the chance to soak up the atmosphere of a city.
All 7 nights at the Mogador Theatre were sold out, indeed due to overselling another 500 were crammed in above the 2000 nominal capacity. Paris had long been a Clash city and the sardine can feel inside, along with the impressive 3 tier setting created an atmosphere in the theatre that was sheer electricity.
The NME sent Paul Rambali and Pennie Smith to cover the event and Robin Banks (Crocker) produced a lengthy piece for Zig Zag which with his close connection to the band was highly positive.
The French music magazines Rock & Folk and Big had articles; the latter devoted a 6 page spread. (see links). Francois Ducroys article in Big magazine begins The Magnificent Seven, the Last pogo in Paris, The last days of the Mogador, Radio Clash over Paris... An excellent article particularly if you can read French! (many thanks Seb/Bazarboy).
Francois Ducray; I have seen 5 of the September concerts and I was not bored for an instant, it is never routine, one night is not like another. He describes the Press Conference to maximise impact (as at Bonds) on Tuesday 22nd, 2 hours of questions, their responses caustic and measured
The first concert was on Wednesday the 23rd. Robin Banks gives an account, and lists the songs played. He thought the first nights performance to be an excellent one although the band thought otherwise. The band were now playing over 2 hours on stage and debuted a large number of new songs. They had a new stage set too which Robin Banks described in detail:
On either side of stage is a single upright 12ft. arm complete with flashing lights set along it. As the band reach the arena sirens wail and the arms descend, almost touching at stage centre. Then they rise and the Clash are playing Broadway which takes the audience completely by surprise. Indeed the band were now turning normal gig practice on its head starting with their most low key song and ending their set with London Calling, their usual opener! Robin reported The Clashs performances produced a riotous Parisian response and 3 encores for each of the 7 nights. Robin wrote To witness The Clash in top gear is an almost orgasmic experience, exhilarating and devastating at the same time..they are unrivalled and unbeatable.
Doors opened early and there were no late nights (unlike Bonds) to allow fans to catch the last metro. Paul needed pain killers for his shoulder flesh rubbed raw by the heavy bass and long sets. Long Time Jerk was played according to Crocker and Rebel Waltz according to the Big article but there are sadly no recordings circulating of these. There was no soundcheck because of fears of the fans outside forcing through the glass doors outside. David Bailey reportedly held a photo session with the band, further evidence of their growing profile.
Paul Rambalis piece in the NME was far less complimentary, in keeping with his papers stance towards The Clash at the time. His piece included lengthy interviews. Joe annoyed at The Clash backlash said If theyre teaching the readers to hate us, then Id like to ask the NME who theyre teaching the readers to trust? Which groups? Which ideas? Im looking hard and I cant see anybody
Rambali comments very little on the actual concert other than to say; The Clashs music has lost a lot of its abrasive power over the years, the short, sharp, volatile statement has been replaced by the long meandering, and convoluted... The Clash should not be afraid to do what they do best, orthodox as it maybe. A view held by many including Clash fans but one that failed to recognise that the band had to continually expand their musical horizons or stagnate and split.
Rambali teases Mick Why are you such a superstar? but Mick defends himself adding Theres nothing wrong with having respect for the stage because youre also out there entertaining
In a rare interview Bernie talked of the June/July riots in UK cities and confirms the bands changing political perspective; The Clash are in interested in politics rather than revolution. Revolution sets a country back a 100 years. Revolution is very, very dangerous. I dont think we ever were revolutionary. I think we were interested in the politics of the situation. Its about youth and where they get their information. Thats what were about. Marcus Gray criticises the band for not explaining their move away from their revolutionary 76/77 rhetoric, which hardly seems fair as the band s maturing political outlook was explained at length in interviews and not least in their songs!
There were no live photos chosen by the NME to illustrate their piece choosing to use Pennies shots of the band sitting at a café, and outside a hotel (with Bernie and Mikey Dread who turned up for the last night encores). There are though a large number of photos from the Mogador from French magazines and the tour programme for Japan 82.
The only Mogador film footage sadly though is a clip from French TV with an interview by Marc Zemati (a friend of the band) and a great short live clip of Safe European Home.
During the Mogador residency (and the remaining 81 gigs) Futura 2000 would pause from painting the stage backdrop during The Clashs set and take the microphone to rap over his own song about graffiti which he would later record with The Clash and release as the Escapades of Futura 2000.
Futura 2000, real name Lenny is one of the most famous graffiti artists. He was from Brooklyn and was among the crowd (also including Gerb, Kiley Jenkins, Josh Cheuse) that befriended the Clash in NYC back in the day and introduced them to Fab Five Freddie and the local hip-hop world.
He started to paint illegally on New York's subway in the early seventies. More recently, he is a respected designer/gallery artist. One of the most unique features about Futura's work was his abstract approach to his style of graffiti. The primary focus of the average subway artist was lettering. Futura displayed a much broader focus, he mastered the ability to create interstellar scenes that set him apart from his peers.
Futura produced the sleeve for the Radio Clash 7" single and handwriting the sleeve notes and lyrics sheet for Combat Rock. Years later James Lavelle resurrected his career by getting him, to produce the artwork for several releases on Mo' Wax records. Recently much of Futura's artwork is channeled towards the production of highly collectible toys, and during the 1990's he was heavily involved with the clothing companies Subware, Phillie Blunt, and GFS to name a few. In a 2000 interview when asked what were the main turning points of your career in the last 30 years he said Probably in the early eighties, hooking up with The Clash, I think that was a mayor thing for my career as far as getting recognition. I worked with this very high profiled group and because they were very popular, people where accepting me as well, I was very fortunate to meet them and I think that helped a lot.
THE Algerian singer-songwriter Rachid Taha, 46, likes to tell the story about the night he met the Clash. In 1981, when he was the leader of Carte de Séjour ("Residence Permit"), a pioneering band from Lyon, France, that combined Algerian rai with funk and punk rock, the Clash played at the Théâtre Mogador in Paris. Mr. Taha, a huge fan, bumped into the band on the street outside the theater and handed them a copy of his group's demo. I felt that they were interested, remembers Rachid but when they did not get in touch afterwards I just thought thats life. Having said that when I heard Rock The Casbah later that year, I thought that maybe something really had happened after all, He adds with a wry mischievous smile.
I dont know about the others, but I particularly liked Joe Strummers sincerity, his humour, his awkwardness Rachid reflects He had nothing to do with that punk cynicism.
The show was 1/5 (un sur cinq), there was a part in that show that was all music, made by a typical seventies rock lout called Freddy Hauser, (earring, hair short on the top, long on the back), which was way cool. He was the one who booked the Clash for this show, and did interview them with rock journalist Philippe Manoeuvre, who made on that day his first TV journalist appearance.
I remember back then, we all thought TV was shit, but Freddy Hauser was cool, as he was the only one with any interest in punk, and did program the Jam, Sex Pistols, Damned etc when no one would. There was only 3 channels back then in France, and it was a cultural desert.
Clash ticket courtesy Dave Ridley
The Théâtre Mogador at 25 rue Mogador is a very grand old classical theatre, with a long history and remains today a very prestigious Paris theatre (see pictures) Built in 1913 by London financier Sir Alfred Butt, to replicate the London music halls he had developed, the Palace Theatre as it was also called quickly became famous for Russian ballets, operettas. From 1970 the programming became more eclectic reaching its eclectic best when the Clash hit the famous stage in 1981!
Amusingly the grand theatre with three floors, columns, and a heavily decorated lobby reportedly closed for repairs for 3 years after The Clash residency!
Mogador recordings in circulation
The Mogador is well served with audio recordings; complete or almost complete recordings circulate from the 24th, 26th, 29th and 30th September shows plus the Up and At Em LP has 11 tracks but only 1 comes from these shows. The 30th September show appears to have been broadcast on FM radio but to date only a poor copy circulates (thanks to Seb/Bazarboy for the tape.)
The best 24th September recording...
The best 24th September recording in circulation is apparently 2nd generation and is made up of 3 sections, the final one is almost certainly not from that night and probably from 1984!
The first section through to and including Koka Kola has a good audience sound, not distant and captures the vocals and instrumentation well. Bass is low but present. There are though a number of edits; the worst loses most of Magnificent Seven. In addition there are some dropouts and other defects.
The second section starts after the start of Bankrobber and sounds like it is probably from the same audience source. Certainly a poorer quality tape from the early 80s started here and finished with Know Your Rights. This section has the best sound just and does not suffer from edits.
The third section has very poor sound and includes Straight To Hell, which by all accounts (including Clash on Broadway booklet) was not written until the New York sessions in December 81! Certainly it does not appear in live sets until May 82. Therefore these songs should not be credited to this concert.
This recording includes live debuts for the recently written songs (there is no known recording from the 1st night on the 23rd although parts of Up and At Em could be from the 23rd) and their embryonic nature adds extra interest. Should I Stay, Know Your Rights, and Ghetto Defendant will become permanent set fixtures whilst Overpowered by Funk and Inoculated City would only be played live on the remaining 81 shows (and then rarely). Indeed we only have 2 live performances of Overpowered by Funk circulating, the one here and the different one also from the Mogador on the Up and At Em LP.
Safe European Home on this night has a unique intro jam. Ranking Roger from support band The Beat joins for "Armagideon Time" this night. The final four songs through to Know Your Rights required major speed correction as they ran much to fast.
The recording either captures the atmosphere in the theatre including the highly enthusiastic screams and cheers of the audience or conversely depending on your point of view detracts from your enjoyment of the performance.
Boot LP Up and At Em
The audience recording reveals a pumped up performance; what the performances particularly of the new songs lack in polish and tightness are made up for in energy and commitment. The Clash again at the Mogador residency demonstrate their ability to change and evolve not just with the new songs but in changes, some subtle some significant to the older songs. Pauls (easily understood !) explanation appears in the Big French article, Musicalement, cest laventure ou la regression
The recording starts with a shrill siren sound, which ends quickly then the very lively audience surrounding the taper chant for the band. Pauls bass note signals their arrival with the new and very surprising stage opener of Broadway. Joes vocals are clear and he screams out his lyrics with passion, but Micks guitar blasts in somewhat harshly. Bass is pretty good and theres plenty of top end detail on the cymbals; an upgrade to the master would reveal a very good indeed audience recording. The arrangement of the song has changed since Bonds, theres more emphasis now on the quiet beginning of the song, its more atmospheric and the ending drops back down to drum and bass for a few bars now.
Its straight into One More Time next and some coruscating guitar from Mick, his guitar sound since Bonds again changing. Joe sounds fired up, screaming over the ending. A very fine start to an enjoyable gig and recording.
This Is Radio Clash next, an inspired performance; The Clash are still 5 years on from the punk explosion playing fantastic music, its just evolved and grown musically. Theres still no evidence at the Mogador of the band standing still and stagnating. This is the first of the unreleased songs tonight, its more funky here with less lead guitar. Joe shouts Futura play that drum sound, poor guy hes trying to spray paint the backdrop and also has to help Mick out with his ever increasing electronic effects sounds!
Should I Stay Or Should I Go? gets its (almost) live debut next after an introduction by way of a translation of the title in Strummer French! Some different lyrics and of course no Clash Spanish of course yet from Joe. Theres an additional guitar break, and although clearly not fully worked out yet, (not surprising as presumably it was written only a few weeks before) its still a pumped up and enjoyable performance.
Cheers from the very enthusiastic audience greet Pauls announcement of Guns of Brixton Theres again some minor changes to the arrangement which is stripped down and shorter than some of the extended Bonds performances.
Mick shouts 1-2, a 1-2-3-4 and the band blast into White Man In Hammersmith Palais. Some sound problems on tape or digital transfer spoil the start. Joe adlibs at length about the new groups in UK new groups what they got going on theyve got those brand new type of suits, made out of .. rest is unclear. A strong performance. Magnificent Seven has an edit sadly that loses most of song. It restarts near the end of the song and with a minor improvement in the sound. Joe screams Magnifique! over the ending.
Train In Vain has some minor tape drop outs, and Topper adds a different drum pattern when the band bring the song down to just drum and bass and then back to a powerfully effective ending with the audience roaring their approval. Alright now Joe speaks in French introducing Ivan Meets GI Joe. Topper and Joe sing the chorus and the very lively audience again around the taper clap and cheer. The audience sound adds to the atmosphere, it certainly is not a sterile live sound!
The audience roar with approval as they recognise the familiar intro to Clash City Rockers, making an always welcome return, it had not been played live since June 80, over a year ago. Its a bit ragged at the start with Mick singing lead first but then Joe comes in fired up. Joe impatient to slam into the next song says before Koka Kola sarcastically OK I think were gonna wait 20 minutes for the lift!
An edit restarts with the better sounding second tape section losing the start of Bankrobber. A spirited performance with more of a reggae feel than earlier 81 performances; more easy skanking. Lots of shouting from the audience, to which Joe responds with youre English is very good! Micks teases out the guitar intro to The Leader. Futura shouts Joe at the end and then says in Strummer French La bas ici Monsieur Futura 2000 from New York, et maintenant hell racont the histoire de graffiti pour vous Futura! give us a ? you cunt! Paul plays the bass line and after a false start Futura gets into his rap. Micks guitar fills adds some interest to the repetitive bass line arrangement. Unlike many later audiences theres plenty of applause for the performance.
Washington Bullets has some great guitar from Mick and an extended instrumental break at the end. Everyone welcome to the city .drum style says Joe before the band give Ghetto Defendant its live debut (to our ears). Theres a long intro before Joe comes in, the third verse has different lyrics to the Combat Rock version but his words are sadly unclear. Its time we had some control! says Joe and Mick responds, picking out the intro to Complete Control, the audience roaring with their recognition of the song.
A Strummer Jones interchange before Clampdown! Est maintenant carry on Mick adds sarcastically No ones listening. Joe ignores him the chopper descends and Mick shouts 1-2-3-4 and the band explode into an excellent passionate performance. An edit loses a few seconds, the band drop down to the drum (and cowbell) and bass section with Mick intoning I wont work and Joe adlibbing about I went to see the Rolling Stones and they said its from the Beatles The rest of Joes great rant is sadly unclear. Murder shouts Joe as the band go into a terrific crescendo building intro to Somebody Got Murdered. Micks singing is rather histrionic and out of tune, but as the tempo drops down Topper adds a great drum fill taking the energy back up again, the band on fire. For the first time the usual set opener London Calling ends the main set. An edit mid song loses a few seconds but its another passionate, committed performance. As the band leave the stage the audience scream for more.
The encores and the second CD begin in an almost unique fashion with an instrumental Lightning Strikes, which after a sustained chord goes into Overpowered By Funk. This is a different (and poorer) performance to the one on Up And At Em LP. These are though the only live recordings of this song, which demonstrated again how, their New York rap and funk influences were increasingly transferring over to their live shows. This debut performance of the song is not surprisingly ragged at times and Micks guitar is discordant and ineffective in places. It is though a fascinating performance.
Its cold in the morning and its cold in the evening gotta sing this one sings Joe at the start of Armagideon Time. Ranking Roger from support band The Beat toasts over the top dominating the sound as Joes vocals drop back in the mix. Thank you Roger says Joe at the end as Topper plays on then plays a terrific drum roll intro and the band slam into a barnstorming Safe European Home. There is a long instrumental section before Joe comes in joined by the massed ranks of the Mogador male voice choir! There are some tape defects, which cannot detract from a hugely enjoyable performance.
The band leave the stage but the rapturous audience (no doubt that Paris was indeed a Clash city) soon get them back for a second encore which kicks off the live debut of the also rare Inoculated City. Joe sings his lyrics and his voice and Micks guitar give it a much greater edge than its Combat Rock incarnation. The pitch problems, which affect the rest of the tape, are noticeable now and the song rather fizzles out but its a fascinating performance nevertheless.
Its straight then into a blistering Brand New Cadillac. Tape problems near the end lose a few seconds and the pitch goes up and down badly, but the energy of the performance transcends the sounds shortcomings.
The band leave the stage again after an only 2 song second encore. There is no edit and the audience scream, shout and whistle for more. The recording captures the electric atmosphere, you feel as though youre standing therein the Mogador stalls! Cheers as the band return and Mick plays the Spanish Bombs melody gently before Tops on hi hat only comes in then with his drum roll the band slam in. Another strong performance but the pitch problems (probably on the master) are getting worse. Know Your Rights is the final song on the tape and the last of the song debuts tonight. Again its a little ragged but still very enjoyable with Joes lyrics shouted over the music rather than integrated (as it would be later) into the music. Mick plays a solo and the song and the tape ends abruptly.
Rock & Folk 10.81 [French]
Paris preview and Strummer Interview
Photo's from Mogador
Best Magazine (french)
Clash Credibility Rule!
Antennae 2 with Freddy Hauser
InaMedia Catalogue details
Any further info / reviews