updated - 29 Dec 2008 - full comprehensice update of everything
VIDEO - NKC Young Music Show
Che Guevara CD -
Give Em Enough Dope CD -
Yellow Riot CD -
Death or Glory LP -
Rockin the Red Point CD -
Radio FM master - new tracks -
Cable TV master -
Pier Pressure -
This is Live Clash CD -
Visit the Clash on Stage website for a comprehensive catalogue of unofficially released CD's and Vinyl.
a = FM cdr
The most booted Clash show; widely available on a number of commercial bootleg CD’s and LP’s since the late 80’s. In recent years the longer FM and Cable TV masters have circulated.
Derided as a sluggish performance for the TV cameras, it does not have a good reputation with Clash fans (perhaps due the ‘lifeless’ mixes on some of the commercial boot CD’s). However, this was not a performance for TV, but a scheduled tour date, the last in Tokyo that NHK (likened to the Japanese BBC) filmed for its ‘Young Music Show’.
Joe had a sore throat and was suffering from flu and the latter songs do suffer as a result but a number of the performances in the main set are excellent, in keeping with the high standard of performances in Japan.
Couple those excellent performances with near perfect stereo hifi sound and add in the extra songs on the FM and Cable TV sources and this show is surely an essential and very enjoyable Clash bootleg.
Awful copies of the TV show circulated for years but a direct to VHS source circulates widely circulates now (thanks Chizuko!). This has great camera angles and editing and is a very rare thing; an hours worth of live Clash. It is especially essential in the version Chiizuko has produced with the hifi soundtrack synchronised onto the video footage.
A huge improvement on the shoddy Brand New Cadillac included in the very disappointing Live - Revolution Rock official DVD. Does the TV master still exist? If so why has it not been re-broadcast again (the direct to VHS best copy could not be from the original 82 broadcast) or accessed by Julian Temple or Sony etc? A great sounding Cable TV audio source would suggest that the 2 additional songs featured on it exist as video too but sadly these do not circulate.
Haruko Minakami writing in Sounds 6 March 82 said that Joe had “kill Mickey Mouse” and “World is one” in Japanese characters painted on his arm. Joe was reported as being angry at the extent of American cultural imperialism he witnessed in Japan, adlibbing about it in the show.
Haruko writes “Joe had a bad throat as he caught flu. In the beginning I did not notice it but toward the end his voice lost the energy and volume he usually has, and I noticed Mick was worrying and trying to let him rest by choosing songs with Mick’s vocals.
Joe’s vocals deteriorate on the encores with his voice particularly shot on Tommy Gun and London’s Burning. Perhaps to help Joe out, Pearl Harbour, Paul’s wife at the time came on at the start of the final encore (perhaps to help Joe out). Topper introduced her with “You remember Pearl Harbour!”) to sing Fujiyama Mama with the band. It’s certainly a highlight of the show with Joe grinning from ear to ear.
The wonderful Chizuko (Tripper) has been very helpful in providing background information on the Japanese tour and in providing access to Tetsuji’s live photos.
Tetsuji took photos from both shows on the 30th and also from this show too. Photos (in memory of Tetsuji).
Many thanks to Tetsuji and Tripper for the photos [see magazine links opposite]
Tetsuji was 16 when the Clash hit Tokyo and when Joe paused to sit on a monitor at the Shibuya Kohkaido he threw him a headband he had made which Joe then wrapped around his head! (Headbands were often worn by workers on strike and the 2 characters mean Unity) Joe sports Tetsuji’s headband on this televised 1st February show. Checkout Tetsuji’s full account here including how he took the photos despite the security and how he met up with Joe again in 2001! Here and here.
Sho Kikuchi’s book includes a number of great live shots from this gig. His book includes the set list for the gig (link) which proves again that The Clash often took a detour from the set list particularly on the encores. 23 songs from the show circulate. From the set list and other shows on the tour Koka Kola, I Fought The Law, Somebody Got Murdered, Stay Free and Should I Stay were very likely also played possibly also Spanish Bombs and Complete Control too. No audience recording of the show circulates to confirm this.
This is the last of the 4 nights at the Nakono Sun Plaza. The promoter was unable to book the same Tokyo venue for all the dates but they all had to allow standing and be 2-3000 capacity no Budokans for The Clash!
The venue still exists today remaining a popular venue for rock shows.
The most booted Clash gig. The original Cable TV version and a nearly complete FM version with interview and intro make up the complete set. See the chart of which songs are on which source below.
All versions originate from the same soundboard pro-source but differ in songs included, audio quality and sound mix. No complete gig source circulates.
Sound is stereo hifi quality on all sources and one of the best sounding bootleg sources circulating. As with the best Clash soundboards such as the Agora Cleveland Feb 79, Mick’s guitar is mixed into one channel and Joe’s in the other.
The longer FM source has an introduction in Japanese from the radio announcer at the start and finish, and has 3 songs not circulating on any other boot. The FM tape also includes a short Christmas message to Japanese fans recorded for the Japanese Music Life magazine; this though is not contemporary and probably from 78/79.
The FM source though still very good is either not from the master source or was recorded off air onto inferior equipment/tape. The Cable TV source is though excellent quality as good as most of the CD boots (but not This Is Live Clash). This source includes Washington Bullets and Ivan Meets GI Joe not on the Boot CD’s.
The majority of the commercial boot CD’s comprise only the songs from the TV show, so presumably this was the source for the master. Beware of differing mixes on the commercial CD’s.
The best sounding boot CD is This Is Live Clash which has pristine hifi sound and definitely has the best clarity and detail. It captures the live Clash sound best so the lead guitar sound is dominant and somewhat harsh and will not be to all tastes.
Che Guevara is the best sounding of the others with a bassier but still engaging sound.
Both Yellow Riot and Rockin’ The Red Point have annoying fade ins and cuts even losing the end of Clampdown! The performances on these poorer CD’s do sound flatter and significantly less exciting and enjoyable.
Give Em Enough Dope and Death or Glory LP have the tracks missing off the TV show length boots (except the 3 additional ones on the FM tape) but have inferior sound to either the Cable or FM sources. Dope has a particularly murky sound throughout, the vinyl LP is better but suffers from surface noise.
The best sounding and most complete version would be a compilation of all This Is Live Clash plus the missing songs featured first on the Cable TV source and then the remainder from the FM source. To this would be added intros and audience sound not on This Is live Clash but on the Cable and FM sources. Details in the gig review below. No commercial boot has yet been produced of this compilation!
The FM source has an edit after Brand New Cadillac, which goes into Career Opportunities. From the Cable and other sources Cadillac almost segues into Charlie Don’t Surf and this is very probably the correct track order and is backed up by the set list in Sho Kikuchi’s book.
The most complete compilation would begin with the FM announcer’s introduction followed by the Morricone intro music from the Cable TV tape. This is complete and captures the literal scream of the audience as the band come on stage; the Japanese audiences sound like no other Clash audience!
“Hello, hello, hello” greets Joe and then Topper counts in London Calling on the Cable TV tape; its cut on the commercial boots including the video. Maybe not an exceptional performance but as good as most and the sound particularly on the This Is Live Clash boot CD is pristine, capturing Joe’s committed vocals, Mick’s fine solo and Topper’s terrific drumming in crystal clear clarity.
Safe European Home next is though surely exceptional; all the band members contributions are excellent and gel wonderfully. Audience shots show the very young looking fans punching the air and dancing. Joe resplendent in Tetsuji’s headband shows no sign of the effects of flu (except perhaps for the phlegm the cameras capture flying from him at the start!), adlibbing aplenty over Mick’s terrifically inventive splintering lead guitar fills. “Who wants to go back forwards!” shouts Joe then “Shush” instructing the band to break it down. There’s a great instrumental section driven by Topper, whose performances on the Japanese tour (no substance distractions) are a delight. He builds it back up with Joe adlibbing “ Rudi jam downtown, Rudi just can’t afford to fail, bubba bye to life.”
Sound quality dips next as the band go into the “Train Is In Vain” on the FM tape. A flatter sound with less audience noise mixed in. Another fine performance, a hifi example of the early 82 subtle variations the band were playing on this song.
Cable TV source has the best sounding Washington Bullets (add in the few seconds at the start extra from the FM tape) and it’s another exceptional performance. The band demonstrate again their musical telepathy; if the band did indeed fell apart in front of Pennie Smith’s eyes in Thailand there’s no evidence of musical decline on the Japanese shows. The band improvise impressively with both Joe’s vocals and Mick’s guitar fills inventive and very enjoyable. Joe was reportedly vocal in Japan about the all pervading effect of American popular culture on Japanese culture and society. Hence his stream of consciousness rant during the song which guaranteed its exclusion from the TV broadcast! “…and I said about Mickie Mouse and Snoopy The Dog, and Daffy The Duck and Donald and his three nephews! I’m gonna kill ‘em!, I’m gonna get out and kill ‘em!”
The next three songs are on the FM tape only (and its derivative commercial boot CD’s. The Leader, again on this tour benefits from a long Topper drum solo intro and again not for the first (or last time) struggles with the words; “Stay there, stay there” he instructs waiting to pick up his cue on the next verse. “Shush shush, shush” whispers Joe to intro a seven minute plus Magnificent Seven; an exceptionally funky and improvisational performance. Although not especially effective it’s certainly fascinating; the band demonstrating their musicality and ability to follow the groove, James Brown style. There’s some great Mick fills and the band stretch out not going into the usual “guitar city” bridge but with a funky improvised section with Topper’s invention clear. “Help me out” says Joe as his voice starts to strain “forget it boys forget it, take me around for God’s sake …you’re hot tonight, you’re steaming! …It sounds so empty here…just can’t hear no, just can’t hear no… take that taxi, I wish I could be down that nightclub in old Saigon” Topper finally brings an extended very enjoyable performance to an end.
Back to the Cable TV source for the best sounding Guns of Brixton. Unexceptional arrangement but very fine lead guitar and Paul’s chops on Joe’s rhythm guitar and Joe’s bass lines in hifi clarity. Mick’s shouted “1-2-3-4” heralds a crystal clear White Man in Hammersmith Palais on the This Is Live Clash CD. It’s another exceptional performance; the twin guitar interplay and fluidity of the band is a joy. Mick and Joe share vocals and the band stretch out over a terrific extended ending. “Hey tough guys all, doing that body building” as Joe mimics punching his head. “Keep it going” says Joe cutting away at his guitar as Mick, Paul and Topper improvise brilliantly.
“Ladies and Gentlemen Mr Topper Headon” Joe’s intro to Ivan Meets GI Joe is on the FM tape but the best sound quality for the song is the Cable source. Hifi stereo helps improve the enjoyment of what despite Mick and Topper’s efforts remains the weakest song in the set. The cable TV source has Joe’s intro to Brand New Cadillac (and a rare example of Strummer/Baker stage interaction!), “This song written by a man called Vince Taylor, am I right Baker....Cheers!” In crystal clear clarity on This is Live Clash CD this is a very enjoyable performance, perhaps not exceptional but one that does not warrant the criticism of its inclusion on the Live- Revolution Rock DVD; the poor quality video source used of course does.
The cable and boot CD audio sources all sound like the band then go into what is surely an exceptional Charlie Don’t Surf. It starts, the band in semi darkness with spotlight on Mick playing evocative atmospheric guitar over drum and bass, sounding like the Apocalypse Now soundtrack and then he delicately picks out the melody line until it builds to a great climax and Joe finally comes in on vocals with a shouted “Dance!” The video shows the backdrop of Viet Cong soldiers and (live and dead) GI’s. The band improvise around a lengthy instrumental section with Joe adlibbing “they said Charlie didn’t do it, Charlie was a good boy, Charlie didn’t do it now, Charlie’s gonna be Kentucky Fried! Colonel Sanders he pulled up his chair, Colonel Sanders got out his chicken fried …Tweet Tweet, Tweet Tweet!, where eagles fly by!” Joe continues as Mick sings backing vocals “going to wear my Bermuda shorts, going to get my California haircut, gonna burn some children today, yes cooking, frying tonight! it’s a South East Asia beach barbeque! yes wearing the full military outfit of the order of Sir Drugs” Topper then brings it back to a crashing peak then a final chorus as band stoke it up further ending with a “Goodbye Goodbye, over and out!”
The FM tape has the best sounding Career Opportunities and Janie Jones. Joe’s voice sounds strained now and the performances though good lack some punch despite the bands efforts to cover for him. Koka Kola, I Fought The Law and Somebody Got Murdered are very likely then missing before a fine Clampdown. Mick has been more inventive on the opening but Topper’s brilliance throughout is showcased by close ups a plenty on the video. By mid song Mick is much more inventive and the band whip up an appropriate storm before dropping down for Joe to adlib “depends on how much freedom, how much is freedom? How much, how much? And they broke your dreams, broken dreams, broken on a drum roll! And I swear I haven’t had a cigarette all day but I could have smoked about 200!.. pick it up on the Geiger counter” Joe’s static but Paul star jumps and Mick careers across the stage wearing a big grin!
“Break it “ shouts Joe in a blood curdling scream and the band segue into an exceptional and extended Radio Clash. Taut and hard as nails the band stretch out; Mick’s (and Toppers’) FX work very well here “that’s fuckin’ good” says Joe in approval as the video shows Mick ‘attacking’ his FX arms flailing! Joe sounds reinvigorated delivering a terrific vocal. A huge image of Lech Walesa dominates the backdrop slides. The TV producers (mainly) chose the best performances for the programme. Joe’s really into it as the band improvise, dropping down to drum and bass “keep it going like that” It’s a real a real showcase for the band’s still evolving and improving musicianship. With a “thank you and goodnight” the band leave the stage, the FM tape includes the audience clapping for more.
The first encore probably begins with a strong, driving Clash City Rockers (FM tape) with Joe in good voice. Armagideon Time whilst not exceptional is on This Is Live Clash a great hifi sound example of the early 82 arrangement of this song with Mick’s ear splitting scream and great lead guitar fills. The band are again in semi darkness with slides projected on the backdrop of poor and starving children. Joe spots a banner in the audience and optimistically responds “I’m reading your message brother” A fine performance ends with Joe singing “OK bury me home in a box, Armagideon Time”
Several songs are missing before what is clear from the video is the start of the second encore with an exceptional Jimmy Jazz. First Mick appears solo picking out great variations on the opening guitar intro, then Topper appears behind his drum kit and joins in, the crowd clapping along. With a big cheer from the audience Paul appears plugging in his bass then standing cool playing the bass line before finally Joe appears. “Walk like twice around the block” instructs Joe and Mick obliges soloing to great effect. It’s Topper’s terrific drumming though that really stands out as the band enjoy the opportunity afforded by the loose nature of the song to stretch out musically. Joe adlibs at length “and I tried my luck and I looked all around town and I can guarantee you sunshine enjoy your luck but you won’t even wanna ?…but the Police have already been around and they’ve locked jam down town, locked so tight not even a whiff of air can escape the ground not gonna see any bodies burning unless of course they’re having a barbeque over at the Palace! and they forgot to invite Jimmy Jazz and me and Jimmy Jazz got married the other day! Bass player..(Paul’s bass line rumbles out solo) Roll boys roll, yeah!” Mick and Topper’s inventiveness is a delight with the band dropping down to drum and bass plus light fills “I know your face, I see you hanging around the wrong place. I can’t tell this tale no more”
Then Toppers military snare drum attack signals a great sounding Tommy Gun but Joe’s voice is going. Mick helps out with vocals but the ending lacks impact because of Joe’s voice. Joe shouts “Tommy Gun I don’t believe in killing anyone…“I ain’t never gonna kill no one””. The mixture of repugnance with fascination Joe felt when he wrote the song for the Red Brigades and others who justified murder for political ends had long since been resolved in his mind. The band keep going, despite Joe’s loss of voice, extending the song, Topper’s powerful but inventive drumming again to the fore.
After an edit the FM tape has “London’s Burning Tokyo must burn” with a long intro repeated, Joe struggling badly says “Stay with it, keep going” Paul assists Joe with vocals the song presumably ending the second encore.
The third encore is complete and is introduced by Topper at the front of the stage; “Good evening but now we have not only The Clash but Pearl Harbour you remember Pearl Harbour!” Pearl greets audience in Japanese and the band back her on Fujiyama Mama. A rare and perfect sounding outing for this warm up number. It’s terrific red line rock’n’roll, Pearl looks and sounds great and the band deliver a suitably atomic backing. “Mick Jones yeah” shouts Pearl as Mick plays a great solo. Hugely enjoyable. Fujiyama Mama was a rockabilly hit for Wanda Jackson in 1957 but was originally made famous by R&B singer Anisteen Allen.
Pearl stays on stage for the rest of the encore. Police On My Back, debuted live the night before features a passionate vocal performance from Mick. This Is Live Clash is correctly titled as the mix captures the live Clash sound (at least up to this tour) with Mick’s guitar in particular turned right up edging over the red line into distortion. It’s a more exciting sound and performance than later 82 performances of the song such as on the Shea Stadium CD.
Topper takes it straight into White Riot, Joe fighting to get out the vocals. The backdrop flashes images of Sandinistas, riots and Police. With the hugely enthusiastic audience restrained by the distance to stage and security it’s a far less chaotic performance than normal, (the band able unusually to concentrate on their playing!) but still very enjoyable with Paul singing backing vocals. The last night in Tokyo ends with Topper saying “Good night & thank you”, Joe affirming “And we’re gonna come back you know “ and Mick “Good bye Tokyo its been nice having us!” The audience are still clapping for more as FM announcer closes the show.
Photos from the gig
Sounds 6 March 82
Clash Tour Book
DIG Magazine 2002
FM Recopal Magazine
Sho Kikuchis Book
Mysterex - New Zealand Music and Culture
Any further info / reviews