Convention Hall, Asbury Park, New Jersey

Combat Rock Tour
Support Pulsalama

updated 12 April 2011 - added master audio source
updated 12 April 2011 - added full review & ticket
updated 13 Feb 2012 - added photos and tickets

courtesy of Tony Russell

vers 1 - audio cdr - very good audience master - Sound 4+ - 90min - tracks 23 - higher generation copies circulate widely

master - very good but echoey - Sound 4 - 92min - low gen - tracks 25 -

The first recording to confirm there was indeed life after Topper! The third of the nights at Asbury and Joe is on great form with some great Strummer rants. Mick plays with more invention and effectiveness than the other nights and 3 gigs in Terry's contribution does not detract from an excellent band performance.

Indeed in places it achieves Joe's definition of when a gig 'burned' and so maybe this was the gig that Joe remembered when he conceded there may just have been one good gig after Topper's sacking at Asbury Park!


The enjoyment of this gig is certainly assisted by the circulation by Jeff Dove of an upgrade to the other circulating copies of this audience recording. Jeff's version is well worth seeking out and is the first essential bootleg of the Terry #2 era.

The last Asbury show also doubled as launch party for Combat Rock in the US. Epic hired the funfair and a few hundred journos, PR people and record company execs descended. Billed as The Clash Boardwalk Bash (link) the after show party ran from 12-4am. Terrific photos from the Boardwalk Bash with recollections of the night are at www.go2jo.com/?p=242 along with an even more excellent set of live photos. All the photos are credited as being from the 30th but as the party was on the last night at Asbury these are almost certainly all from the 31st.

From the comments in the Boston Globe article [link] about the Asbury shows and background the writer was at this final show.

At this time while in New York Mick produced a remix of Rock The Casbah with Bob Clearmountain at the Power Station studios on 441 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. Released in early June this was perhaps an olive branch to Mick after Glyn Johns was brought in over his head to deliver Combat Rock.

Venue

See 29th May 1982 review


The upgrade from Jeff Dove must be from the excellent master audience recording.

Lesser versions of the same source circulate widely including one supposedly from the master tape which clearly now is not. Jeff's recording has excellent clarity and detail for an audience source with very clear vocals and guitars. A lack of a decent bass sound is the only drawback to what is otherwise a very enjoyable sound.

There are various minor almost unnoticeable edits between songs but it appears to be the complete gig; the 2 hour sets in 81 and earlier in 82 reduced for the rest of the year to 90-100 minute sets.
Armagideon Time, again extended and although Terry's rather plodding unimaginative drumming means it doesn't swing the contributions of Joe, Mick and Paul still make it a success. Joe adlibs again this time jokingly 'I read it in a comic book, I think it was the Lantern Meets The Deadly Black Sludge from Mars! And our hero said crouching down in the 15th cave from hell, crouching down in the 15th ? in the bible. I hear it says on page 299, in black and white on page 299, battle is getting harderÖ'

The taper may have not have recorded all the songs because after a long pause the recording restarts with Straight To Hell. Mick's accompaniment is not especially inspired, but Joe intones his barbed poetry with venom.

Should I Stay or Should I Go is much better than the previous night, Mick here back using a rock'n'roll guitar sound after the misplaced twangy slide guitar sound the previous night. Then its straight into I Fought The Law, again much tighter and faster than the previous nights. Terry managed to hit the crescendo peak at the start (unlike previously!) but what was he hitting on the six gun part?

The audience want more but apparently again the gig ends with I Fought The Law. The sets shorter now, the band's (especially Joe's) belief that the longer sets in 1981 (and earlier in 82) had become too meandering, dissipating their energy.
The very fine recording and performance ends with a shouted 'Adios!' from Joe.

This very enjoyable recording begins with Clash friend and photographer Bob Gruen blowing his trumpet fanfare as he had done at Bonds, a year earlier.

Then as the Morricone intro starts the expectation and excitement in the hall rises audibly. The quality of this master audience recording is clear as the intro fades and with a 'Hello. London Calling to the faraway towns' the band slam into London Calling. The new intro arrangement debuted at these shows, showed the band still changing musically, not yet in a rut. Joe is again at Asbury really pumped up and although the gig really steps up a level after Know Your Rights this is a strong performance, with Mick's guitar clear and effective.

Straight into Safe European Home next and Mick is in good voice too but it lacks the inspiration of Topper shows, but it was of course only Terry's 3rd gig back! Guns of Brixton has some inventive Mick guitar fills and again like most post Topper performances it is not extended. Mick's splintering guitar on Train In Vain is captured well by the recording.

Terry thumps away (!) hard and fast on Career Opportunities, which has an edge, the band working hard on the final night. 'Don't you ever stop long enough to start' roars Joe before Magnificent Seven but there's a pregnant pause before Terry comes in! Not great but a very enjoyable performance. 'Faster' implores Joe as the band go into the 'guitar city' bridge, Joe adlibs as the band whip up quite a storm over the ending which is tighter and more together than the earlier shows.

'If I maybe allowed the next tune is called ..Futura, Fab 5 Freddy, I can see your funny hat!' Bob Gruen's book includes a photo of him with Hip Hop pioneer and former graffiti artist Fred Braithwaite and Futura 2000 (Leonard McGurr) in the Convention Hall. Terry thumps out the intro to Car Jamming, which again has too hard a guitar and drum sound (a song that rarely worked well live) but Joe in particular works hard to make it effective. Bankrobber next has very good vocals from Joe who sings the chorus solo before the band come in. Not extended but very enjoyable.

'Like to introduce to you all the drummer from our 1st LP Mr Terry Chimes' Joe then barks out the lyrics to Know Your Rights which is just OK until the band drop it down to just drum and bass and Joe goes into a classic adlib 'you have the right to be read your rights. You will be put under mass arrest, I've got 5,000 pairs of handcuffs in the lobby, each with your own initials engraved on it! Made out of the wreck of the destroyer Sheffield. These souvenirs from the Falklands are being sold by Margaret Thatcher's trading company at very reasonable prices so come on and step right up, get your head blown off! [Falklands war- HMS Sheffield hit by an Exocet missile on 4th May 1982 burning for days finally sinking on the 10th. Earlier on 2nd May the Belgrano was sunk under orders from Thatcher - Sun 'Gotcha' headline, 324 dead, 700 rescued from the icy seas] The band then whip it back up and Joe wails over Mick's guitar licks; the song unusually coming to a tight and effective end.

With Strummer inspired the band kick the performances up a notch. 'Dah da, dah, dah dah do doo, dah da!' sings Joe before the band kick into a pumped up Garageland. With a pause to get a collective breath back the band break into a terrific Police & Thieves; proof of life in the post Topper Clash! Joe's in great voice and band really up for it; Mick's solo is great. Joe mid song instructs 'OK band calm down, curfew calm down [band drop it down] 'You got less and less, nothing but the beat. We got nothing less, nothing than the beat' 'Shot gun sally running down the alley' Joe's adlibs drenched in echo. Performance has got a real edge; 'oh hear that sound' implores Joe repeatedly as the band build gain before Terry brings an inspired performance to a close. After an edit a fast urgent Clash City Rockers; the first side of the tape cutting out abruptly after the song ends.

With the audience pressing forward, Joe asks 'Could you all move back about 2 inches. If you know the metric its ah..8cm! Here's a piece of machinery!' and the band roar into Brand New Cadillac. The band's energy especially from Joe overcomes the lack of inspired drumming. After a long pause Joe says 'OK start the engine' and Terry kicks into a fine Spanish Bombs; Joe fully focussed on his vocals, Mick playing fine lead and even Terry adding some effective drum rolls!

Radio Clash is again very strong at Asbury Park, not exceptional but very enjoyable. 'Bring on the snakes and the baskets. Lets have the snake charmers!' Rock The Casbah played fast, hard and tight with Joe in top form; the first quality live recording of their future MTV breaking USA hit. Mick comes up with yet another variation on the intro to Somebody Got Murdered, the recording capturing the venom and the subtleties of a fine performance.

With a 'Lights Jacko' it's the first powerful and exhilarating Clampdown since Topper's departure. Mick's guitar is upfront and effective, the performance is much tighter and has much more energy than the previous nights. Making the performance really exceptional is a great Strummer rant as the band stretch out after the Three Mile Island point; '... Millions of dollars been allocated for all sorts of these schemes but you ain't gonna find no Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Leukaemia research being given the kind of money for toxic firing nerve gas attack bombs! Just money, money, money, streaming out of all departments and the Congress, Senate and its money, money, money and they have the latest technology speaking of the high powered German water cannon that can knock you off your feet at 150 yards and spray purple dye and they have all the latest plastic techno coated bullets that pass through a [steel?] bar at a range of 400 miles, to be fired at 11 year old children. Yes plenty of money for that, yes its good business. Every clampdown is a good business at heart, woooahh' The band whip it back up, Terry's drumming is tighter more effective as Joe screams over the ending. It still lacks Topper's attack and subtlety but is nevertheless powerfully effective.

An edit as the band leave the stage and return with the first encore and

Armagideon Time, again extended and although Terry's rather plodding unimaginative drumming means it doesn't swing the contributions of Joe, Mick and Paul still make it a success. Joe adlibs again this time jokingly 'I read it in a comic book, I think it was the Lantern Meets The Deadly Black Sludge from Mars! And our hero said crouching down in the 15th cave from hell, crouching down in the 15th ? in the bible. I hear it says on page 299, in black and white on page 299, battle is getting harder'

The taper may have not have recorded all the songs because after a long pause the recording restarts with Straight To Hell. Mick's accompaniment is not especially inspired, but Joe intones his barbed poetry with venom.

Should I Stay or Should I Go is much better than the previous night, Mick here back using a rock'n'roll guitar sound after the misplaced twangy slide guitar sound the previous night. Then its straight into I Fought The Law, again much tighter and faster than the previous nights. Terry managed to hit the crescendo peak at the start (unlike previously!) but what was he hitting on the six gun part?

The audience want more but apparently again the gig ends with I Fought The Law. The sets shorter now, the band's (especially Joe's) belief that the longer sets in 1981 (and earlier in 82) had become too meandering, dissipating their energy.

The very fine recording and performance ends with a shouted 'Adios!' from Joe.

Note:

Most of the reviews were written by Steve Morse, the long time rock critic for the Boston Globe and clearly a fan of the clash (he traveled to NY, NJ and Wash DC to review the band). As a native of Boston and a 25+ year fan of the Clash I have always enjoyed and agreed with his reviews. That can't be said for Jim Sullivan who wrote the Sept. 7, 1982 review. I was at that show and I have never had such a disagreement with a review and to this day, I can't hear (or write!) the words Jim Sullivan with out thinking about how far off the mark that review was (call me obsessed!), other's radio DJs at the time agreed. I thought it was a great show. I have included Sullivan's review just for the historical record. If you post it I may send my own memories of the show at a later date.

____________


Boston Globe Review

REVIEW MUSIC\ CLASH: ON A ROCKING NORTH AMERICAN CAMPAIGN\ THE CLASH - IN CONCERT WITH PULSALLAMA AT CONVENTION HALL, ON SUNDAY.

Author(s): Steve Morse Globe Staff Date: June 1, 1982 Page: ????? Section: ARTS/ FILMS

ASBURY PARK, N.J. - During the day, a dense fog blanketed this faded resort of antique arcades, hot dog stands and tacky hotels. Many vacationers, cheated out of a beach day, shuffled along the seaside boardwalk in a daze. Others mobbed the arcades, rode the merry-go-round and battled with video and pinball machines.

But thousands of youths had not come here for a holiday suntan or to play games. They'd come to see the Clash open its American tour and show whether the group had mended recent demoralizing problems - namely the four-week disappearing act by AWOL singer Joe Strummer. Then, drummer Topper Headon

quit; he had been busted for possession of heroin just before Christmas.

Sporting a new drummer in Terry Chimes - a friend who had been plucked out of an electrical appliance store job and given only five days rehearsal - the Clash broke through the grimness of the day, coming through with flying colors. It was an exceptional show of willpower under trying circumstances.

Peforming in the stark 4500-person capacity Convention Hall, a relic of a building constructed in the 1920s, the Clash ripped off a searing two-hour set of political rock and reggae. Their energy level was equal to, if not greater than, their climactic efforts at the Bonds club in Times Square last year. They acted like a band on a mission, bashing out a marathon show and then rearing back for seven encore tunes, spanning the grisly "Somebody Got Murdered," the foreboding "Armagideon Time," the angry "Straight to Hell" (a vicious swipe at British militarism) and the enduring cowboy rocker, "I Fought The Law."

Chimes, who was actually the band's original drummer and played on its first album, showed his mettle down this stretch. He played with a heavier rock bass beat than the more jazz-influenced Headon and was tireless. He wouldn't leave the stage, nearly stealing the show by flamboyantly calling the band back for yet another two songs, including the antipolice anthem "Jimmy Jazz."

The night had begun dismally with an awful set by the nine-woman New York band, Pulsallama, a crude, shrieking group that mentioned its name in every song, for which the members were hailed with a monsoon of debris from the impatient crowd.

Following a calvary charge trumpet call, the Clash, who have named this war-like tour "The North American Campaign," quickly turned the mood around. Dressed in army fatigues, hats and shades (looking like a jungle guerilla), Strummer immediately slugged through "London Calling" and "Safe European Home." It was early proof that his April AWOL stint in Paris (taken because of overwork, he later said, though it caused the cancellation of an entire British tour) had not diminished his dedication.

Proceeding apace, the Clash rifled off familiar political anthems: "Guns of Brixton," "Working For the Clampdown" and "Spanish Bombs," a Spanish Civil War lament that Strummer introduced provacatively by saying, "This is not a Bruce Springsteen number, this is supposed to be poetry." It was a humorously caustic dig at Springsteen (whose home turf is Asbury Park) and was done, Strummer confided later, "to wind the crowd up." Needless to say, it did.

Wanting also, however, to introduce new material, the Clash wove in six songs from its controversial new album, "Combat Rock." The LP is full of blistering political rhetoric, but saddled with a thick studio glaze that stifles the music's energy. In concert, though, the songs were much stronger, especially Mick Jones' lead vocal on the poppish "Should I Stay or Should I Go," the rawness of "Know Your Rights," the dance groove of "Rock the Casbah," and the dub effects of "Ghetto Defendent," which was thankfully minus the pretentious asides of Allen Ginsberg that appear on the record.

Filmed slides were again featured, with many of the same slides (of napalmed babies, tanks, soldiers and street riots) carried over from last year's show. They were also updated for the new songs - the best being the stern-faced shot of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini during "Rock the Casbah," whose lyrics fittingly dealt with the survival of rock despite government persecution.

The Clash - who expect to play Boston late this summer - again proved that, despite its recent soap opera history, the group can still confront and move listeners with an unrivaled conviction.-A press conference, sticky questions answered

The sticky subjects of ex-drummer Topper Headon's heroin bust and singer Joe Strummer's secretive four-week absence from the Clash were explored during a midnight to 4 a.m. press reception at Asbury Park's Casino Arcade after Sunday's concert.

"Topper was caught flying into London from New York with some heroin that a friend had packed in his bags. He didn't even know it was there. Topper had toyed with the stuff, but was not a junkie," said band spokesman Kosmo Vinyl, commenting on Headon's pre-Christmas bust for which he got off with just a fine. He added that Headon then quit the band this spring "because he wanted to go in a more commercial direction; he wasn't as into the band's politics as the others were."

Slumped in a corner, near partygoers who ran through the Arcade's fun house mirrors and Mad-orama haunted house, Joe Strummer was mum on the Headon issue, but did elaborate on his own disappearance. Having had only four weeks off in the last six years, he needed to get away "to find out who I was." He and his girlfriend hid out at the home of a friend in Paris, eluding a private detective the band had hired to find him.

During the getaway, he said he ran in the Paris Marathon, counted rivets on the Eiffel Tower ("14,712") and considered retirement, but decided to return because of a belief in the band's radical politics. "If we don't sing these songs, ain't nobody else going to," Strummer said, addding, "what else am I going to do, really"

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~ For a Few Dollars More 1:51
London Calling 3:14
Safe European Home 3:36
Guns of Brixton 3:25
Train In Vain 3:57
Career Opportunities 2:12
The Magnificent Seven 5:52
Car Jamming 3:54
Bankrobber 3:11
Know Your Rights 4:42
Garageland 3:39
Police & Thieves 5:31
Clash City Rockers 3:38
Brand New Cadillac 3:26
Spanish Bombs 3:22
Radio Clash 5:00
Rock the Casbah 3:26
Somebody Got Murdered 4:34
Clampdown 6:03
Armagideon Time 5:57
Police on My Back 3:37
Straight to Hell 5:10
Should I Stay or Should I Go? 2:44
I Fought the Law 3:23

Asbury Park Photos and blog
including after show photos/flyer
www.go2jo.com/?p=242

Boston Globe Review

30 May gig review
NME?
David Fricke

30 May gig (2nd night of 3) reviewed
NME
David Fricke

28 May New York Post
Clash crashing at Asbury Park tomorrow night. Asbury Park 3 night preview
Lisa Robinson

3/4 June - Unknown
Clash City Rotters
Trouble at Atlanta Gig (2nd June)following problems at Asbury Park

Combat Rock Advert
with Tour Dates

Unknown US magazine cutting
Joe/ Combat Rock
The Clash sucess with political songs
Fred Robbins

Joe found - US Tour 'On'
says Kosmo Vinyl

NME May 1982 & US newspaper
NME Joe Goes Missing - Clash to postpone first dates, rest of tour in jeopardy
NME Clash blow - last two dates (uk)
US Newspaper - Strummer back, drummer gone - US dates 'on'

Any further info / reviews appreciated

May 19 Belgium
Rumours of a warm up gig for the Festival
May 20

Lochem, Holland


May 29 Convention Hall, Asbury Park NJ
May 30 Convention Hall, Asbury Park NJ
May 31 Convention Hall, Asbury Park NJ
Jun 2 Fox Theatre, Atlanta GA
Jun 4 The Warehouse, New Orleans LA
Jun 5 Hofheinz Pavilion, Houston TX
Jun 6 The Bronco Bowl, Dallas TX
Jun 8 City Coliseum, Austin TX
Jun 9 City Coliseum, Austin TX
Jun 10 Civic Auditorium, San Francisco CA
Jun 12 Golden Hall, San Diego, CA
supported by The English Beat
Jun 13 Mesa Community Center, Phoenix AR
supported by the English Beat
Jun 14 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles CA
supported by the English Beat
Jun 15 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles CA
supported by the English Beat
advertised on poster re: hollywood palladium 82 shows; the Ministry opened for the Clash?
Jun 17 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles CA
supported by the English Beat re: hollywood palladium 82 shows; the Ministry opened for the Clash?
Jun 18 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles CA
supported by the English Beat
advertised on poster re: hollywood palladium 82 shows; the Ministry opened for the Clash?
Jun 19 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles CA
supported by the English Beat
advertised on poster re: hollywood palladium 82 shows; the Ministry opened for the Clash?
Jun 20 County Bowl, Santa Barbara CA
Jun 22 Civic Auditorium, San Francisco CA
Jun 23 Civic Auditorium, San Francisco CA
Jun 26 Kerrisdale Arena, Vancover, Canada
Jun 28 Maxbell Arena, Calgary, Canada
Jun 29 Kinsmen Fieldhouse, Edmonton, Canada
Supported by Harold Nix

Well I was there and it was great. Very hot. The band stopped and threatened to quit playing unless thefighting at the front stopped - Joe was concerned about the stage sharpies damaging the kids. A great show. punkhistorycanada.ca documents one persons experience and has a photo of the edmonton concert. Your spelling of Kinsmen is wrong - you have. Regards and thanks for thegreat site! Judith Lake


© Trevor Stenson

Yah, Yah, I know ...they signed to CBS. Some even hailed that as the end of punk when it happened. First Concert I ever saw, which always sounds cool to youngsters. However, I was 15 and really missed a lot of prior concerts and gigs (punk and otherwise) that I should have attended. Also, I was a little intimidated with the festival seating (there was some dangerous overcrowding up front), and I hung in the back for more than the first half of the Clash performance. After-all, it was only a few years after the Who tragedy in Cincinnati. The Clash paused the show and moved some people over the stage a couple times early on. The sound was much better when I went down on the floor. However, I did snap this long-shot when I was in the balcony. The largest original punk concert that occurred in Edmonton in the "old days". There was a big rush on tickets when they were released, but the show never did quite sell-out which I thought was pretty lame on Edmonton's part. I remember hearing a few hardcore people were trying to act up all punk - I don't give a f*ck - and got tossed by security before the Clash started. Now that is truly lame. I guessing attendance was less than 5,000. Ottosbro


I was at this concert and 16, my brother was in a band at the time that also opened for The Clash, not sure which band he was in at the time, maybe The Shock. Anyone else remember the "other" band that opened that night? Lynn


i was there as well , 16 yrs old at the time . some great photos of the show still circulate around town at record fairs etc . there is a photo of security removing the wood barricade from the front of the stage , while joe strummmer gives the crowd instructions , making sure everything is ok. i recall the crowd buzz , as you could see the clash walking to the stage via a upper tier jogging track .siggy

I was there too ! I slept all the way from Jasper - waitressing at Jasper Park Lodge for the summer. We arrived just in time for the show so I was completely sober and the show was still awesome...I remember those "pauses" when the wood at front of the stage collapsed and all the splinters / nails ended up in front of the crowd who were pushing ahead. I was glad to be sober in the end because I don't think anyone would have noticed me had I stumbled....cethlyn

I was at this show. 17 trs old at the time. I was BLOWN away!!Bee Dee