updated 18 Jan 02
Poorer higher generation copies circulate
One audience recording circulates of the gig in but varying quality and some were incomplete. The master now circulates thanks to the Dime uploader. The master runs faster than the copies and you don’t want slow running tapes with Terry drumming!
The master reveals a decent enough audience recording its limitations the distance to the stage and the quality of the equipment used. All instrumentation is there but there is little range and a fairly flat sound, although it’s noticeably crisper than previously circulating copies.
A decent enough audience recording documents a typical performance from this tour, the band working hard but the lack of inspiration and real fire makes it OK but largely unmemorable. The master from Dime is worth seeking out but there are better recordings and performances from this leg of the tour.
One contributing factor certainly on the US 1982 shows is that having broken through commercially in the USA the band were playing larger venues like sports stadiums as in Houston. The band had always needed audience reaction to spark their best performances onto a higher level.; “Give me some reaction, anything!” had been Joe’s frequent plea to audiences.
The Clash on stage were a blur of energy which in turn energised the audience around them but that energy was inevitably dissipated the larger the venue. Although the band were still trying to book seat less venues many of the available venues were seated arenas as at the 8,500 Hofheinz Pavilion. The Clash of course became victims of their own success.
The Guy V. Lewis Court at Hofheinz Pavilion, often known as simply Hofheinz Pavilion, at the time of The Clash visit had a seating capacity of 10,000. It’s still a multi-purpose arena on the University of Houston campus in Houston, Texas but like many sporting venues sadly its capacity has been reduced by executive boxes for the prawn cocktail brigade! Hard to imagine corporate seats at any Clash gig!
The arena opened in 1969. Like many arenas of its kind, the seating bowl of Hofheinz Pavilion is dug into the ground so that one enters the building at the top of the bowl. Hofheinz Pavilion has been renovated several times in recent years.
The Pavilion has hosted concerts by such major commercial acts as Elton John, Elvis Presley, The Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Jackson 5, Bob Dylan, The Band, Prince, The New Power Generation, Madonna, Genesis etc.
Although now most major acts use The Summit, Prince held several shows at Hofheinz Pavilion on his Musicology Tour in 2004, and other acts still use it who want to avoid the ticketing-industry controlled venues in town.
After the usual intro music the recording and the gig starts promisingly with
“Hello the tune we’d like to warm up with now is called Mr Jimmy Jazz” The decent performance but not extended and Joes limited adlibs are largely unclear.
Then its straight into London Calling the band and Joe working hard to deliver in the cavernous sports hall followed by a routine Safe European Home. “Everybody look at the back of the stand. Please welcome Mr Terry Chimes on the drums” Car Jamming suffers from the sound limitations it needs a good quality recording to be enjoyable live. “Mucho gracias Senor & Senoritas encata Paul Simonon” Joe’s fluent Spanish intros Paul on Guns of Brixton! A more enjoyable and extended performance.
Train in Vain next is fine if unexceptional. An edit goes into a good Wrong Em Boyo with “I’d like to do a sad tale of a man called Billy and a man called Stagger Lee” The band continue to work hard but Magnificent Seven suffers from a lack of inspiration and Mick’s frankly awful new discordant guitar effects; no doubt he thought it a good idea at the time!
Junco Partner is OK but Know Your Rights is impassioned and effective.
“This is Mozart’s best number!” is Joe’s intro to a strong Clash City Rockers.
Should I Stay and Career Opportunities too have plenty of energy.
“Like to introduce this one in Arabic but my Arabic is a bit weak. So Salaam Alaikum!” Rock The Casbah is followed by Janie Jones with Joe and Mick pumped up on both; shame the recording does not do them justice.
An edit loses the start of Somebody Got Murdered and there’s some noise (digital clipping?) which appears also during Clampdown. A much better performance than the poor New Orleans one; it drives along, Mick playing is effective and Joe adlibs although mostly unclear. Even Terry manages to whip it up to end the main set!
First encore as usual is Armagideon Time which rather ineffectively plods along for 6 minutes with Joe adlibbing “A lot of people won’t play no basketball tonight, a lot of people won’t play no football tonight ..” Police On My Back is much better, an impassioned Mick shouts outs and Joe barks over his vocals!
“This here number is from Texas” rest is unclear but is a reference to Sonny Curtis and the Crickets who wrote the original I Fought The Law. An edit goes into the second encore and Straight To Hell.
Then with a jolt back to the 78/9 old intro Joe emits a long repeated “Wooh wwooooh” and the band crash into Police & Thieves. An effective performance
Joe wails over the ending but there’s no adlibs. The gig then ends unusually with Bankrobber. Joe’s in strong if rather hoarse voice but Mick adds some more of the horrible distorted guitar effects.
There’s no third encore and there are understandable boos when the very enthusiastic fans see the house lights and hear the PA music come on. A flat end to an OK if unmemorable Clash show.
Please feel free to send us any comments about this gig.
Combat Rock Advert
Unknown US magazine cutting
Joe found - US Tour 'On'
NME May 1982 & US newspaper