From: Mark Kirklin <mjkirklin[a]gmail.com>
Subject: I'm the taper of the 1983 Texas shows
I wanted to commend you on a fantastic site I've used for years as the key Clash resource. Also, wanted to let you know I was the taper of the 1983 Wichita Falls and San Antonio, TX shows.
I have a pretty vivid memory of both shows, I was living in Oklahoma City at the time and the Wichita Falls show was my second taping attempt. Memorial Auditorium was built in 1927 and I believe holds about 3000 people.
Elvis Presley played the venue in 1956 but in more recent times I don't think any big names had played there leading up to the Clash show.
I drove down the day of the show from Oklahoma City where I living at the time meeting a friend from Dallas at the show, we then drove down to San Antonio to catch and tape that show.
I remember pulling up to the Memorial Auditorium and the adrenaline starting to flow as I saw the Clash's tour bus parked next to the venue.
Getting the recording gear in was a snap there was no security to speak of, all the ticket takers and ushers appeared to be over 60. The crowd was for the most part 20 somethings most likely from Dallas.
Once the lights went down and the Morricone intro began the majority of the crowd rushed to the front of the stage to the pit between the stage and the first row. It didn't appear to be sold out and as the faithful rushed to the front the people there out of curiosity only stayed back in their seats.
I parked myself about 30 feet back from the stage dead center standing on one of the seats, no other crowd was within 10 feet of me making a fairly quiet recording overall. I remember a middle aged family down the row from me that looked bored out of their minds through the show, mom, dad and young teen son.
I don't think they were really sure what they were seeing. The vibe of the show was good, the band looked to be having fun playing in such a small market. They looked to be stress free and sounded fantastic, both tight and loose at the same time.
I also remember thinking at the time how great the unique songs sounded live such as "The Sound Of Sinners" and "Death Or Glory".
The San Antonio show 4 nights later had a different vibe to it, where the Wichita Falls show had a relaxed carefree feel to it, the San Antonio show was much more controlled and a bit uptight security wise.
There was lots of security and if I remember correctly a frisk to get in the door. Crowd was pretty rowdy throughout the show. The venue was an old theater holding about 2500 people and they did not allow smoking inside so ushers and security roamed the aisles looking for anyone lighting up. We had seats somewhere around the 10th row dead center.
There is a muffled spot in my tape where an usher spotted either me taping or someone lighting up as he made a bee line directly to our row and started making frantic hand motions in my general direction. Since I noticed him coming my way I hid my mic until he gave up. Where the unique songs were the highlights in Wichita Falls, the encores with with local Texas legend Joe Ely were a real treat.
They were really having a great time with their good friend, they really seemed to feed of of each other.A fantastic version of Joe Ely's "Fingernails" and really reached a frenzy on "I Fought The Law".Two of the greatest shows of my concert going/taping time.
As a side note I got to spend some time with Joe Ely in the early 2000's and asked him about his time with the Clash, he tells a funny story of when the boys were visiting him at his south Texas ranch and were fascinated with the lightning bugs/fireflies in the area behind Ely's house. Apparently, Strummer couldn't believe there were flying bugs that lit up and thought Ely was pulling his leg and somehow had the back area lit to do that.
Anyway, I've been meaning for a while to give you a mini show review, love your site, keep up the great work. I've shared the masters of my recordings via the internet some time back if you don't have copies from the masters I'd be more than happy to send them your way.