The Clash go Back to Basics

updated 18 Jan 02 - upgrade version 3.0 added
updated 7 July 2008 - added MASTER recording added & punters view (Saw what was left of)
updated 12 April 2011 - added punters comments

cdr - extended upgraded vers. - Sound 3 -
83min - bc/m - 23 tracks -

cdr - MASTER - Sound 4+ -82min - bc/m - 23 tracks -
Very good upgrade to MASTER - very clear

This is not only an upgrade in the sound quality but it is longer, though there are no new tracks. The old one was 72mins, and this is 83 mins. Similarly it has 23 tracks.

The first known gig circulating post Mick Jones' sacking. A reasonable recording, its clarity is spoilt by some mild distortion at the bottom end.

Some circulating tapes have only 22 tracks. Clampdown being the extra track. Interestingly Nick Sheppard sings Should I Stay or Should I go which would soon be dropped from the set.

At the end of Janie Jones Joe controversially shouts 'Wake up Nigger'

Saw what was left of The Clash in '84 at the San Francisco Civic... I remember it being a pretty good show but I was only 14 at the time and high on NoDoz so who knows! ;-) I also remember everyone being extremely aggitated and vocal to have to wait through the opening act (Los Lobos). Here's an old review of the show...

New Clash lacks some of the old fire

San Francisco Examiner , January 23, 1984

Written by Philip Elwood

About four years ago the Clash, a British punk rock quartet invaded our shores via recordings and a concert tour. Already famous in the punk-underground for their dedicated political and social rebelliousness and the urgency of their powerfully rhythmic music, they enjoyed a most successful 1980-1982 period.

Local appearances in their early U.S. days at the Berkeley Community Theater and at the Kezar Pavilion were sensational examples of what many thought to he the most exciting and provocative turn rock music had taken since its heavy electrification in the mid-1960s.

By last year the Clash had suffered from internal differences over both musical and philosophical direction, and leader-vocalist-guitarist Joe Strummer let it he known that a new Clash ensemble, this time a quintet, would pick up where the original group had left off.

On Saturday at the overcrowded Civic Auditorium (I seldom get fearful and claustrophobic in jammed arenas, but I was on this occasion) we had a chance to hear the "new-old" clash. There were three guitarists, bassist Paul Simonon (with Strummer the only original Clasher) and drummer Pete Howard plus 10 dangling, smallish video screens and a massive sound system. Nick Sheppard and Vince White were the new guitarists.

Joe Strummer has a stronger lead role in the Clash
It was a good concert although hardly of the gutty, bombastic style of old. Strummer assumed even more of leadership role than was his earlier wont and had trouble at times keeping up the frantic pace always associated with the clash. In his rhythmic guitar-playing lead, In his shouted, strident vocals and in his non-stop commentary, Strummer often becomes incoherent.

They began with "London Calling" and ended about 75 minutes later with "Jamie Jones," the third encore. In between, "Police and Thieves," "Rockin' the Casbah," [sic] "Police on My Back," "Brand New Cadillac," "Guns of Brixton", (Simonon vocal) and others came across quite well. The video screens (all the same images) projected a variety of still and motion pictures of, usually, some significance to the players and listeners - war movies, police activities, defiant placards, etc. Strummer's concern for the British black population and for their reggae and hi-life music is particularly evident in the Clash's music and in his socio-political commentary.

The sound system, though excellent for those jammed on the main floor, was muddy for the thousands upstairs.

Record producer, anthologist, comic and interlocutor Malcolm McLarenren conducted a lively dance set on stage (with many splendid local acts) before the Clash's appearance.

The evening began with a short performance by the Los Lobos band.

'New' Clash Plays Some Old Favorites
For S.F. Faithful

San Francisco Chronicle , January 23, 1984

Written by Joel Selvin

Far away from those rocky shores, that scepter'd isle the Clash calls home, in the relative obscurity of San Francisco, the prelates of punk faced the most potentially ticklish performance in the band's career with relative ease.

If the group bombed, who would know back home?

Outside of the cynical scrutiny of the British press and fad-conscious, trendy English music scene - where the Clash may already be somewhat old hat - the group could comfortably get away with the introduction of what amounts to a whole new band, in front of a nearly sold-out San Francisco Civic Auditorium Saturday, full of California teens primed for the concert by harmless radio hits like "Rock the Casbah" and "Should I Stay Should I Go," rather than the leftist revolutionary rhetoric of "Guns of Brixton" or "White Riot."

These recently acquired fans would seem the least likely to be overly sensitive about the absence of guitarist Mick Jones, whose tough swagger and thinly veiled insolence lent so much character to the band. In his place, bandleader Joe Strummer introduced two semi-professional young British guitarists, Nick Sheppard and Vince White. Neither proved exceptional at the Civic. Far from it, in fact. Even keeping their guitars in tune proved a problem for these green additions to the world's most famous punk rock band. Nor did they show any particular skill in their brief, awkward attempts at vocals.

But the question of technical excellence matters more with other bands than with the Clash, who are the rock world's equivalent of political propagandists who spray-paint leftist slogans on walls in Berkeley.

With the rest of the band dressed in black, Strummer looked especially resplendent in his bright red sport coat and white trousers. tie certainly did his part, rolling around on the stage, thrashing upside down on his back, his kicking legs the only part of his body visible above the surging mass in front of the stage.

The program mixed familiar Clash pieces with new songs headed for the band's next album (to be recorded following the current tour). All the inevitable cornerstones of Clash concerts were present and accounted for - "London Calling," "Police and Thieves," "I Fought the Law," "White Riot" and "Rock the Casbah" in a mysteriously perfunctory rendition - but a great deal of the show was anchored on material the audience never heard before, such as "We Are the Clash," "Sex Mad War" and others which, in the great Clash tradition, were barely decipherable in live performance.

With the two new guitarists fumbling to keep up, the band never struck any rhythmic gold until late in the concert, ironically, during a bass and drums break in "Police and Thieves" when Strummer had sent one of the guitarists offstage, presumably to tune his instrument. Between drummer Pete Howard and bassist Paul Simonon, the two musicians worked up a chugging, bumping interchange that rumbled agreeably through the hall.

In introducing the number, Strummer delivered one of his trademark tirades on culture and the folk process in popular music. "This is punk meets reggae," he explained, "not white reggae. We add some of our own culture to it, so this is no ripoff. I'm talking to you Sting," he shouted, referring to the vocalist-songwriter for the Police, whose work has sometimes been accused of misappropriating Jamaican rhythmic ideas.

What's a Clash Concert without a few polemics? It helps lend a little of the delicious flavor of an anti-war rally to the proceedings and underlines the band's commitment to political struggle and rock-scene infighting. "We do have a culture," Strummer informed the crowd, "and I'm quite sure it's not Van Halen."

Actually, the band's first commitment is to rock and roll and all that it encompasses -- passion, guts, loud guitars, angry songs, anti-social attitudes and, perhaps most of all, spectacle. Helping to provide, a bit of spectacle at the Civic was Malcolm McLaren, the redoubtable manager of the defunct Sex Pistols who can always be counted on in such matters.

McLaren, hands thrust deep into the pockets of a trenchcoat, briefly preceded the Clash by supplying calls to a tape of his punk rock meets-square dance disco hit, "Buffalo Gals," while a handful of local break dancers flipped, twirled and threw their bodies around onstage, like fish out of water.

Opening the show was Los Lobos, a dream garage band of four Mexican-Americans from East Los Angeles who play like 1965 in San Bernardino. Between this lesson in Chicano rock history, McLaren's demonstrations of contemporary street life and Strummer's own lectures on art, politics and culture, the audience could at least go home feeling educated, if not entertained.

I attended the Jan. 21, 1984 concert in San Francisco.

It was memorable for several reasons, but the highlight for me was the stellar performance by opening act Los Lobos. I didnít know until today, over 25 years later, that it was the first Clash show after Mick Jones was sacked.

I have a few good pics Id like to send your way if you could use them. Best, Duffy Johnson, Albuquerque, NM



London Calling
Safe European Home
Know Your Rights
The Dictator
We Are the Clash
The Guns Of Brixton
Rock the Casbah
Sex Mad War
Spanish Bombs
Should I Stay or Should I Go
I’m So Bored with the USA
Police and Thieves
Clash City Rockers
Police on My Back
I Fought the Law
White Riot
Tommy Gun
Three Card Trick
Brand New Cadillac
Koka Kola
Janie Jones

New Clash lacks some of the old fire
San Francisco Examiner
January 23, 1984

'New' Clash Plays Some Old Favorites
For S.F. Faithful
San Francisco Chronicle
January 23, 1984

Village Voice 31 Jan 84
review by Greil Marcus

Any further info / reviews appreciated

Jan. 19, Arlington Center review
& Tour Interview

USA Press release February

USA Press release April

Los Angeles Times, January 22, 1984
Written by Robert Hilburn
text only or 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Pulse Magazine

The Clash: Up The Hill Backwards
Charles Shaar Murray,
NME, 29 May 1982

The Clash: They Want To Spoil The Party So They'll Stay
Bill Holdship, Creem, October 1984
CREEM CONTRIBUTOR Mark Norton and I were talking several days before the Clash "invaded" Detroit, and we began discussing the concept of "armchair activism" and how the Clash probably fit into that category.

NME 10 Sept 83
Mick Jones sacked from Clash

Vince White's view

The Last Crusade
©2005 Chris Knowles

1984 Photos Unknown

Joe Strummer, Vince White, Nick Sheppard, Paul Simonon, Pete Howard
OUT OF CONTROL TOUR ‘84 ...with Mick Jones departed, a new five-man Clash hits the road to stir up interest and hone their chops: Joe Strummer (vocals/guitar), Vince White (guitar/vocals), Nick Sheppard (guitar/vocals), Paul Simonon (bass/vocals), and Pete Howard (drums)... Dates maybe a little mixed.

Jan 19 Arlington Center for the Performing Arts, Santa Barbara CA, USA
There is a 15 minute video back stage interview with Paul and Joe. Vince White describes this gig extensively in his Clash biog, The Last Days of the Clash, page 64
Jan 21

Civic Auditorium, San Francisco CA, USA

Vince White describes this gig extensively in his Clash biog, The Last Days of the Clash, page 75
Jan 22 Stockton, San Joaquin County
The Last Days of the Clash, page 78
Jan 24

Long Beach Arena, Long Beach CA, USA

Vince White describes this gig extensively in his Clash biog, The Last Days of the Clash, page 78
Jan 27

Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica CA, USA

The Last Days of the Clash, page 82
Jan 28 Warnors Theatre, Fresno, CA, USA
The Last Days of the Clash, page 82

I saw them in Fresno of all places. The opening band, which I thought was pretty good, was getting boo'd and the audience was throwing things at them. Two songs into their set, Joe Strummer barges out from backstage, the band stops playing, and Strummer yells at the crowd "Shut the fuck up. These guys are going to be great some day and you are going to regret it." He marched back behnd the curtains, the band fired up again and everyone got into the music. The opening band was Los Lobos.

Jan 29 Santa Cruz, CA

Ticket I happened to be at that concert. It was on Jan 29, 1984 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. I believe Los Lobos opened. My sister and I sneaked around back after the show and were able to say hello to Joe Strummer. Lori

Jan ? Santa Barbara CA, USA

Joe Interview Santa Barbara
Cover... Page16... Page17...
Second gig here; The Last Days of the Clash, page 82

Feb 1

San Diego, Fox Theatre, California