Clash Take the Fifth Tour
Supported by The Undertones & Sam And Dave

updated 5 Jan 2010 - added punters comments
updated 13 Feb 2012 - added more punters comments
updated 3 August 2014 - added video
updated Dec 2014 - added notes and detail to video
updated June 2021 added set list

Video - notes from camerman

Sound 3.5 - master - 8mins - is it complete & where did the good (but flawed) sound come from though it dioes syncs out with video?

A brief Super 8 colour film and sound from both the Detroit 79 and 80 show has appeared online.

What has surfaced

Decent video with very good audio

Jimmy Jazz edited 1:40
I'm so Bored with the USA edited 1:00
Safe European Home edited 2:30
I Fought the Law edited intro 1:40
Jail Guitar Doors 40secs

Video - notes from camerman

The person who shot the video said in advance

1) Opening Sept 17, 1979 with White Riot, Joe says something about in the intro, "We'll see now who the poseur is!"
2) about 1/2 of Clampdown
3) back half (nice quiet guitar part) of Jimmy Jazz, Joe very emotive
4) back half from bridge of I Faught the Law, and here Joe gives a shout to "Guitar hero Wayne Kramer! The father of us all Chuck Berry! James Brown."
5) Bored with the USA footage from Sept 17/79 gig - I shot this from Mick's side of the stage and this ist verse/chorus/most of 2nd verse is INDENDIARY - Strummer takes off his Tele and rubs his ass with it while singing "Yankee detective is always on the tv..."

Youtube with comments

WWWW Detroit FM Radio Interview

Joe, Mick, ‘Scratchy’ Barry Myers & Kosmo play some music (Passengers, Prince Buster) with DJ Mark McEwan in the afternoon before the Detroit gig. There’s a short interview where Kosmo & Mick in particular, pursue “The Quest” to turn off America to AOR Foreigner/Kansas “flared rock” as they call it and an appeal to listeners “ phone in if you like anything on the radio, its down to you!” They talk about the planned gig in Buddy Holly’s home town of Lubbock Texas to play with The Crickets at a dance in the cotton fields with. Duration 27.57 mins.




Joe actually kicked an amp over near the end

Back in '79 - I was extremely excited when the Clash had a date in Detroit...

From what I remember, the Clash were dealing with some equipment problems (amps coming and going) and I think it stole some of their thunder.

They would get on a roll and then some of the sound would go out. Joe actually kicked an amp over near the end. Despite the bands frustrations, I thought it was a good show and a treat to see them in person...

David Johanson was a tough act to follow because he did a bunch of Motown covers and reminded me of Mick Jagger.
I'm pretty sure The Undertones started.


this was the best concert I've ever seen

I attended the Clash concerts in Detroit in September, 1979 and March, 1980 (as well as a forgettable show in 1982).  Nestor's recollections of the Motor city Roller Rink show was spot on.  i've been to many concerts over the years before and after this show, and I still believe that this was the best concert I've ever seen.

  The contrast in the two shows (from masonic to MCRR) was an amazing transformation. However, the transformation was not so much in the band, but in the audience's reaction to the band.  One commentator was correct, in the masonic Auditorium show it seemed the audience was there mostly to see David Johansen, who had only recently left the New york Dolls, and had a small but dedicated following in Detroit.  It's also true that the Clash had equipment problems and became very frustrated, kicking the amps, spitting, etc.

    The MCRR show was a complete contrast.  the band came on late (after the sound check which one of your readers spoke of). But somehow it was perfect.  it was just late enough where the anticipation was growing to a fever pitch, but no so late that the crowd was frustrated.  The second they came on the electricity was intense.  Perhaps it was the release of London Calling, or just the fact that this was a crowd of hard core fans who came to see The Clash and the Clash only (although the back up bands performed admirably).

I remember that they opened with Clash city Rockers.  As your other commentators mentioned, there were no seats in the Roller rink, and I had fought my way all the way towards the front (probably the equivalent of the 10th row or so).  After that first number i remember Joe Strummer was filled with sweat.  There was no question that the band was preforming with all they had, and the crowd loved them.  I've never seen, before or since, this complete connection between a  band and it's fans, they just fed off of each other.  It was just one of those nights that I will remember for as long as i live.

Thank you, David Epstein - mdepstein[a]

The Clash expereinced the same reception the Sex Pistols experienced on their American Tour

The Clash followed the Undertones and David Johansen (formerly of The NY Dolls). Unfortunately, I arrived late to the majestic Masonic Auditorium after having difficulty finding suitable parking -- and missed the Undertones (with much regret).

David Johansen strutted his stuff, and there seemed to be many unusually dressed/coiffed audience members who had come to see him -- as I recall, he had a good reception from the audience...

When the curtains came up for the Clash, I was impressed with the huge canvas backdrop showing flags from around the world sewn together as a sort of quilt.

The Clash played with angry energy, mainly songs from their release "The Clash" (e.g., I'm So Bored with the USA). But there did not seem to be any chemistry with the audience.

On several occasions, Joe Strummer tried to stir up some excitement with his song introductions, but instead, the audience appeared to demonstrate a similar rudeness that the Sex Pistols experienced on their American Tour.

I was too far from the stage, but I am guessing there was spit being hurled from the front rows, and it looked like a cup of ice was thrown in Joe's direction. As I recall, Joe made some comment about the bad manners and treatment, and when another cup was lobbed towards the band after a song, the Clash decided that was enough and stormed off -- without any encore.

I can recall feeling that the show was a great bill, but was cut short by the antics of hooligans...I severely wished I could have heard more of the Clash...

I also felt (though realized after their Motor City Roller Rink show; comments below) that the stage was too large, the venue not very intimate, and the lineup of acts really not suited for a Clash show...the next show in the Detroit area would be VERY different.

Zielinski Kevin <kevinz4444{a]>

Read more comments on the Youtube post.

Here's is the best of them

Robert E. Livingood
This video means so much to me! I was ten years old and lived down the street from the Motor City Roller Rink when The Clash played there. I loved the band and desperately wanted to see them but was "too young." On the night of the show I snuck out of the house, went down to the rink, and listened to the muffled sound of the show from the outside. Now, 35 years later, I finally get a glimpse of what it looked like on the inside. This is beautiful!!

floydy opz
I saw that gig - I was 21. Saw them in Brixton too. At the Detroit gig the vegetarian Clash found a deep frozen wild- boar's head waiting backstage for their dinner.... welcome to Motor City...

"...I was there, too! You know what they say...Well some of it was true!"
This is awesome. Can't believe someone was able to capture this in that hot, roiling, over-crowded basement of a venue...
Love to know how they physically accomplished this. I recall being able to see almost nothing! Flat floor, low stage, crazy crowd...

Joe Pio
I went to this show; I was 10 and my aunt took me. There were alot of Punk shows there; Ramones, 999...

Nigel9999 Peterson
I was probably about eight feet to your right when you filmed this. I thank you so much for posting it. We were "the fans from Kansas, not the group" and had seen The Jam in Chicago three nights before. Were you there for that beautiful thing? And, did you follow The Clash to the bar after the show and trade beer and jokes with them? Gawd, it was wonderful.

The Jam and the Clash in the same week in 1980 when both bands were at the heights of their power? I'd say that was a damn fine week.

NME - Fastest gang in the West part 1 & 2

13th October (PDF pt1), and 20th October (PDF pt2)

The Last Gang in The West Leaves Town (HTML)

text version

NME 13 & 20 Oct Paul Morley
Paul Morley of the NME travels on the tour bus from Detroit on the 17th through to New York on the 21st interviewing and following the band.
DETAILS: The Scene. The Clash on tour of America. There's a glamorous image, with a confident, crusading edge to it. The Clash: a lot of hope and responsibility there. America: it still means a lot. Clash's current six week coast to coast tip to toe tour of the United States Of America is their first major assault.

Rash Clash Mash In Motor City Bash


Dave DiMartino, Creem,
December 1979JOE STRUMMER and I are sitting in a bar, talking about his band. I ask him about ‘I Fought the Law’ and its relatively unexpected success on American radio... (reference to Monterey as well)

Disgusted Clash just Disgusting


Jim McFarlin
Review/Pop - Detroit News
Just what is The Clash supposed to be so angry about anyway? "Man we're disgusted" says the bands riveting guitarist lead singer Joe Strummer, "Disgusted with everything..."

The Clash deliver explosive concert

Detroit paper

Jim McFarlin

Pop Review

What's a Who to a Clash

Detroit Free Press

Fri Sep 14, 1979

A Riot of our Own pg193

The Clash Official

Did you go? What do you remember?

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Setlist for Detroit



Jimmy Jazz 1:40
I'm so Bored with the USA 1:00
Safe European Home 2:30
I Fought the Law edited 1:40
Jail Guitar Doors 40secs

Appears to be missing White Riot from notes opposite?

There are several sights that provide setlists but most mirror They are worth checking.

from Setlist FM (cannot be relied on)

from Songkick (cannot be relied on)
... both have lists of people who say they went

& from the newer Concert Database and also Concert Archives

Also useful: Ultimate Music database, All Music, Clash books at DISCOGS

Articles, check 'Rocks Back Pages'

Take the Fifth Tour


A collection of
- Tour previews
- Tour posters
- Interviews
- Features
- Articles
- Tour information

A collection of articles, interviews, reviews, posters, tour dates from the Clash's Take the Fifth US Tour covering the period of the Pearl Harbour Tour.

If you know of any articles or references for this particular gig, anything that is missing, please do let us know.


Video and audio footage from the tour including radio interviews.


A Riot of Our Own
Johnny Green


by Johnny Green (Author), Garry Barker (Author), Ray Lowry (Illustrator)

Return of the Last Gang in Town,
Marcus Gray


Passion is a Fashion,
Pat Gilbert


Redemption Song,
Chris Salewicz


Joe Strummer and the legend of The Clash
Kris Needs


The Clash (official)
by The Clash (Author), Mal Peachey


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