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

updated 7 July 2008 - link to photos by Cathrine Vanaria
updated 25 Dec 2008 - The Clash Play Revolution Rock
updated August 2022 added article
updated Feb 2024 added Mineapolis Star

Audio 1 - see below

the tape ran at the wrong speed

Audio 2 - speed corrected version

Good - Sound 3.5 - 80mins - low gen? - 24 tracks

Complete Control

WBCN Radio Boston Interview

Phone-in Show following the gig.

Radio follow up

In an interview 'The Clash Play Revolution Rock' with Chris Salewicz in Trouser Press, March 1980 the band give their take on the WBCN Boston Radio.

bad speed problems - decent sound

This one came with decent sound but with some horrendous tape speed problems. Corrected, the recording certainly improves somewhat. It is one of the best recordings from this tour and certainly one of the best performances.

The sound improves considerably from the start of London Calling probably as a result of the taper lifting the hand held mike above the heads of the audience; you can hear the mike thud down at the end of each encore. From here on there is a good range of sound and considerable clarity. Some stereo separation also adds to the listening enjoyment.

Only criticism is the sound is a touch harsh concentrated in the mid range. The drums, guitars, bass are all clearly audible, the vocals perhaps down a touch. Guitars come through the mix strongly including Joe’s. There is little evidence of Mick’s guitar effects here too thankfully. Shouts and claps from the lively audience add not distract here to the enjoyment. The atmosphere of the gig is captured well.

Paul Morley wrote that Detroit was not a Clash city yet

Paul Morley wrote that Detroit was not a Clash city yet, Joe sensed the negativity from stage and grew progressively angry. When asked in Detroit for a message for USA he said curtly “Eat less!” And at Cleveland Joe had a croaky throat. An interview recording does exist from WWWWDetroit FM Radio recorded before the Detroit gig

The Orpheum Theater, Boston would prove a favourite venue for The Clash and their debut performance here was exceptional, aided by a highly enthusiastic and lively audience who called them back for 2 encores. Take The Fifth became exactly that at this gig with Mickey Gallagher making his debut. A very good audience recording circulates together with an entertaining phone in show that the band did after the concert on WBCN Boston

WBCN Boston FM Radio Phone-In Show

Marcus Gray decribes this show as "foul and obnoxious"

19 September 79

Entertaining Clash Radio Phone In after the Boston gig so the proceedings are lively. Interview starts off seriously but as it progresses dominated by some 'wacky' callers and ends with some regretable and dated commentson the Village People.

Joe, Mick, Topper, ‘Scratchy’ Barry Myers take phone calls and play various records. Begins with encouragement to a caller from the Direct Action Coalition to take over the Seabrook Nuclear Facility; the March 28th 79 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island would inspire The Clash particularly Joe.

A Londoner working in Boston saw tonight’s concert and thought it better than the 2 he had seen in London, Mick disagreed. Questions about Mickey Gallagher who will continue to play on the tour “for as long as we can afford him”.

A woman calling herself the ‘Queen of Swords’, stoned out of her mind, asked why the limousine did’nt come and pick her up, Mick replies no limos at Clash concerts we came in the transit bus. She then asks for help over something “emitting into the cosmos”, Topper says “don’t take the brown acid!”.

A caller asks them whether they knew that Sam & Dave were “given the finger” by many in the crowd [sections of US Clash audiences always failed to appreciate a number of The Clash chosen black support acts, some even shouting racist abuse]. An angry Joe says they were aware of it and “that’s the reason we try to get to play with people like that, because everyone goes around posing in their tight trousers thinking they’re it but those guys is where the music comes from.”

To emphasis this the music chosen by The Clash is largely from their support acts; Sam & Dave, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Desmond Dekker and The Mighty Diamonds (Scratchy “ This is for all the people in red [bouncers] at tonight’s concert ‘Whose gonna bodyguard, mr bodyguard!’.

After about 20 minutes when the band talk football and talking callers it goes awry.

A caller bigs up Elvis Costello verses the Clash and the abuse starts to flow. Led by Kosmo Vinyl and Topper, Mick starts it off and chips in before Joe tries to defuse it.

Marcus Gray decribes this show as "foul and obnoxious" on a par with Bill Grundy interview. The source of the swearing is a slurring Topper and starts when one caller asks “how much longer do we have to listen to you assholes!” and another caller who says they are almost as good as Elvis Costello! The show ends with the assembled throng singing along to the Dave Clark Five’s ‘Glad All Over’ and Village People’s ‘Y.M.C.A”. Teh interview is way out of hand when Mick shouts out "faggots" and Kosmo singing "Why are you gay?".

The radio interview and the Clash's behavior following the interview (smashing up the interviewers/stations whole record colletion) were probebly the lowest point of the bands whole career given the stand they had taken on excesses of the rock establishment and the politics that the band promoted. Probably one they look back on with great regret and one which presented everything the Clash came to stand against. Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon didn't join the antics.

  • Advert

  • Tickets


    Boston Orpheum Theatre

    The Orpheum Theatre was opened in 1852 and is still a popular music venue today. It has very good acoustics and seats 2,800.

    "I hereby say people are allowed to stand where they like that pays their money”

    The Clash again respond to a very lively and enthusiastic audience by delivering a fired up very strong performance, perhaps not quite as intense as Chicago.

    The intro music is The Standells 60’s garage classic Dirty Water which name checks Boston but this though sounds like a cover version as the lyrics have been changed to name check the Thames and London.

    The Clash then blast into City of the Dead, an unusual set opener not likely to please the audience. Johnny Green’s book has him adding it to the set list as a joke at Vancouver,(last night of the tour), much to the consternation of the band! However it may well be that this was the night and Johnny’s memory not for the first time is at fault. Before the audience can react its Bored With The USA and then Joe responds to the applause and shouting with “just like to say this is a very nice turnout for us, don’t think we don’t appreciate it” a brilliant Complete Control follows with great soloing from Mick.

    Joe then addresses the audience in response to the violence of the bouncers “short announcement, who is the promoter? Where’s Don Law? (He’s a fuckin pig someone shouts} you guys at the end of this aisle, I hereby say people are allowed to stand where they like that pays their money”. This gets the audience going even more and cheer and shouts of encouragement ring out. Joe later said that the bouncers were punching people all over the hall and one girl was beaten up and thrown down the stairs.

    The sound quality now improves for the best London Calling to date, harder and tighter than previously without the annoying guitar effects at the start of the song. “Time to be tough…” line still included at the expense of the recorded “ain’t got no swing except for the ring of the truncheon thing”.

    White Man is excellent again with the band getting in a loose groove. Joe then tries again (rather charmingly) to get the audience out of its seats and up at the stage with “If you’d just give me a minute to explain, what I meant was I was talking about earlier about Don Law, he’s the promoter and he’s paying these gentlemen in the red T-shirts, you see in England when a band strikes up as it were, they kind of stand up in the aisle and get as near as they can, but if you’re quite happy where you are (No! No! Shouts the crowd. Koka Kola then blasts out segueing brilliantly into I Fought The Law.

    The next highlight is the earliest circulating recording of Paul singing Guns Of Brixton here has a different arrangement to later tours. All the performances are strong with Joe clearly fired up. A further announcement from Joe heralds the arrival of Blockhead Mickey Gallagher although he doesn’t even get a name check! “if you hear a new sound in the next few numbers don’t go and get your money back, this greasy guy over here..”

    Mickey had arrived unrehearsed that afternoon so that the first time he sees them playing live he played with them. Morley says he was tucked away at the side of the stage barely heard or seen and certainly his debut song Clampdown reaches its mid point before his organ can first be heard.

    Gallagher was brought in to add that “wild mercury sound” of electric organ that Dylan loved for his ground breaking 65/66 performances. Strummer of course was and is a big fan of Dylan’s, a feeling reciprocated when Dylan came to see The Clash live and was soon playing with a US punk band on US TV.

    >Following an intense Police and Thieves Joe says “ Long John Silver (Green) has whispered in my ear that the geezers in the red tracksuits have gone, so those who wanna break a law.. Mick “ Be daring, go down the front a bit, dance a bit!” Some clearly do and Joe says “Oh criminals!” At last getting the sort of intense reaction from the audience to match the intensity of The Clash’s performance they launch into a wild Capital Radio.

    The audience roar their approval then it’s the first live recording of Wrong 'Em Boyo introduced by Joe “I want you to listen to this and tell me what you think of it, this one is going down big in England (referring to the ska revival)” Mickey Gallagher does a solo and this is another highlight of a very strong performance.

    It’s a roar then through Janie Jones and Garageland to the first encore. Armagideon Time is getting tighter then just as the audience have got their breath back its Career Opportunities and White Riot blasting through the PA.

    The highly enthusiastic crowd are rewarded with a second encore of a speeded up Jimmy Jazz with goes straight into What’s My Name.
    A very enjoyable performance good sound but oh! to have been there, and the great Sam & Dave too.

    The Clash blast States crowd: work on a new smoother image

    The Tufts Observer
    Tufts University, Medford MA


    Link or Link 2

    Clash concert intriguing but hardly transcendental

    Minneapollis Star

    13 Sept 1979

    Clash concert but hardly transcendental

    Reviewed by JON BREAM

    Minneapolis Star Staff Writer

    "Their concert surpassed the three best shows I've ever seen," read the review from Boston. "It was the best rock show most people had ever seen," was the report from San Francisco. "The most intense rock band ever," declared New York's Robert Chrlstgau, who calls himself the dean of rock critics. Indeed, the buildup for the Clash the survivors of the British punk rock movement who made their local debut Wednesday night at the St. Paul Civic Center Arenawas nothing less than spectacular.

    The Clash cult was expecting nothing less than the second coming. Weu, tne concert was nardiy ca thartic or transcendental. The first half was curious, but something was mlssins: once the auartet clicked In the last half, the per formance was intriguing if not convincing. Punk rock may have died earlier this year with Sid Vicious of the defunct Sex Pistols, but the four members of the Clash haven't lost their punk attitude. In England, punk rockers were an angry, politically oriented bunch.

    For them, punk was a way of life that was reflected in everything from their dress and music to their politics and practice of living on the edge. By contrast, American punks tended to display a sense of humor that prevented them from going off the deep end. Joe Strummer, front man of the Clash, certainly seemed to culti vate stereotypical punk offensive-ness Wednesday, as if to demonstrate In his own self-righteous way how punk (read hip) he could be. After the group opened with "I'm So Bored with the U.S.A.," he blasted the Midwest as a wasteland. Later, he told the 2,000 or so fans that if they didn't like the Clash's performance, they should "tell us limeys" where to go.

    Strummer ran around kicking guitar amplifiers and swinging the microphone stand. His angry antics 'mill ''wa - f I, i.--. t rMuavaciyr'.t.1 l r' ; 7 - i 1 i v It . - 111 I Star Photo by Steve Schluter Joe Strummer displayed punk rock's offensiveness seemed more anarchic than pur- band v was formed in June poseful. However, once the singer- '76 af..

    ,-s had left art school rhythm guitarist turned the lead and Strummer had been frustrated vocals over to lead guitarist Mick singing In a soul band. The Clash's Jones, the Clash finally began to first album Is raw musically, mill-click. Listeners began to realize tant politically and generally nega-that this group was talented and tlve. But, the music mirrored the well-conceived, not just a garage times. And the British rock press band that manicaly banged out in- loved it, and so did the fans, tense, rudimentary rock n' roll.

    However, the Clash was little When the Clash's second album, more than an amateurish garage "Give 'Em Enough Rope," was re intriguing X 1 leased in mld-'78, it entered the British pop charts at No. 2. It is a bolder, more violent and more political record. It's more worldly in Its scope, but perhaps less developed In its vision. Yet, if the politics are becoming naive, the Clash's music is clearly growing.

    Melodies, subtlety and even humor were evident Wednesday. There was some reggae, some pop-styled songs and even a cabaret jazz number. Oftentimes, though, it was difficult to decipher the words Strummer was shouting with his coarse voice; Jones was a more lucid singer, but he, too, had a rather heavy accent. Nevertheless, even If the Clash's heady politics or raucous style are not everyone's cup of tea, few can deny that the quartet is a great dance band. The group had most of the concertgoers on the main floor of the arena dancing for the 70-mlnute performance.

    Nicky Headon's booming, almost orchestral drumming was Impressive, and hard-working Paul Si-monon complemented the drums perfectly with his machine-gun bass. Jones was a surprisingly adventurous and accomplished lead guitarist and the unexpectedly Advanced sound techniques also provided some nice touches. Appearing before the Clash was David Johansen, whose early '70s band, the New York Dolls, was the prototypical American punk group and an influence on the Clash. His performance was wonderful but all too brief. He demonstrated a charming rock sensibility, with just the r'ght mixture of humor, outrageousness and meaning.

    He Indicated he has definitely developed Into a force to be reckoned with. Johansen sang an old Four Tops song and a Dolls number. But most of his material was drawn from his two solo albums. He offered thoughtful ballads and intelligent, full-bore rockers. Especially memorable was "Wreckless Crazy," a wild tune from his new album, "In Style," one of the most stylish rock albums of 1979..

    I was there. "Life altering."

    Doug Geer
    My first Clash show. My two word review: Life altering. Link

    I was there

  • Mark Fisher

  • I was there, I think they had Sam and Dave opening and Joe Strummer had to come out and ask some of the audience to show some respect… Times have changed huh !!

  • 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.

    Killer Children Fanzine Review - Boston review

    Killer Children Wormtown zine, October 79

    Archive PDF

    Fanzine (HTML)

    The Clash Play Revolution Rock

    Chris Salewicz, Trouser Press, March 1980

    Link 1 or Link 2

    The band give their take on the WBCN Boston Radio.

    IT'S FOUR days before Christmas. A dark, early evening damp with snow and rain. Immediately south of the Thames, in the inappropriately genteel Victorians

    The Boston Globe - Clash date

    Thu Sep 13 1979

    The Boston Globe - Clash make the sparks fly

    Sat Sep 22 1979

    The Clash more or less, to have or have not

    Boston Phoenix -

    19th Sept 1979 - incomplete

    A Riot of our Own pg192


    Photos by Cathrine Vanaria

    7 are from Harvard Square Theater, Cambridge MA, USA (16 Feb 1979)
    1 is actually from Boston Orpheum (Sept 19th 1979)
    3 from the Boston Orpheum - one of which wrongly attributed to Harvard (March 9 1980)

    Did you go? What do you remember?

    Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
    Please email blackmarketclash



    City of the Dead
    I'm So Bored with the USA
    Complete Control
    London Calling
    White Man In Hamm Palais
    Koka Kola
    I Fought the Law
    Safe European Home
    Jail Guitar Doors
    The Guns Of Brixton
    English Civil War
    Clash City Rockers
    Stay Free
    Police and Thieves
    Capital Radio
    Wrong 'Em Boyo
    Janie Jones
    Armagideon Time
    Career Opportunities
    White Riot
    Jimmy Jazz
    Whats My Name

    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


    Other books

    Search all of facebook

    Search all of Twitter

    Search for a local library

    Search auction site

    Search flickr

    Search Instagram

    Search the internet

    Search The Internet Archive

    Image search

    Getty Images The Clash here
    Need to vary search and year

    The Clash Art for Sale - Fine Art America
    Collection of Clash images, need to vary search and year

    WireImages here

    Any further info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.

    Submit an article here

    We are looking for scans - articles - tickets - posters - flyers - handbills - memorabilia - photos - comments / any information - you might have.

    Please like and post on our Facebook page or alternatively email blackmarketclash

    You can also follow us on Twitter
    We also have a Clash Twitter list
    of other notable Clash Twitter accounts here

    Blackmarketclash Links
    Extensive links page can be found here with links to web, twitter, Facebook, traders etc..

    If Music Could Talk
    The best Clash messageboard and which also has links to downloads on its megalists
    Go here for uploads and downloads. It's not a massive space so its on an as and when basis.

    Also go to 101 Guitars for downloads

    For the more ambitious, create a DIME account

    Contact your local library here and see if they can help.

    If you are searching for articles in the USA - DPLA Find the local US library link here

    WorldCat? - find your local library Link

    British Newspaper Archive - United Kingdom Link

    Newspaper ARCHIVE - USA+ Link

    Historical Newspapers - USA & beyond Link - international Link

    New York Times - USA Link

    Gallica - France - Not very helpful Link

    Explore the British Library Link

    Trove - Australia National Library Link

    The Official Clash
    Search @theclash & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

    The Official Clash Group
    Search @theclashofficialgroup & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

    Joe Strummer
    And there are two Joe Strummer sites, official and unnoffical here

    Clash City Collectors - excellent
    Facebook Page - for Clash Collectors to share unusual & interesting items like..Vinyl. Badges, Posters, etc anything by the Clash.
    Search Clash City Collectors & enter search in search box. Place, venue, etc

    Clash on Parole - excellent
    Facebook page - The only page that matters
    Search Clash on Parole & enter search in the search box. Place, venue, etc

    Clash City Snappers
    Anything to do with The Clash. Photos inspired by lyrics, song titles, music, artwork, members, attitude, rhetoric,haunts,locations etc, of the greatest and coolest rock 'n' roll band ever.Tributes to Joe especially wanted. Pictures of graffitti, murals, music collections, memorabilia all welcome. No limit to postings. Don't wait to be invited, just join and upload.
    Search Flickr / Clash City Snappers
    Search Flickr / 'The Clash'
    Search Flickr / 'The Clash' ticket

    I saw The Clash at Bonds - excellent
    Facebook page - The Clash played a series of 17 concerts at Bond's Casino in New York City in May and June of 1981 in support of their album Sandinista!. Due to their wide publicity, the concerts became an important moment in the history of the Clash.
    Search I Saw The Clash at Bonds & enter search in red box. Place, venue, etc

    Loving the Clash
    Facebook page - The only Clash page that is totally dedicated to the last gang in town. Search Loving The Clash & enter search in the search box. Place, venue, etc
    Facebook page - Our very own Facebook page. Search & enter search in red box. Place, venue, etc

    Search all of Twitter
    Search Enter as below - Twitter All of these words eg Bonds and in this exact phrase, enter 'The Clash'
    Images on the offical Clash site. (all images via google).
    Images on the offical Clash site. site: