The Clash Take the Fifth Tour - Supported by The Undertones

updated 22 January 2022 - added flyer with ticket

Audio 1

4th gen tape - sound 3.5 - 1hr 17mins - 23 tracks

Spanish Bombs

Audio 2

master (enhanced) - alt source - sound 4.0 - 77min - 23 tracks

Spanish Bombs

Sound quality

The best recording in circulation is from a 4th generation audience source and is complete. Another source was edited down to 60 minutes with lesser sound. Both have some stereo separation, which makes for a more enjoyable listen.

The sound is much like one or two of the others on the tour; a good mix and range and reasonable clarity. Guitar’s come through well with drums, organ and bass good too but vocals suffer some distance problems. During high decibels there is a very slight distortion and there’s plenty of atmosphere from the audience, neither of which detract from the enjoyment of the performance, which maybe not the best or most charged of this tour, is nevertheless tight and powerful particularly in the encores.

The tour swings down south into Georgia and Texas

The tour swings down south into Georgia and Texas but without the Undertones who left after the Toronto gig. The band and particularly Joe were excited and inspired by playing in the southern states for the first time. Money problems continued; with Epic not coming through, the road crew were particularly difficult with drastic measures needed by Johnny Green and Baker [A Riot of Our Own].

Pennie Smith was at the gig taking photos; one at least is credited to Atlanta on the back cover of London Calling. A colour shot from the gig is shown below.

London Calling Album Cover

"My brother was in a punk band in Atlanta when he was in high school called the Stainz.   They did about 15 Clash covers.  The guys in the band went to the Clash show at the Agora Ballroom on Tue 2 Oct 1979, camping out and securing a place in the front row.  You can see them in the photo on the back of London Calling.  Stainz guitarist Chris Fox has his hand on the stage, facing the camera, with my brother John behind him.

Pop Music: The Clash will Play at Agora Tuesday

The Atlanta Constitution Sun 30th August 1979



Agora Ballroom Atlanta

Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom was a music venue located in Atlanta, Georgia that existed between 1974 and 1979.[1]

The original owners were Alex Cooley and Mark Golob. It was located in the Grand Ballroom of the Georgian Terrace Hotel at 663 Peachtree Street NE. It became the Agora Ballroom before closing in 1983. The structure burned down in 1987.

“Howdy, anyone got any complaints?”

The recording starts abruptly into Safe European Home, with volume levels all over the place before settling down mid song. Performances are strong though Joe sounds a bit hoarse and maybe tired as he sounds engaged with energy at most points of the set but not all. The sound improves a notch on London Calling and thereafter. “Howdy, anyone got any complaints?” is Joe’s greeting to the audience before an inspired London Calling with Mick’s guitar to the fore.

On Jail Guitar Doors Joe sings a completely different verse about being down south in Georgia. It’s another example of how The Clash unlike many of their contemporaries like The Jam would vary live performances with improvised lyrics, etc., and a reason why Clash bootlegs are so interesting to collect even if the sound quality is poor. Joe for example on Capital Radio always changes the intro and the mid song DJ lines in each performance where other performers would come out with the same patter every night. Police & Thieves, Clampdown (in later shows), Safe European Home, are a few of the many examples of Joe’s improvs.

After a fine performance of White Man with Joe’s guitar clear in the mix, Mickey Gallagher is introduced. “A couple of new songs if you can stand it, the men’s room is over there!” Spanish Bombs gets its live debut (in bootleg form at least) and it’s already the finished article with Mick opening out the song with excellent lead work.

Guns of Brixton gets a new intro with Topper beating out a drum pattern presumably to allow time for Paul and Joe to swop guitars. Next it’s the shortest fastest song of the set; “I’d like to bring you a message from the Coca Cola Company entitled…” As the song segues brilliantly into I Fought The Law you can hear the Atlanta audience go wild and Joe even manages to improvise lines over this song.

“So seeing as we’re a so called political band, this is a so called new political number, I’m not working for the Clampdown..” Joe changes the “men in the factory” lines to include somewhat ambiguously “the names Joe Strummer, I don’t need to bust a gut, I don’t wanna stick of rock, and I don’t wanna play the drums”, Joe signals himself the need to develop a fitting climax to this song (which they develop for 16 Tons tour) over the final drum, bass, organ jam with “Ok boys, they’ve all gone home now, Mickey they’ve all gone home!”

Its straight into an excellent Wrong Em Boyo before Joe introduces English Civil War while Mick’s swops over to the acoustic. “ If you don’t know what’s going on, we’ve just played some stuff we’ve just recorded. Alright then, like to get a little twisted now, gonna lay this one between your eyes, this is an American folk number”

The taper or someone close had been shouting for Guns On The Roof throughout and on hearing the opening chords thinks its Gun’s shouting enthusiastically.

Intriguingly, Joe introduces Stay Free with what certainly sounds like quite a nasty put down of Mick’ and his true ‘outlaw’ credentials; “This song is a real cruel tale written from the flesh, and the newspaper” There is then an edit which loses the start of the song and then some tape problems continue for half a minute.

Next it’s improvisation time, “Going to turn on the radio here a minute, just to see what we got to hear today in the in the here and now, OK here we are in Atlanta, Georgia, turn on the radio, give me the AM band, that sounds like the Eagles, no it sounds like Electric Light Orchestra, no maybe it’s the new one from Barry Manilow, maybe its Billy Joel,…Oh No! It’s the new one by Abba! In the mid song improv Joe says he’s the Hoochie Coochie Man acknowledging he’s in the south and Muddy Waters country.

Joe gets the audience participation going before Police & Thieves “I wanna hear you say woah, woah, I need some help” The audience respond as the screams rise in volume before Topper’s drums kick in. Joe’s improvises again over the ending with an unusual reference for The Clash to anal sex. “5 am on a cold, cold morning, Police, Police, he comes in, he goes you look like some dumb black ass brother, getting fucked up the arse, gee officer Cronkie..!” Joe works up a great head of steam before Topper’s drum figure brings the song to an end.

Now it’s the faster older songs, building the energy further to end the main set; Complete Control (powerful guitar work from Mick who also trades lines with Joe) straight into a charged Janie Jones and Garageland.

A fine Armagideon Time starts the encore, tight and inventive with Joe stretching out the vocals. Career Opportunities blasts in with Joe and Mick really fired up and spitting out the lyrics. But as What’s My Name ends the band leave the stage without playing White Riot.

White Riot would no longer be a guaranteed final song, as tensions over this song would build over the remaining years of The Clash, resulting on at least one occasion in Joe punching Mick. Mick felt that the band had moved on and progressed and that the song no longer represented where they were now at. Joe on the other hand strongly disagreed not least because he felt that the audience wanted it and he was still proud of the song. It would be still played on most of the remaining gigs of the tour, but be increasingly rare on later tours. The criteria for playing it was whether the audience in their reaction ‘deserved it’.

But on this occasion the crowd roared for more so The Clash came back on for a fairly unusual on this tour, second encore. As Topper beat out a repeated drum pattern Joe counts down “ 10-8-8-7-6-5 -6 [wait for it!] 5-4-3-2-1 before The Clash smash into an exhilarating White Riot. A most fitting song to end the exhilaration of a Clash gig.

Pennie Smith Before & After

A Riot of Our Own ch12 p204


Picture from 19 Feb 79 gig courtesy of Malcolm Riviera

Did you go? What do you remember?

Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
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Safe European Home
I'm So Bored with the USA
London Calling
Jail Guitar Doors
White Man In Ham Palais
Spanish Bombs
Guns of Brixton
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
Wrong Em Boyo
English Civil War
Clash City Rockers
Stay Free
Capital Radio
Police and Thieves
Complete Control
Janie Jones
Armagideon Time
Career Opportunities
Whats My Name
White Riot

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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