Clash Take the Fifth Tour
Supported by The Cramps & Dead Kennedys & Rebels

updated 7 March 2007
updated 5 Sept 2008
updated 5 Jan 2101 - added posters
updated Jun 2021 added pass
updated 22 Jnauary 2022 - added advert
updated September 2022 added Agora article
updated Feb 2024 with articles, tickets and comments

Audio 1

Sound 2.5 - 1hr 16mins - 24 tracks - 2nd gen
Upgrade on older recordings

I Fought the Law

Audio 2

Sound 3 - 1hr 16mins - 2gen - 24 tracks - master, alt source

I Fought the Law

Sound Quality

The best recording in circulation is from a 2nd generation source (poorer, higher generation recordings do circulate missing Police & Thieves) it has good clarity but a restricted range giving a mainly top end of sound. Guitars come through best and drums, organ and vocals are decent for an audience recording which suffers from the usual distance problems not helped by the cavernous sound of the venue.

Bass though is a problem giving an unfocussed, distorted and annoying thumping sound but which is easily remedied by turning your bass controls down. There is distortion/over modulation and hiss, which are worse in some parts than others.

Audience noise is not intrusive and there is no significant stereo separation. It is an enjoyable recording where Mick’s playing can be heard well still afflicted by the effects but packing considerable punch.

“Punk rock ain’t music it’s shit”
Bill Graham, promoter

The last recording in circulation from the successful Take The Fifth tour, which produced vintage Clash performances on the dates when the audiences responded in kind.

The last gig of the tour was 3 days later at the PNE in East Vancouver where there was a mini riot midset and an extraordinary performance according to an eyewitness. This gig at Kezar produced a no less exhilarating performance and has gained legendary status in and around San Francisco.

Bill Graham the promoter who had a stranglehold on live music in San Francisco insulted the band backstage saying “Punk rock ain’t music it’s shit” with the result that a now increasingly wired Johnny Green attacked him. Not a wise move in view of the reputation of his security guys!

This gig provides us with the best sound version of the Clash live rarity, Be Bop A Lula. This Gene Vincent classic (and Neil Kinnock favourite) had been sung by Joe when in the 101’ers and its only other known performance was in Los Angeles 2 days earlier.

By Annie Toone

The first time I met Joe was late '78 in San Francisco. I was 20 years old. The Clash were in town to play an actual paying gig at Kezar Stadium when they heard we'd set up a Rock Against Racism chapter in SF.

Joe immediately offered to do a free concert for RAR at the Temple Beautiful for all us real punx who couldn't afford the other one. Word of mouth spread like wildfire and the Temple was heaving by the time The Clash arrived. They rocked so hard. I still have my RAR USA t-shirt. Joe often said, "not above me or below me, always with me". He meant it. He NEVER changed."


Link1 or Link2







The Kezar Pavilion

The Kezar Pavilion was erected in 1924 in Golden Gate Park, near famous Haight/Ashbury district of San Francisco. It still hosts to this day basketball matches and concerts. It would have been favoured by The Clash as there is no fixed seating.

We arrived early to get a good spot inside the show, which had been booked as "festival seating" (i.e., once inside, it was a free-for-all). We got within a person of the stage, and once the first band came on, it was Bedlam: arms flying, punches thrown, and people bouncing up and down frantically. The breaks in between bands were interminable, especially for those of us up front who were drunk, hot, dehydrated, and soaked through with sweat. In a misguided attempt to restore calm, a local radio geek was sent out to babble to the surly, unreceptive crowd who booed and cursed him, flipped him off, and threw shoes and other debris at him.

He goes onto say he got crushed when the Dead Kennedy’s came on and flattened literally by Jello Biafra when he jumped off the stage.

“Sorry to keep you waiting, this is NOT a Lou Reed show”

“Sorry to keep you waiting, this is NOT a Lou Reed show”, is Joe’s greeting to the already drained and tired audience before Safe European Home kicks off a highly energetic and powerful show. Joe is (as usual!) fired up offering add libs to the song and Bored With The USA continues the assault. “As you probably all heard we had a little problem and now we’re gonna exorcise it with a slice of London Calling” Joe gets mixed up with the lyrics repeating the unreleased lyrics “Its time to be tough, the midnight shutdown, who’s had enough”, Mick’s solo comes through well.

Joe’s sings his now customary verse on Jail Guitar Doors with lyrics made up for the night, but on this occasion it’s not clear what he’s on about! An edit loses Mickey’s introduction to the audience but restarts at Joe’s dramatic intro of Wrong Em Boyo; “Deep in the jungle of rhythm and blues, lurks a ghost, undiscovered by the future, forgotten by the past, on my left Mr Stagger Lee and on my right Mr Billy Liar, so you make sure this is a fair contest, no dirty tricks, no kicks below the kook (?) line and no punch up the poop chute and lets rock it!..”

White man, (“I’d just like you to use your imagination a little bit, you can transform this hall into the Hammersmith Palais”) is a very enjoyable performance despite Mick’s guitar effects making it sound like bag pipes on the solo. Next Mick screams out “1-2-3-4 like a man possessed, as a great Clampdown shreds the Kezar Pavilion with Joe keeping up the momentum on the ending section by shouting impromptu lyrics and screams. There are 3 separate tape dropouts on this song.

Joe announces that bizarrely the PA is on loan from the crooner Paul Anka. Julie’s Working for the Drug Squad makes a welcome return with Mickey’s tinkling on the ivories heard to good effect. An edit restarts with the opening chords of a terrific Clash City Rockers before Joe’s screams and “Woah’s!” announce another highlight of these later Take The Fifth shows, Police & Thieves. Mick delivers a lengthy fine solo followed by Mickey’s organ fills solo, the pace and volume falls then explodes again as Mick screams “coming in”. A great moment typifying the excitement of The Clash live.

Next “It’s me Mick, it’s about the nick in Brixton, called Stay Free”, with his end of song guitar codas right up in the mix. For most of the tour Mick had used an old hollow bodied electric guitar on this song with a result that it is hardly heard, so maybe this guitar had now been ditched. Mick’s solo on Complete Control comes through well here too.

Career Opportunities gets a unique and preamble “Just like to talk about some job opportunities a little bit…it’s a bottle containing angel dust, here’s the top, Ok give them their booze back, now Johnny Green come out here and it back, give it back Johnny” .As Johnny comes on stage Topper & Paul play a military drum roll intro from Johnny Comes Marching Home. Johnny then shouts into the mic “and I ain’t Freddie Mercury either!” What was that all about?!

It’s a great blast through the first album set closers to the encores. As an inventive Armagideon Time ends Mick plays the gentle intro to Capital Radio accompanied with light drum fills from Topper. The music pauses with feedback swirling around the Pavilion then a manic Mick screams “1-2-3-4” and Capital Radio shreds the audience. Tonight the song does not get the extended ad-libbed middle section and runs straight into White Riot.

The highly enthusiastic crowd won’t let the band go calling for a second encore, Joe comes back on and says “You gotta go home” there’s an edit and then its straight into a blistering Brand New Cadillac with Joe Ely adding some vocals or rather screams! Joe Ely continues to help Joe out on a heavy guitar drenched Be Bop A Lula. Great to hear The Clash tackling this rock’n’roll classic and a great performance ends on a high.

In the presence of genius

Anne-Marie Deubner <>

I was 20, attending college at Sacramento State University in California. I had driven down to the Bay Area for the weekend for a date with a guy I had met late summer. We were supposed to go out to dinner but when he showed up at my door he said there was a change of plans and we were going to Kezar.

I had heard of the Dead Kennedys but not the other bands being a long time Winterland attendee (twice a week) until they closed, also in 1979. I was into some of the mellower stuff and the classics, though David Bowie was on my top list so were bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doobie Bros, Jefferson (then) Starship. All the women my age wanted to BE Stevie Nicks.

Thinking I was going to be taken to a nice restaurant I had on a black wrap skirt, a rayon red blouse with puffy sleeves and my very long brown/ beach tinged summer blonde hair loose and way past my shoulders, appropriate attire for a Grateful Dead concert but I hadn't gotten the memo I needed short spiked dyed black as black hair (this before the blonde bleached, look as well as other colors, came in to punk).

I also missed the slim leg black jeans and T shirt, covered with a black leather jacket. The few times I went to the restroom, I was stared at by the other women as some kind of freak. They kept their distance.

The first band was playing as we arrived and I was horrified to see the front of the crowd by the stage dancing (slamming into each other at top force) and spitting their pleasure. Despite attending a hundred or more concerts in the Bay Area I had not seen this, even the clubs in SF that had punk bands didn't have this level of moisture and force.

My date headed straight to the pit leaving me with a friend of his close to the stage but on a side bleacher. I noticed a friend of mine from college that I ran with was the main stage bouncer for Bill Graham, so I went and talked to him and did several times during the night. I'm not sure who came next the cramps or the Dead Kennedys.

Everyone in the Bay Area knew about the Dead Kennedys and their lead singer was running for mayor at the time. Not very far into the set Jello Biafra jumped head first into the crowd and got all his clothes torn with the exception of an elastic band around his waist. Later he got a jacket from somewhere but continued the whole rest of the set flopping around.

Then the forever break, fights, tensions getting higher and higher, I talked to my friend at the side of the stage who told me they were trying to get the ban together.

When they finally came on I was in love! Many of the songs they played were from their yet to be released album, "London Calling". I could tell I was in the presence of genius, these guys were some of the very best in the genre. Raw, honest rock and roll like it hadn't been played for a long time. I have been a Clash fan ever since and still laugh at the sight of Jello Biafra bouncing around. Though the date was not what I expected it was one of those nights I will remember forever.

Thanks for listening, Anne-Marie Deubner

spit drenched, poseur, stage hopping affairs

"The 79 shows, Santa Monica civic, Palladium and Kezar in the city (sf) were spit drenched, poseur, stage hopping affairs.....Vicious crowds. (Although the Santa Monica Civic has a place in my heart, as it was close to our home and we saw countless shows there including a wild Joe Strummer with Xander Schloss on lead concert in the late 80’s that was something special)

The punk thing was just happening in 79 and la was more orange county punk (black flag, circle jerks, germs etc etc) than san francisco. (Dead Kennedy’s etc). Which was more “authentic” punk than LA

The two cities hate each other, (still do) culturally, sport teams, you name it.. It must have been mind blowing for the clash to step into what is basically another world, California. A lot of anger from The Clash, it must have been hard to play with people spitting on you and jumping on the stage just to show off.

Still the energy, humor and wit of joe are what i remember best. For better or worse, all venues had no seating anywhere near the floor, so it was general crush down front. No mercy was shown to the weak."

The atmosphere outside the auditorium was hostile

Nearing the end of their highly successful Take the Fifth tour, The Clash and Dead Kennedys played the Kezar to a spit-drenched, sweat-soaked, high-flying crowd milling about in 'festival seating' [code word: chaos] accommodations.

The atmosphere outside the auditorium was hostile, pitting punks in ripped t-shirts, leather accoutrements and spiked hair against horn-honking hoi polloi, and the atmosphere backstage hit a new low, or high, too, depending upon on one's viewpoint.

Promoter and perfectionist Bill Graham insulted the British socio-political punk phenoms, saying "... Punk rock ain't music, it's shit..." prompting an attack by their already wired road manager, Johnny Green. Not a smart move, given the well-paid security backstage.

it was stifling in the place

hi a quick note about your notes to the kezar pavilion-dead kennedys-cramps gig that the clash played. annie toone, who remembers the gig as the one before the temple beautiful unauthorized benefit show for rar (it was for new youth actually, of which rar was a part, i think).

anyway, she's confused the dates. the clash played the temple beautiful on february 8, 1979. the gig that they booked with bill graham presents was the night before at the berkeley community theater.

the kezar gig in october 1979 was noteworthy for two things: the clash played a bunch of songs from london calling, which hadn't been released yet. so along with the usual bad sound in kezar (it was best used by a summer basketball league), few if any of us had heard half the songs before.

the other thing was that the dead kennedys stole the show; they were absolutely superb that night - jello biafara (singer) was running for sf mayor at the time, and the band was playing almost every night. so they were airtight.

biafara jumped into the audience, and his clothes were torn off. he finished the set wearing just the elastic band on his underwear.

it was stifling in the place, and the clash didn't come on for another two hours i think (rumor was the simonon was missing for a while). by then the audience was tired and hot and wanted to go home. and the clash wasn't at ease with their material, yet. anyway, mainly i wanted to correct annie toone's memory. she's got her facts right except for the dates.

sorry to bother you with this, i'm writing a book for publishing house continuum (33 1/3 books). it's part of a series about single albums. so i'm doing 50,000 words on london calling which is why i'm even thinking about this stuff.

great web site, thanks, tommy amano-tompkions

Kezar My Dad, the Clash, and Me.

by Frank Portman | Medium

Jan 4, 2018


In October of 1979, this guy Mike and I made a pilgrimage to see the Clash at Kezar Pavilion in Golden Gate Park. I had just turned fifteen, and I had thought of myself as “punk,” sort of, for at least a couple of years, though I had rarely left my room during that time. I was always more of a Ramones guy than a Clash guy, but I had followed the Clash’s career from the comfort of my bedroom with considerable interest. They were “the only band that matters,” the “darlings of the punk rock scene” according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the nightly news, and Time Magazine. “The best live band in the history of mankind,” a college radio DJ had said. I had to check this out. Getting to San Francisco would take some doing. But we bought our eight dollar advance tickets at the record store, told our parents some story, and took the bus (a twenty mile, two hour journey) with no plan of how to get back afterwards.

We got off the final bus at the end of Haight and rushed past the McDonalds to the venue. The place was crawling with hippies, a familiar sight. Besides the hippies there were: New York Dolls types with long scarves and make-up. Guys in pin-laden leather jackets, mullet hair-dos, loosely-knotted ties over T-shirts, and bleached blonde girlfriends wearing vinyl or what looked like trash bags. Here, a pocket of people who might have stepped off the set of a John Waters film; there, the cast of The Rocky Horror Show. Lots of thrift-store sports jackets, Beatle boots, wrap-around sunglasses. And a large number of rather similar guys, each of whom appeared to think he was “the Fonz.” Seriously. There was some kind of Gary Marshall/Mel’s Drive-in/Laverne and Shirley trip going on at the Clash show. A punk rock sock hop — this is what we fought the revolution for?

Evidently. The first band, The Rubber City Rebels, was basically two Fonzies, a Potsie, and a Squiggy. You could smell the Brylcreem from across the room. I enjoyed them anyway.

Next up, the Dead Kennedys: no Fonzies there. They had this quite popular song, “California uber Alles,” a zany, Mad Magazine-style satire which used Nazi imagery to portray Governor Jerry Brown as a mellow, crunchy granola Hitler. The crowd got into the spirit of the thing, doing a Hogan’s Heroes salute-‘n’-goosestep sort of dance. The band dropped it down, and the singer, one Jello Biafra, delivered a stern lecture: “you people,” he said bitterly, “are exactly what this song is fighting against.” Hell yeah. Wait, hang on: was he saying there really were a bunch of ominously laid-back Zen fascists at Kezar Pavilion who have come for our uncool niece? Was he serious? (Turns out, he kind of was…) He jumped into the crowd. His clothes were ripped to shreds, and he finished the set naked. An important message, and an unforgettable performance.

The Cramps sounded sludgy and burbling just like their records, but I was getting impatient. They were great, but there was only one band that mattered, and it wasn’t them.

Then, at last, the “darlings of punk” were upon us.

Now, the Mick Jones on the poster in my room looked a lot like Keith Richard(s). In Creem magazine they had to label pictures of him as “Mick Jones (Clash)” to distinguish him from “Mick Jones (Foreigner/Spooky Tooth)” because of their broadly similar hairstyles. Subsequently, though, the Clash had entered their Gene Vincent phase and Mick was suddenly all Sun Studios and greased back, so the first thing I thought when I saw him was: Woah! Sit on it, Malph!

“This ain’t no Lou Reed show,” said Joe Strummer, helpfully. Later on, he announced that he wasn’t Freddy Mercury, either. Well, obviously: Freddy Mercury would have done “Be Bop a Lula” slightly differently I’m sure. Then, he assured us he was also not Paul Anka. Perhaps his true identity would soon be revealed by a simple process of elimination.

The subsequent stage banter was notable for making even less sense than that of Biafra. It was kind of like street poetry. “We just flew in! Gotta make some change! These problems over here — ya hear the knock knock knockin’…” Stuff like that. Hard to follow, but somehow, one felt, it must refer on some level to some unspecified yet vastly important thing.

And what did it sound like when the important talking stopped? It is hard to describe. Imagine around a dozen simultaneous waves of piercing feedback, like sirens, echoing painfully through a high school gymnasium. For about an hour. I’ve read that this particular show was notable for featuring a slew of as yet unreleased London Calling songs, but I can’t fathom how anyone could have grasped that. In fact, the challenge was always to figure out which song they might have been playing underneath all the feedback at any given point. “Guns on the Roof,” or “Clash City Rockers”? Hard to say. Definitely one of the “Can’t Explain” tunes. Hey, I think I just lip-read “the bells of Gary Glitter!” “Clash City Rockers” it is! In other words: it sounded like the greatest band in the history of mankind, the only one that mattered. And I am totally serious about that. Best show ever.

Now it turns out my dad had figured out our Clash plan. (Through some clever detective work: he noticed the record on my turntable and checked the Pink Section of the Chronicle.) He was waiting for us outside in the rain afterward, which was a good thing because the buses had stopped running and, as I’ve mentioned, we hadn’t thought to come up with a getting-home plan. Mike and I sheepishly climbed into his pick-up.

Not only had he come to pick us up, but he had actually entered the venue to lurk in the back, taking in the whole show. (A fact he was later to mention frequently when “young people” were around: “ever tell you about the time I saw the Clash and the Cramps at Kezar, must have been, oh, ’79…” Kind of like what I’m doing now, really.)

Anyway, my dad had liked the Clash. “They were like the fifties, when I was a kid,” he said. Tell me about it, Fonz, I thought. “But what,” he asked, “does that angry naked guy have against John and Bobby Kennedy, Jerry Brown, and clothing?” My dad revered the Kennedys, and had gone to high school with Jerry Brown. And he always wore clothes. Always. “Are they Republicans?”

“Maybe” I said. “They’re on Dr. Demento.”

My dad shook his head. Being on Dr. Demento didn’t cut much ice with him when it came to naked Republican anti-Jerry Brown JFK-haters.

As we got on the highway, he looked at my armful of “concert stuff”: my bootlegged “Give ’em Enough Rope” shirt and poster, DKs pin, a Maoist flier, Baader-Meinhoff handbill, and The Revolutionary Worker. “Communists traditionally have focused their recruitment efforts on young, bright, alienated loners” he said, more to himself than anybody.

The road curved ahead in the rain like a glowing, shiny question mark.

[I am often asked to tell this story, and I don’t always do it well off the cuff, but this essay does it fairly well, so when I stumbled on the .doc file it seemed like posting it was the thing to do, if only so I can link to it when the subject comes up. A much less wordy version of it was published in the August 2006 issue of SPIN.]

UPDATE, 09.27.2021 - I really, really can’t believe it survived as it is very old and I never used to save this sort of thing on purpose, but I just stumbled across, in a pile of random detritus, the ticket for the show described in my here:

Did you go? What do you remember?

Info, articles, reviews, comments or photos welcome.
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Clash: rock with crunch

The San Francisco Examiner – Mon 15 October 1979

The San Francisco Examiner Mon Oct 15 1979

Austin Chronicle:
Lubbock Calling, Joe Ely Remembers the Clash

Link - Archived PDF

May 19, 2000

"Honky Tonk Masquerade had just come out, and we were in London playing the Venue Club when all the Clash showed up one night. They came backstage and I guess they'd heard me on the radio and knew every song on my record. This was 1978 and coming from Lubbock; we had no idea what was going on in London.


picture copyright

Mick with Pearl Harbour. Kezar Pavillions 13 Oct 79

Joe on Stage Kezar Pavillions

13 Oct 79
picture copyright



Safe European Home
I m So Bored with the USA
London Calling
Jail Guitar Doors
Wrong Em Boyo
The Guns Of Brixton
White Man In Ham Palais
English Civil War
Koka Kola
I Fought the Law
Julie s In the Drug Squad
Clash City Rockers
Police and Thieves
Stay Free
Complete Control
Career Opportunities
Janie Jones
Armagideon Time
Capital Radio
White Riot
Brand New Cadillac
Be Bop a Lula

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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